How has it been 18 years since 9.11?  I’m in shock.  No matter what has happened since then, it’s a day when we can put all political differences aside and just appreciate our basic freedoms, the air we breathe, and the privilege of having another day to hug our families.  The heinous images from that day that will be forever emblazoned in the mind’s eye of all who lived out that horrific day, along with the rest of us who watched it glued to our televisions.  We’ve grown numb to the war that followed, and we can barely even remember the pre-9.11. era that seemed to be so easy in this Land we love.

I guess that’s just human nature.  As painful and sad as it is, time marches on, and we all find a way to adjust.  Same thing with Veteran’s Day and Memorial Day, and even Independence Day.  It’s easy to forget that the day we salute with fireworks, cookouts, parades, and a day off from work was the start of a war that changed all of history. As I think back to how different life must have been for those colonists over 200 years ago, there are a few things that still ring true in all of us today: no matter what our background or heritage, we dream of financial security, life balance, and a sense of achievement.

We want freedom to come and go as we please, freedom to worship in our own way, and freedom to decide how we will spend each day. We’re so quick to forget that those freedoms were bought with a price, and that there are service men and women from our country stationed all over this world who are gladly still paying that price even today. I’m so grateful for the visionary leadership of our Founding Fathers who risked everything they had to create this great nation.  And I’m equally grateful for our troops who are trying their best to ensure the continuation of that legacy for generations to come.  And I’m also in shock at how far off-course we’ve veered in the past few decades.

Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness were worth fighting for so long ago, and they’re still worth fighting for today. The concept of freedom is exactly why so many of us chose the less-traveled road of self-employment. We want to provide for our families and have the freedom to spend quality time with them. We want the freedom to control our hours, our income, and our potential. We’ve all heard it said that complacency is the biggest threat to our freedom as a country, and it’s also the biggest threat to our freedom as individuals. We purposefully made the shift from life as employees to entrepreneurs specifically for that freedom, so at our own personal level – as cliché as it sounds – we must realize that freedom comes with a price. So, the question is this: are we willing to pay the price to maintain & protect our freedom?

The price tag for our freedom is high: time-management, self-discipline, and work ethic. And work ethic doesn’t imply workaholic! It means that we learn to draw boundaries in our life and become willing to say “no” to some good things in order to make room for great things. Those boundaries we implement are what allow us to stop the cycle of madness in which we always feel busy, but rarely see results. We then get to play when we want to because we work when we need to. We’re grateful for the opportunity to embrace another day’s work because of the endless blessings of abundance it provides to our families and our future.

By taking charge of your own life, you have the power to control your destiny. You can literally take the reins of your life and exercise your freedom to change the course of history for YOUR family. You can create a whole new legacy of abundance for your descendants, just as our founding fathers did. Are you willing to FIGHT for your future? Are you willing to fight for your dreams with every ounce of fight you have in you? But if you’ll remember with me, our forefathers weren’t fighting for anarchy. They desperately wanted self-government, not no government. Does the same hold true for you? Freedom is a privilege that comes with responsibility. To reap the benefits that come from self-employment, we must be willing to govern ourselves with immense self-discipline. Do you set a plan and then FOLLOW it? We’re the boss at night when we put the plan together, then we must be the employee the next day as we follow our own plan!

We also need to address one other big freedom stealer that you may be battling at this very moment. DON’T LET OTHER PEOPLE STEAL YOUR VISION! Can you even imagine the resistance our original Patriots faced as they first tried to sell the concept of independence? There are people who will try to talk you out of your vision as well. They will tell you that you are crazy and that it can’t be done, or that people like you don’t live lives like that. They will laugh at you and try to bring you back down to their “comfortable” level. Don’t give in!!! The average person just doesn’t understand the concept of true passion and the unashamed, unabashed, relentless pursuit of a dream.

That’s why they’re average!

Most Americans take their “freedom of choice” for granted. In this country, we’re free to make our own choices, but if we’re not careful, it’s those choices we make on a daily basis that send us right back into bondage: bondage of the rat race, bondage of living paycheck to paycheck, bondage of someone else controlling your time and outcome, bondage of good when you know great is possible. I want to govern myself so that no one else will have to—how about you? Let freedom ring!

Chaya Ben-Shabat
Chaya is a mom, entrepreneur, success coach, athlete, student, dreamer, and world traveler.   She is also the founder and CEO of an up-and-coming international school system, designed to revolutionize global education.  She works with highly determined women to help them bust through their obstacles, discover and channel their inner superpowers, and master the tools and skills necessary to design and create the life of their dreams.

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