“Freedom is Everything and Love is All the Rest” – we’ve all heard this, well at least those of us who’ve read Conversations with Richard Bandler. It’s been a journey for me to fully understand how profound this statement is but I think I finally got it.

I fired my Boss last week.

You see, for the last 10 years I’ve been working in pretty high paying corporate jobs. Now the great thing about corporate jobs is that they pay well, they’re pretty reliable as regards getting paid and there are some really good financial benefits that come with those jobs. I even had a modest but significant pair of gold plated handcuffs.

Before joining my first corporation I’d never been in that environment. But like all things, they have a price. Your time is not your own, and you don’t have the freedom to choose your clients. So I began to ask myself, “I know what I don’t want, so what do I actually want instead?” I ask other people, especially clients this all the time but hadn’t really asked myself the question in detail.

And so I looked at my Hierarchy of Values and noticed that as I’ve changed so have they. Yes, I wanted the money and the “security” of having a regular paycheck and of course the gold plated handcuffs are tempting but I found myself valuing the freedom to do other things as well, take on more coaching clients, finishing some books and taking the time to learn something new and in the course of this process really embraced what I was teaching others. I made the decision that for me, Freedom was more important, a much higher value than security. Now, it’s not a good idea to just quit everything and run to something else, bad strategy, especially when you don’t know what you’re going towards. So I really defined what I want to do with all that extra time and I laid out a few feelers, got quick replies on doing the same thing for different companies on contract rather than as an employee and set up my own company.

It’s amazing how that Hierarchy of Values changes over time and it’s important to do a temperature check on them regularly, it’s not that the old ones were bad, they’re not useful the current situation, just like old strategies that we change.

Before, I obviously knew what I didn’t want, but by becoming explicit about what I do want, suddenly my map of reality expanded and new options appeared. So yes, it’s more responsibility but that comes with Freedom so I would always keep in mind when working on yourself or with clients, chances are what you don’t want is very clear but when you define what you have the pieces to create a propulsion system and a strategy that clears the way for the future.

As always, it pays to go back to the basics:

  1. Well formed outcomes
    • Stated in positives
    • Initiated and maintained by the individual
    • Ecological
    • Testable by Sensory Experience
  1. Meta Model – We use it with our clients but when we remember to use it on ourselves it keeps us moving in the right direction
  1. Test Operate Test Exit

And when you do that, you might just find that those gold plated handcuffs are really just painted pot metal keeping you from all the new and better possibilities.

James Seetoo is a Licensed NLP Trainer and NLP Coaching Trainer. He is the Best Selling Author of The 5 Keys To Hypnotic Selling and sees personal and professional development clients.