Today we’re diving straight into quotes about freedom, one of the most coveted and essential human desires. Who doesn’t love the exhilarating feeling of being unchained, unrestricted, and fully oneself?
These are more than just words, they’re powerful statements that remind us of our inherent right to live freely and authentically. We’ve hand-picked these quotes to get you thinking, shaking things up, and encouraging you to embrace a life less ordinary.
Ready to find your own pathway to freedom? Let’s explore!
What is Freedom?
Freedom is about reaching financial stability, reclaiming control over your time, and being true to yourself. It entails the courage to think freely and defy fears, nurturing individual autonomy. Furthermore, it advocates for a lesser focus on materialism, encouraging a life rich in experiences and personal growth. This approach fosters a life steeped in authenticity and directed by individual purpose.
When I walked into my AirBnb for the first time, the birdcage decoration on the coffee table caught my eye straight away. As someone who has spent the past decade working to create a life on my own terms, there was a deeper, more symbolic meaning behind it for me.
Despite aspiring to freedom for so long, I realized I had never precisely defined it for myself. I thought about it a lot, I had always worked hard for it, but freedom was always more of a feeling to me and not something I could clearly characterize.
Curious to know what others thought, I put up this poll on my Instagram:
I got more responses and engagement from this story than I would have ever imagined. Apparently this was a hot topic.
What resulted were some truly engaging philosophical conversations about self-employment, psychology, the nature of autonomy and kicking ass in life. One thing was glaringly obvious: freedom means different things to different people.
Here’s a collection of quotes about freedom that can help us view the lofty concept from different perspectives:
1. Freedom Quotes: Time and Money
The “what is freedom?” question commonly brings up discussions related to time versus money. It makes sense. These are most often our biggest immediate restrictions to freedom.
In a job you trade your freedom and time for money.Ken Poirot
Working because you want to, not because you have to is financial freedom.Tony Robbins
Being rich is having money; being wealthy is having time.Margaret Bonanno
Money gives you the freedom to do with your time what you want to do with it.Richard Branson
2. Freedom Quotes: Autonomy
For others, freedom is more about autonomy—the need to feel like they have choices and are the source of their own actions.
Freedom – to walk free and own no superior.Walt Whitman
Freedom is the emancipation from the arbitrary rule of other men.Mortimer Adler
What do you suppose will satisfy the Soul, except to walk free, and own no superior?Walt Whitman
Freedom is not the absence of commitments, but the ability to choose – and commit myself to – what is best for me.Paulo Coelho
Is freedom anything else than the right to live as we wish? Nothing else.Epictetus
Freedom is the power to say no.James Clear
Everything that is really great and inspiring is created by the individual who can labor in freedom.Albert Einstein
Freedom in general may be defined as the absence of obstacles to the realization of desires.Bertrand Russell
Like bones to the human body, the axle to the wheel, the wing to the bird, and the air to the wing, so is liberty the essence of life. Whatever is done without it is imperfect.Jose Marti
I am no bird; and no net ensnares me; I am a free human being with an independent will.Charlotte Brontë
No one outside ourselves can rule us inwardly. When we know this, we become free.Buddha
3. Freedom Quotes: The Mind
Freedom often starts in the mind, and these quotes express that notion perfectly.
I know but one freedom and that is the freedom of the mind.Antoine de Saint-Exupery
Men talk of freedom! How many are free to think? Free from fear, from perturbation, from prejudice? Nine hundred and ninety-nine in a thousand are perfect slaves.Henry David Thoreau
Man is free at the moment he wishes to be.Voltaire
Letting go gives us freedom, and freedom is the only condition for happiness. If, in our heart, we still cling to anything – anger, anxiety, or possessions – we cannot be free.Thich Nhat Hanh
Freedom begins between the ears.Edward Abbey
Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms—to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.Viktor E. Frankl
Freedom is secured not by the fulfilling of men’s desires, but by the removal of desire.Epictetus
Lock up your libraries if you like; but there is no gate, no lock, no bolt, that you can set upon the freedom of my mind.Virginia Woolf
It is difficult to free fools from the chains they revere.Voltaire
4. Freedom Quotes: Self Improvement
Freedom for some represents a chance to focus on bettering themselves, while for others it’s this very process of self-actualization that leads to freedom.
