How to Appreciate the 4 Freedoms


With so much going on in the world that is unprecedented (and often troubling), I’d like to take a moment to focus on a few positives that hold true despite a pandemic.

If you’re living in America—or a country around the world that espouses similar individual freedom and basic human rights—then you have access to what I call the 4 Freedoms. But I’d like to talk about doing more than just simply accessing those freedoms, I want to help you appreciate them.

Let’s pause for a moment to look a little deeper at the word appreciate. It has three meanings:

  1. We’re all familiar with its everyday meaning: to “show gratitude” for something. 
  2. It has another meaning in the context of finances or real estate, where to appreciate means “to increase in value.” 
  3. Appreciate also means to “fully understand” something, as in, “Oh, I appreciate what you’ve gone through. I appreciate the way you feel.” 

Now as we apply “appreciate” to our current topic, you’ll see how to empower yourself and those you care about with full appreciation for the 4 Freedoms. 


The first of the 4 Freedoms is the freedom of time. We are able to use our time as we wish, as we see fit. Do you know that many people still on the planet do not have the freedom of time? 

Their waking hours are spent every day simply trying to ease the very real pain of hunger. But when we live in an environment where our basic needs of sustenance and livelihood are more easily met, we have the freedom to use our time as we want. That’s a very wonderful blessing. But it’s also a responsibility. 

To fully appreciate this freedom, we need to do more than be grateful for it—we need to “increase its value.” So take a moment to reflect on how you spend your time. 

Are there ways in which you could maximize your focus? 

Ways to improve your professional pursuits? 

Ways to spend quality time with family and friends? 

Ways to make a difference in your community? 

To help folks make the most of this freedom, I’ve created a Life Balance System as part of my 10 Keys program. If you’re curious about how to make more of your time, watch for my upcoming book on the 10 Keys, available later this year. 


The second freedom is the freedom of money. I’m not just talking dollars and cents, I’m talking about the freedom to create value in the world and be compensated, to be self-reliant. 

While we may have limitations and opportunities based on our upbringing, current environment, etc., the magic of this nation is that we do have the freedom to change course, to seek education and mentorship, to find a way to create value and earn money based on that value. 

Once you understand the dynamics of money, which is what many of my books are about, you are free to break through any challenges you’ve had in the past and create a brighter future for yourself and those you care about. 

So to appreciate this freedom means not only to be grateful for the financial possibilities you have, but to seize the opportunities. Get in motion, break through your challenges, turn to books or videos or traditional education to improve your ability to create value, then go out and do it! 

On a personal note, my parents were not entrepreneurs. My father worked at Geneva Steel his entire career. While they may not have taught me directly to pursue the career I have, they taught me to work hard and to do what I can to make a difference. 

I’ve added to my parents’ lessons by pursuing ongoing professional education, investing in mentorships and professional groups, surrounding myself with smart, strategic thinkers, and consistently pushing past barriers. 

It’s paid off, and it’s my passion to help others do the same with their freedom of money.


This leads us to the third freedom, the freedom of purpose. 

You have the freedom to determine your own purpose, and to live that purpose every day, every week, every year. Throughout history (and even today in some areas of the world), many people have not had this freedom, or it’s been very limited.

But having this freedom is not the same as using this freedom. 

It’s all too easy to adopt the same purpose our parents or teachers or other mentors had when growing up. 

When we give little thought to our own individual purpose, we are in danger of just going through life’s motions. When it all comes to a close at the end of our lives, we’re at risk of wondering if we could have done more, been more, given more. 

Don’t risk that. Take time to identify your own purpose. Evaluate what drives you, what you’re passionate about, what inspires you. Think through your unique abilities. 

Then write it down—outline your purpose, how you can live it more fully, how you can add to it, and how you can use your purpose to impact others. 

Finally, live it. Check in with yourself regularly to see if you can improve on it. Never stop. This is how you will fully appreciate your freedom of purpose.


The final freedom is freedom of relationships. Ask yourself: 

Who are the five people you hang out with? 

Motivational speaker Jim Rohn famously said we are the average of the five people we spend the most time with. So looking ahead five, 10, 15 years from now … is that who you want to become? 

Sharee, my wife of over 45 years, and I teach our children and grandchildren to be friendly to everybody, but to be very careful who they are friends with. Look for traits that can help you be a better person, including:

  • Putting people first in everything they do.
  • Finding ways to do good wherever they can.
  • Having strong values—and living them.
  • Constantly working to improve themselves, and helping others do the same.


Especially at a time when the world is upside down, it’s time to get right side up by focusing on the things that matter most. 

When you harness the freedoms of time, money, purpose, and relationships, you can grow exponentially, not just in a linear fashion. I talk about this more in other articles and videos—as well as my book, Entitlement Abolition, and my upcoming book on the 10 Keys. I’m happy to share—because sharing what I’ve learned is part of what I’ve defined as my own purpose.

Hear Doug talk about related concepts in his YouTube insights:

How To Appreciate The Freedoms In America And The Free World

How Can I Teach My Children To Appreciate?

Learn more about pursuing Foundational Dimension values with a FREE copy of Doug’s book, Entitlement Abolition.

Learn more about pursuing greater freedom of money with a FREE copy of Doug’s book, The LASER Fund.

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