I think many people know we are not really all that free. We can’t just do what we want. And this applies no matter how rich, connected, or powerful you are. But I have met certain people who unconsciously believe they can do what they want. This can manifest in things like binge drinking, avoiding sleep, compulsive gambling, constant borrowing, indiscriminate spending, among others.
It never ends, does it? The number of things we have to do to make sure our life and future are in order. The limits and the warnings and the cautionary tales. It’s impossible to be free to live in just any way you want to. It’s always something.
“Hey, you can’t eat sausage or stand in front of a microwave, a new study is out, now about how it can cause cancer.”
“Hey, you can’t take coke. It’s poison. It causes diabetes”
Or how you have to use sunscreen to protect your skin, exercise three times a week for longer life, moisturize your skin, save 10% of your salary, set aside funds for retirements.
There are two kinds of people on the extremes of this equation. On one hand, we have the ones who don’t care at all. They don’t care about consequences. The idea of how today’s actions affect their health, finances, relationships, and longevity tomorrow. They are typically characterized by their low impulse control. Or maybe it’s just ignorance or nonchalance.
On the other extreme, we have the overachievers. They have thought of almost every outcome of their actions. They are efficient planners of their future. They can control their impulses and delay gratification. Always optimizing. Never satisfied.
I think we should aim to be somewhere in between. Be free enough to live a little, while still giving enough consideration to how our current way of life might affect our future.