How to Be Truly Free and Live Life on Your Own Terms... The Five Freedoms - Passive Income MD
How To Be Truly Free And Live Life On Your Own Terms - The 5 Freedoms

How to Be Truly Free and Live Life on Your Own Terms… The Five Freedoms

October 4, 2023 • 9 Min Read

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What does it mean to be truly free? 

As long-time readers know, we here at Passive Income MD focus on helping physicians build enduring wealth, or what’s called financial freedom. Financial freedom is certainly part of the answer. But it’s important to remember that financial freedom isn't an end in itself but a means to live life on your own terms. 

While rooted in financial independence, true freedom extends far beyond just monetary stability. It’s about creating and sustaining your holistic well-being. It includes achieving a life of balance, satisfaction, and fulfillment through multiple kinds of freedom. When you find that balance, you can empower yourself to create the life you’ve always envisioned. 

What are these freedoms I speak of? Let’s explore the five critical freedoms that every doctor should strive to achieve.

Time Freedom

As Benjamin Franklin once said, “Time is money.” As medical professionals, we often find that time is a resource more precious than money.

Between long clinic days, being on call all weekend, and sitting on committees we aren’t really getting compensated for, there’s not much time left for living our lives outside of medicine—lives with our families and for ourselves. Many of us go through the grind of work mainly because it’s what we’ve been trained to do. We suffer from time scarcity. But what if I told you that you can leverage your finances to take back control of your time? 

Imagine deciding when and where you practice medicine. Imagine having the flexibility to spend time with your loved ones, travel, and pursue your hobbies without constantly watching the clock. When you are intentional with how you spend your time, these possibilities can become realities.

So, how can we achieve time freedom? For me, the game-changer is delegating. We tend to take on more than necessary, trying to handle every minor aspect of our lives and jobs. But the truth is, there’s a limit to what we can do. Identify the tasks in your professional and personal life that might not need your specialized skill set, such as administrative tasks at work or household chores at home. Delegate those tasks to competent professionals. That could mean hiring a virtual assistant to handle your scheduling, billing, and administrative work. Or you could employ a cleaning service for home maintenance. 

Reclaim valuable time—time that can then be spent on tasks that truly require your expertise or on activities you love. After all, time is a non-renewable resource. Money lost can be earned again; time lost is gone forever. So delegate wisely, reclaim your time, and through it, your freedom.

why should physicians pursue the five freedoms? SUBSCRIBE AND TUNE IN TO OUR PODCAST: #172 The 5 Freedoms Every Doctor Should Pursue, ft. Dr. Peter Kim, MD.

Financial Freedom

As physicians, we’re often viewed as financially stable. But the truth is most of us have student debt, mortgage payments, and daily expenses that cut into our income and create immense financial stress. Many doctors, in fact, live paycheck to paycheck

A lack of financial stability makes us realize how little we control our own lives. When I started working, my hope was being a physician would help me pursue my outside-of-medicine passions. