It’s easy to be seduced to believe that you need to have more freedom in your choices.
And it is certainly true, particularly people of color and women and those without enough means, are limited in their choices because of racism, sexism, income inequality and other factors out of their control.
For everyone else, however, we can be convinced that a boss or a teacher or a parent won’t let us do the thing we want to do in the moment, then we must not have enough freedom.
Having an infinite amount of choices and the time on our hand is nothing without discipline. The paradox of choice is very real. The more choices we have, the more unhappy we feel about the choices we make. Because we imagine the other alternatives, we think the grass is greener on the other side.
What we are actually looking for is the ability to choose which constraints to make. Ironically, constraints are nothing but a human invention. They are made up. There is no rule that says you have to use Facebook in order to promote your idea. You can simply choose ignore it or not. You can choose to be vegetarian and now you have invented a constraint about what it is you eat.
We can choose where we are going to set the boundaries and play the game we see fit. Whoever you answer to may not let you choose which project to work on during work hours but last I checked, after 5 o’clock you are free to do what you please.
Get good at the autonomy you do have. Otherwise, what is the point of having more time if you already are wasting the time you’ve got.