The Cost of Freedom

“Doing what you like is freedom, liking what you do is happiness”

On July 4th, it is common to see fireworks, American Flags, and most likely a few beer cans. Since 1776, Americans have celebrated this day, and we at TIMEbudget want to start by sincerely thanking every service member who have given so much of themselves to fight for our freedom. 

I want to take this time to focus on freedom through a different lens. I recently watched the movie “Cinderella Man,” and a certain line really stood out to me. When the main character, James J. Braddock, is asked what he is fighting for, he gives a very simple answer, “milk.”

For those who have not seen the movie, it takes place during the Great Depression when Braddock is asked this he has just returned to the boxing ring after a long year of struggling to find work. Braddock at one time was the premier boxer, but when the depression hit he lost everything he had worked for. He was left to beg for work, and was months behind on his bills. He is given the chance to step back in the ring to make $50 dollars, win or lose. When he steps in the ring to fight, his mind flashes back to the thoughts of his wife and children struggling to get by. He thinks of the long nights trying to figure out how they are going to make ends meet, of providing for the needs of his family. Needless to say ,this drives Braddock to knock out his opponent because his “why” was greater than any circumstance life could throw his way.

I believe this is the story of every entrepreneur who is fighting to make it. We are all fighting for our own “milk”. It is difficult to go a day without hearing how poor the economy is, and how much we are all struggling financially. I read recently that 85% of Americans stated that they are unhappy with their current situation – this could include their health, lifestyle, and most importantly – their job. It is amazing to hear the amount of people who feel stuck in their 9 to 5. But it is even more incredible to hear the testimonials of those who have taken the leap of faith and gone into business for themselves.

Even if you are not ready to make that leap, I encourage you to dream about it, think about it, allow that thought to consume you enough to make you want to change it. I cannot promise you will make millions, but I would trade all of that for a chance at happiness. Happiness is my “milk,” the ability to live life on my own terms is the American dream I am pursuing.

We always focus on the “cost of freedom,” but I think this is the wrong perspective to have. I see the cost being much much greater if you decide not to pursue your own freedom. The long nights and countless hours we put into pursuing our freedom are nothing compared to living a life of resignation to the status quo. On this 4th of July, I want to leave you with one thought, and that is to believe in yourself enough to fight for your own milk.

Happy Independence Day,

John Max Bolling


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