Hits: 1895

Everything is a trade off.  In an economics class this was taught to me by the term, “opportunity cost”.  This professor made it a point to make the money to time aspect the focus (time being your capital to spend on a task)……….I mean it was an economics class, so, you know makes sense.  However, I have always thought less of the time focus personally. Time flows regardless, to assume our actions are worth time is kind of dumb, in my humble opinion. Since most actions are only a momentary decision it normally in fact comes down to trading freedoms.  

See we make a decision and it takes time for the after events to pass so it’s easy to make the connection to time.  But, let’s remove time from this equation. Time spent is only the consequence of effort applied. After all, it could be argued time is only the measurement of movement.  What you are in fact is giving up the freedom you have in that moment to make your move.

Once upon an early 2000’s, I was your punk rock typical skater kid (except I was a roller bladder).  Over time I got fairly good, now, it’s not without; a sense of irony, I traded the freedom of a certain educational interactions in order to get good at skating.  Bluntly, I skipped out on class a lot, to go skate (I’m a teacher now…..), I value the process of learning much more now. However, I bring up skating, because there comes a moment in any movement where you are committing to a trick.  This moment is universal to any action. Skating though, is a good way in which I learned this. In this exact second, you lose time because there is none. It is either now or never, either do exactly as you know or, slam hard. On larger tricks or obstacles, it becomes a point of absolute no return (severe injury or success).  If you are attached to something as I had mentally to skating, (the idea of how my body worked, looking at the film after was always a highlight; “that holy crap that is me” sense). There are many times we cross this line, in life in general, simply put, it means you made the action. You made a decision, now you are attached, and it has consequences. You have lost your freedom to act in any other way than the small variances of the move you had planned and where your effort, focus has landed you dictates.  Now, you are attached to an exact moment, nothing else, this is focus, the first of our 3 Tenants. When you are moving down a handrail at 20mph, balancing as it slants, goes flat, and straightens out. The last thing you are honestly thinking about is the cheers at the end, or the film footage.

Well, believe it or not you don’t in fact have to figure out how you are going to redirect the force of concrete coming up quickly or try to balance on something 2 inches wide for 40 feet, because, in most decisions you make (hopefully), don’t involve that same level of perceived physical consequence.

 Because, you do this exact thing with any decisions/actions you make, you Focus on it.  It’s just whether you notice it or not.

So, if, we are always deciding, (aware or not) on the scopes of our freedoms.  To act in accordance of our attachments (our morals, ideas, our PERSPECTIVE); do we even have any freedoms?

Well yea 2 types, you can just not do it, which is valid, but, just kind of seems lame, or you can actively focus on every movement leading up to that point of no return.  Every movement, a mix of moving your body perfectly to gain speed, the refined depth perception needed to know the angle of your jump, know everything you can about that moment, well part of freedom is stopping when you feel you have too.  Just because you are focused on doesn’t dictate the decision. I cannot tell you how many times I got to full speed, set my knees to jump; just to suddenly pull up and stop because it just didn’t feel right. Move on to the next thing if it feels that way, don’t wait when you have that feeling if you have started running up, in some situations, you are trading more freedom than you know, but you can bail.  I had to learn the lesson that you can always stop early or move, on by breaking my jaw, losing some teeth, a gashed skull, and a slightly broken wrist.

That healing time was some freedom I traded for that focus, limited physical functionality, some bad headaches.  Funny thing, is, I kept thinking and focusing on skating (reading magazines, watching skate video’s, sometimes looking at spots while passing by thinking what I could do there. In a sense keeping myself in those instances of focus where I saw them.  I had made a decision.

 I started skating again not too much later, about 3 months, everything but my teeth and my wrist had healed nice.  I kept skating up to graduating college. I set time aside to do while working, schooling and drinking. Well skating and drinking kind of blurred there for a bit.  But, anyway time passed, I walked my path and soon it was time to get a “real job”.

I actually made pretty good money at the retail position I was in having worked up to manager. I personally I have little care nor focus on the idea or definition of “real job”.  Somehow though, it hit me, maybe it was my body not being as spry as it was; or that I realized getting injured would be an absolute disaster (small ones were already starting to take longer to heal), I looked at my decisions from an outside perspective………..That trade off was risking a lot more freedoms to me, the freedom to afford school, rent, food. Which, was already tight.  No tuition; no school, no rent; couch surf, no food; stealing from the cafeteria. That was a moment of no return, it was time to commit, and so I set one attachment aside. It was time it took a back seat and faded into the land of memory. There were so many other attachments; they dictated a line of action to maintain their freedoms. That said, I had gained more freedoms in that exact moment than any other by detaching myself from something and moving to the next.   Something we can all do.

Thing is at that time, I don’t know that I was able to understand those freedoms.  I trade, flow freely back and forth. I lost a lot for a while, doing some stuff but that’s another lesson.  Point is, I realize now that having that ability to understand an attachment is crucial. The freedoms to you trade for any action and how to when and what it is valued (everything has worth, that’s whole different focus). Anyways, the freedoms, it will progress or repress is vital to this and need consideration.  In time, I also learned (well more noticed) that you can focus on multiple things at one and that they tend to be tied together. So try looking at the individual decisions and then the more broad background. Look for the third person perspective in you. Look at the painting while you, make those brush strokes.

To understand attachment, you have to understand the freedoms you give up for it, to understand those freedoms you have to be partially detached from that attachment, third person yourself if you can.   If you make the trade for all those big freedoms right away too frequently, you end up trading more than you, thought eventually. I have some scars to back that☺.

Even though skating was long ago, a past that is dead.  It lives on in a different aspect the lesson it gave me.  I still also, have that same feeling with Taekwondo and sword fighting, “holy crap my body is doing that.” I found a controlled, less free, way to admire that aesthetic, a decision made.

So, I ask you what freedoms you are trading? Are they worth the attachments and when in this moment they are notice how beautiful both the freedom and attachment are.  Some attachments produce more freedoms just different. You will never see all of them, but trying to understand our freedoms, and which are in our hearts (and why they are.) Is understanding this the key to real freedom?  Is decision freedom? In the end you control all that by knowing when it is time to move on to the next moment. That’s freedom {‘merica!!!! ;) }


May the Force be with you and free you!


Oh, and be KIND you always have the freedom to do that.