Someone asked me what I do in my free time. I couldn’t figure out why the question threw me off as much as it did, and then I realized that for me it’s all free time.
I started looking at the concept of free time and wondering what it really meant. I got the idea that it means time that is free to do what you want.
And it creates the idea that there’s time that you’re not free to do what you want, that you’re doing something that, if you were free, you wouldn’t be doing. So that would be unfree time, time you’re not free.
Freedom to do what I want has been one of the most important things in my life. It’s one reason I started a business rather than working for someone else.
Doing what I want, when I want, how I want. I love that. I only talk to people I want to talk to. I only do work I’m interested in. I only work with people I like. Every moment of my life is free.
I’m terrible at doing what someone else wants me to do if it’s not what I want. I’m actually incapable of it. I have no problem finding people who want the same things I do, so it’s not really a problem.
I’ve learned and realized that doing what I want means I exchange freedom for security and safety.
I know a lot of people who have jobs they’re not crazy about, they’re doing things they’re not really interested in, working for people they don’t really like, but they do it for the safety and security they get in return.
They exchange freedom for “security”.
I’ve always played it the other way around. My life has been full of risks, sometimes nothing but risks, often daring.
I used to make my parents very nervous, and they’re not the only ones. Right before my father died he said to me, “After seeing you take so many risks, I wish I had taken more in my own life.”
I believe in this not just for myself, but for the people around me. I believe it’s important for them to feel totally free.
It’s always fascinating to me how you manage working with people when something needs to be done but you rely on their sense of freedom and individual purpose.
My staff are very free. It’s often not convenient for me. But I would rather have their freedom than my convenience at the price of their freedom.
So, when they do something, I know they really want to do it. I know they really want to be here. That’s priceless to me.
I can answer the question, the one they’re probably asking, what do I do on the weekends? And that is study, ride my bike, hang out with friends, have great conversations about history and philosophy, go to concerts, hike, read, play with my cats, put the top down and drive Highway 1 along the ocean, walk through the redwoods, enjoy everything about living in the San Francisco Bay Area, try new restaurants, find new music, celebrate birthdays…
But I’m happy to say, I’ve never had a day where I felt not free. It’s all free time.
I hope you have lots of free time too.