Freedom is nothing else but a chance to be better.Albert Camus
Most people do not really want freedom, because freedom involves responsibility, and most people are frightened of responsibility.Sigmund Freud
Liberty, when it begins to take root, is a plant of rapid growth.George Washington
Freedom is the will to be responsible to ourselves.Friedrich Nietzsche
Freedom is not the right to live as we please, but the right to find how we ought to live in order to fulfill our potential.Ralph Waldo Emerson
Freedom is what you do with what’s been done to you.Jean-Paul Sartre
Between stimulus and response, there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.Vicktor Emil Frankl
There is only one decision you need to make: You are either working at your Freedom or you are accepting your bondage.Robert Adams
i) Freedom Through Facing Fears
Freedom can also come from garnering the courage to step outside our comfort zones and away from security. It’s through facing our fears that we rid ourselves of them.
The secret to happiness is freedom…And the secret to freedom is courage.Thucydides
He who has overcome his fears will truly be free.Aristotle
Most will give up an acre of freedom for a closet of security.Dr. Idel Dreimer
Most people want security in this world, not liberty.H.L. Mencken
Freedom lies in being bold.Robert Frost
Freedom is the sure possession of those alone who have the courage to defend it.Pericles
ii) Freedom Quotes: Authenticity
It can be stifling to feel the need to wear a mask or hide behind a persona all the time. For many, freedom is found through finding out who you are authentically and acting accordingly.
The best freedom is being yourself.Jim Morrison
Conformity is the jailer of freedom and the enemy of growth.John F. Kennedy
When I discover who I am, I’ll be free.Ralph Ellison
5. Freedom Quotes: Thinking Outside the Box
Don’t be afraid to be different. Freedom can be found through experimentation and trying things in new ways. Even when we fail, we become more resilient and move closer toward true freedom.
Freedom is always and exclusively freedom for the one who thinks differently.Rosa Luxemburg
Freedom is always associated with risk taking, whether it leads to it or comes from it.Nassim Taleb
Disobedience is the true foundation of liberty. The obedient must be slaves.Henry David Thoreau
6. Freedom Quotes: Non-Attachment to Objects
Others find freedom through minimalism or by giving up the hold that objects have on them.
It is preoccupation with possession, more than anything else, that prevents men from living freely and nobly.Bertrand Russell
The secret of happiness is not found in seeking more, but in developing the capacity to enjoy less.Socrates
It’s only after you’ve lost everything that you’re free to do anything.Tyler Durden
For what avail the plough or sail, or land or life, if freedom fail?Ralph Waldo Emerson
My Definition of Freedom
- F » Financially set
- R » Reclaiming your time
- E » Embracing your authentic self
- E » Engaging in free thought
- D » Defying fear
- O » Owning your autonomy
- M » Minimizing material attachment
Contemplate and Create
Thought-Provoking Queries and Actionable Challenges
- Reflect on a time in your life when you felt truly free. What were the circumstances that contributed to this feeling? How can you recreate or foster such conditions in your current life situation?
- The collection of quotes covers various dimensions of freedom – ranging from financial freedom to mental freedom to freedom through authenticity. Which dimension resonates with you the most at this point in your life and why? Are there aspects of freedom you haven’t explored yet but wish to?
- Freedom Collage: Create a visual representation or collage of what freedom looks like to you using images, quotes, and symbols that resonate with you. It could be a digital collage or a physical one using magazines, photographs, etc. Once it’s created, place it somewhere you will see it daily as a reminder and motivation to pursue your personal sense of freedom.
- Freedom Journaling: Start a ‘freedom journal’ where you daily jot down actions, thoughts, or moments where you felt free. It could be as simple as choosing to take a different route on your walk home to trying a new hobby. The objective is to become more conscious of the choices that contribute to your freedom and to encourage yourself to make such choices daily.
These quotes show us that freedom is more complex than simply having more time or more money.
Thinking back, I would have answered my own poll differently depending on what period of my life I was in. When I was a university student and working a job on the side, I would have killed for more time. But later when I was working a full-time job and hustling to work on my business during the evenings and weekends, it was money that represented freedom to me. I would have killed to be able to quit my job and start living my lifestyle design dream faster, working on projects I loved and having time to improve in all areas of my life.
I’m grateful for the conversations that came up after posting the poll about freedom. They made me think (like all good conversation should) and lead to this post.
Tell me, what does freedom mean to you?
Have any other quotes about freedom you’d add to the collection? Leave a comment below.
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