The recognition that human beings are free gives us the individual freedom to make whatever choices we want for our lives. But anyone who embraces their individual freedom must also accept the personal responsibility to make it happen. Simply wishing for something to happen is not going to do anything; no external force is going to give it to you. Your life is completely up to you, and you are solely responsible for it.
While you are free to make your own choices, it is obvious that the choices you make will be influenced by the society and culture you are in, and that is fine. The key is to live the life that you want, and many of the things that influenced you prior to this point are important to you so of course you’re going to keep them. The important first step is to describe what the ideal life means to you before you can determine how you are going to get there. This isn’t going to be physical things such as possessions, but about how you want to feel. Knowing that, you are able to examine the various ways you can achieve those feelings. This is your goal. It is then your responsibility to set a plan in motion to get there, to do what it takes, to achieve it.
You may be wondering if taking such action, veering from the path of conformity, is risky. Not at all, the biggest risk is to plod along and end your life with the words, “I wish I had,” on your lips. Take heart that it isn’t the achievement of the goal that makes you free. It is the journey, knowing you are in control of your life that makes it so:
Man is a rope stretched between the animal and the Superman — a rope over an abyss. A dangerous crossing, a dangerous wayfaring, a dangerous looking-back, a dangerous trembling and halting. What is great in man is that he is a bridge and not a goal. ~ Frederick Nietzsche
The American founding father, Thomas Jefferson, hit it on the nose when he penned: “Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness,” in the declaration of independence. Jefferson understood that happiness in life it was all about pursuing one’s goals, not necessarily achieving them. If you do achieve a particular goal, you will simply have to create another so as to always feel the happiness of freedom. Your life is all about the choices that you make for it.