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Monday, December 14, 2009

Life's Shackles

How shackled are you to your life? The more shackles you have, the less mobility you have. Maybe you're the type that likes to be smothered and controlled. I am not. Consequently, I work to identify all shackles and consciously chose to only keep those that provide joy.

How do you free yourself? First, identify the shackles. Second, pick the ones you are willing to keep.

How does one go about identifying shackles? The first step is to spend one hour of your life listing out every commitment, obligation, debt, and responsibility you have. If the list seems short, or you have a hard time coming up with anything, you are blinding yourself. Obligations, for example, can manifest in many ways including within relationships you have with family members. Are you expected to go visit your mother once a year? That is an obligation. Once you start listing everything, you will find the list is quite large.

When you have your list, the fun really beings and you become empowered. Decide upon a set of rules that you will apply to each shackle in the list to help you decide which shackles to keep and which to dump. Do this step only after you have the list. Doing so before hand may cause a blind spot in your list creation. To not jade you too much, and create blind spots, I'm only sharing 2 of my 10 rules so that you can get a flavor of the rules: a) for any shackle that does not provide me a long term gain, I dispense with it; b) for any shackle that produces continuous pain, I dispense with it.

Now become the owner of your life. Take your shackle elimination rules and brutally apply it to each and every shackle that you've identified. Slaughter without mercy. When in doubt, the shackle is out!

For each shackle you've elected to eliminate, group them up. Many may be related to a single source. There you will get the most bang for your buck if you eliminate the source. Draw up a plan, and start eliminating the shackles. With each shackle dropped, you will become lighter and more agile... you will become freer and less troubled.

This removal of shackles isn't for everyone. Many people cannot function without restriction. Only the bold and capable should attempt this.

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