In the blink of an eye, we’ve arrived on the 4th of July. It seems as if it were only yesterday that people (not me) were complaining about our “Endless January” but the time has come once again to celebrate our nation’s independence. Without question, my favorite part will be watching 1776 with my family in our yearly tradition and looking for the clues of a great life. 

I’ve never been a musical fan, but 1776 is different; it’s the story of us. It’s the story of the struggle to declare our independence and state once and for all that, we would no longer be subjects, but a free people bound to no one. (White male property owners anyway.) The best part of the movie is the debate about whether we were ready to be independent. I say it’s the best part because it’s the same debate that I think rages in all of us. The interesting thing to me, however, is that just as our country probably wasn’t “ready” for independence, neither are most of us. Like our young country in that fateful year of 1776, we should declare our independence anyway. 

I’m not suggesting that we should all quit our jobs and strike out on our own (some should). I’m suggesting that we declare our independence from fear. We should declare our independence from comfort. We should officially separate ourselves from the resistance.  I’m saying that when in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for a person to dissolve themselves from personal bands of their excuses the should declare the causes for their separation. In other words, it’s time to say why we’re breaking up with our bullshit. 

We all have plenty of reasons not to act on our inspirations. We have families. We’re too tired. We’re too young. We’re too old. It’s hard. My question is, what have those reasons ever done for you? My guess is nothing but hold you back from happiness. It’s time to throw them in the harbor like tea and strike a new path. It isn’t easy but it’s worth it. 

Writing this post this morning was the last thing I wanted to do. I wanted to go back to bed. I wanted to sleep and be comfortable. The problem with comfort though is that it’s temporary. Eventually, I’d feel let down that I didn’t use my time for something productive. I’d suffer the pain of regret which is sharper and more enduring than the pain of discipline. It’s a small but telling example of declaring independence.

All of us are entitled to the pursuit of our happiness. The problem is that most of us don’t pursue it. We sit back and wait because we’re not ready. We find other excuses. We wait and we lose precious time that could be spent living instead of surviving. On this July 4 Holiday, don’t wait. Declare your independence and break up with your bullshit. Get to work on making the kind of life you want to live. You probably aren’t ready. But then again neither were the traitors who met in Philadelphia 242 years ago but their gamble seems to be paying off. I’m sure yours will too. 

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