The freedom to choose your happy place

Orta San Giulio
Orta San Giulio, one of my happy places around the planet

Your happy place is inside you


There are different variations on the concept of our “happy place.” It can be a physical place, and it can be abstract, a place you go to with your thoughts and feelings. These two do not contradict each other. You have the freedom to choose your “happy place” and when to reach it, physically or otherwise.

A happy place can be a memory of an actual physical place you’ve been to and the thought of which makes you happy.

“The destiny of man is designed for happy moments – every life has them… they will remain fixed in the imagination of man as ‘the other side of the hill’ because they have been inherited from ages past: … that condition of which, after violent exertion in hunting and warfare, man gives himself up to repose, stretches his limbs and hears the pinions of sleep rustling about him.” said Nietzsche in Human, All Too Human: A Book for Free Spirits

It can also be an imaginary place like I have in mind for the past week. I imagine trails in the Alps where I am hiking. These images give me peace. Imagining myself there makes me happy, perhaps even more so than the actual trip by airplane and then car or train to get there and actually walk the trails in real life. 

Freedom is a tricky thing


I say you have the freedom to choose your happy place, but freedom is not easy to obtain. Least of all in our minds. Freedom is something you have to define and then work towards obtaining.

Practice your freedom, like any other skill you practice. You lead yourself to freedom, which requires discipline, of course.  

This is complex. First, you need to define the freedom you want to practice. For example, the freedom to eat certain foods rather than others. That’s a good example. When I stopped eating sugar, the choice was always there for me, with each fruit on the table, cookie, or cake. 

We are all addicted to the sweet stuff, we are genetically hard-wired to be. It’s our most accessible source of energy. How “Free” was I, to actually choose not to eat that stuff before recovering from that addiction? The world does not support such decisions, to say the least. It demands exercising one’s freedom and choice in the matter. 

The more I practiced, the easier it got.

Lead yourself to optimal freedom


The ability to exercise your freedom concerning the critical issues in life is not a given. 

It demands awareness and conscious choice and then cultivating resilience in the face of temptations that may distract you from your ability to choose

Be it the choice of living with a specific person, taking in the circumstances and challenges that come with it, or choosing a profession with the demands it entails. 

Awareness of what you want is foundational. In a profound sense, establishing what that is will enable you to face the choices in front of you and exercise your freedom. 

What do you want?


How to figure out what you want? That’s then – a fundamental question. It relates to the happy place, of course. 

A happy place is where you feel good, physically, emotionally, mentally, and possibly spiritually. Even if only imagined. It can, if need be, exist only in your imagination. Indeed, sometimes it assists us in overcoming traumatic events or periods in life that otherwise would have been difficult to traverse.

A happy place is, therefore, a place in our mind or in the world that gives us a sensation of peace, safety, joy, and tranquility—all among our basic human needs.

What you want is a happy place and the freedom to go to it when you want, for your good and possibly, for the highest good of all concerned. That’s where awareness is vital as a foundation for this freedom.

When leading your life, finding your happy place and the freedom to choose it, is the basis for any other future leadership. Would you agree?

Let me know in the comments below.

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