Freedom with no structure causes instability and chaos. This prevents us from operating on our fullest potential when conditions are erratic and disorganized. We are free and at ease when expectations are clear and we have a plan in place.
When people use words like “freedom” and “structure” together most of us are conditioned to believe they are contradictory. The connotations of freedom that are most widely used in the United States usually have to do with the absence of restraint, the power or the ability to act without compulsion, and the ability to choose whatever we’d like.
Most of us just want the freedom of choice or autonomy, and the opportunity to exercise our desires in a way that allows us to be content and fulfilled. We want the flexibility and openness we believe freedom offers. The connotations of structure can make people think of rigidity, demands, and the packed schedules that so many of us work within every day.
What do we need in order to have the freedom we desire?
We need realistic and supportive structures in place to have true freedom. You may be thinking, “Wait, how do structures allow us to do what we want?” Let us explain.
Realistic and supportive structures give us the freedom to develop boundaries for our lives so we can work within them, challenge them, and eventually grow out of them and shift them for our benefit. A simple example of this might be; if I am a full-time employee and a parent, and I want the freedom to exercise for 30 minutes a day it is unlikely that it will come to be unless I structure it into my day intentionally. If I want the freedom to take a vacation every year, I will need to create structures around my budget and time that allow me that freedom. If you are a metaphor-loving person then imagine the structures of your life are a dam and your freedom is the water flowing within it. The water can still move freely, but it moves within the guidance and boundaries of the dam, directing the water to its purposeful destination.
Lack of Structure, Lack of Freedom, Lack of Success
Most people and especially business owners can easily get caught up in the day-to-day chaos of survival that they actually forget to look at how they’re building their businesses and lives, what it is they need to do each day/week to move their businesses and lives forward, and reach their goals.
When we go about our day without a plan, without a strategy, without intentional structures, we really do leave success to chance. And most of us when left to our own devices aren’t always so, what we might call, ‘productive’.
Knowing what each day holds means if needed you can move your work around so that by the end of the week you know whether you’ve moved closer to your goals, or further away from them. It might not seem like the footloose and fancy-free type of freedom we’ve been conditioned to chase, but it is important to keep in mind freedom without structure is more like anarchy. Chaos reigns without intentional structures. When things are unpredictable and disordered, we cannot create or reach our goals as effectively. This is the fundamental principle of democracy and work, and it is true for our personal lives too.
Giving ourselves clarity around expectations and having a road map of intentional structures and goals gives us the freedom to get clear about what we want and how we can be successful. It allows us to support ourselves, and settle into doing the work of making big things happen.
Find Your Way to Freedom
Best Selling Author of the book Ignite Culture and CEO of KeenAlignment, Margaret Graziano has worked with dozens of companies that required an honest look at their current structures in order to break free from habitual patterns and feeling stuck.
One of her many clients, Frank Keefer the VP of US Operations for Aqua-Chem out of Knoxville stated, ‘The Level Set training (with Margaret) was the most impactful event of my professional career. Throughout the training, the Keen team, sometimes gently and sometimes with a firm push – but always with humanity and respect, helped us define a culture that has made profound impacts on us as individuals and on us as a Team. We now have structures in place to thrive.”
At KeenAlignment, with the noble cause of liberating the human spirit, we ensure every program we offer is structured to serve people in reaching their highest potential. We are dedicated to providing structures that are sustainable, and transformational, and give people access to the freedom they deserve.
Visit keenalignment.com to book a qualifying call and decide which of our top-of-the-line programs is best suited to meet your personal or organizational needs.