Freedom is the pleasure of doing one’s will. Yet since we often understand concepts better by looking at what they are not, let us briefly consider what we must be free from if we want to experience that pleasure:
- Free from reaction. The free man does not react passively from emotional impulses to a situation. Instead, he actively responds based on a conscious decision, guided by what he values in life, or acts proactively to begin with.
- Free from compulsion. The free man is behaviorally flexible, not obsessed by or addicted to anything. His habits are mechanisms not to cope with the hardships of life, but to thrive in spite of them (resilience) or because of them (antifragility).
- Free from identification. The free man is not bound to any ideology or persona he could identify himself with. He understands that labels, roles, and ideas only ever express his ego, not his true nature.
- Free from expectation. The free man never places his expectancy of an outcome above the integrity of his will. Rather than anxiously or opportunistically compromising his character under the illusion of knowing what the future will bring, he acts from his center with joyful hopelessness and welcomes whatever will be.