I am pleased to introduce Project Personal Freedom: Tips and Tools for a Liberated Life, a year of insights and action steps for finding the freedom so many of us seek.
Over the years and across populations I’ve served—from addicts, codependents, and families in crisis, to the incarcerated, victims of natural disasters, and patients with terminal illnesses—certain challenges have consistently revealed themselves, as have the principles and practices clients have found to be most beneficial. My aim is to capture both the challenges and the “remedies”, all under the umbrella of what I see as the overriding objective of my clients’ journeys: personal freedom.
You don’t have to fall into one of these groups to benefit from these daily entries. You need not be struggling or in crisis of any kind. This book is about freedom. It is for everyone.
These tips and tools are by no means one person’s perspective. They are inspired by those with whom I have worked over the years. I have simply pinpointed the nuggets, packaged them up thematically, added insights from various schools of thought in psychology, and turned them into tips and tools for a liberated life.
Personal freedom, as I see it, is an overall liberated life experience. It’s a state of being in which one is self-determined and self-directed. It’s the ability to choose, to explore, to dream, to self-define, to be who one authentically is and to be unapologetic about it. It’s a state of mind. It’s a way of life.
Project Personal Freedom is born of the same motivation that inspired my grandfather Dr. George H. Gallup to create the American Institute of Public Opinion (which would become The Gallup Poll) over seventy-five years ago. Teddy, as he was affectionately known to us, was a true pioneer. Fiercely curious, with a heart for social service, he dedicated himself to creating avenues for hearing from the American people. This passion found its way into all he did.
All of this began with a simple philosophy, a heartfelt passion, and a deep hunger to know. I believe effective counselors are similarly motivated. We meet people where they are. We listen to their stories and hear their needs. We walk alongside them from that place.
Throughout his career, Teddy remained steadfastly committed to learning and reporting “the will of the people”. This is my intention as well—to give back to my readers what I have learned is important to them—and in so doing, to meet them precisely where they are.
My hope is that readers will rediscover and reclaim what is rightfully theirs (and has been all along)—namely, the freedom to be who they authentically are, to truly ‘own’ their inherent worth and value, and to claim sovereignty over themselves. I want readers to take charge of their present and future. I want them to get excited about doing so. As they make their way through the book, I want readers to become progressively committed to breaking out and breaking free, to freeing themselves from anything and everything that constricts and constrains, and to getting feisty about leading more self-determined and overall liberated lives.
As I see it, we live highly adapted lives. We conform. We please. We shape-shift. We ‘adapt’ to so many influences outside ourselves. In this adaptation process, we disconnect from our authenticity. We disconnect from our core. We find ourselves living lives that don’t even feel like our own—and we are not sure how it happened. Truth is, we knew no other way. We have been inadvertently squandering our talents, our passions, and our life-force.
Personal freedom is about claiming these. It’s about going within, connecting with true self, and living from that place at long last. It’s about living fully and making the most of this life. It’s about being the best possible stewards of all that we are and all that we have been given.
Project Personal Freedom is more than just a series of feel-good concepts. These are concrete, time-tested action steps. It’s my hope that these daily pieces will be a source of comfort and inspiration and that this little book will be a helpful companion on your own journey to personal freedom.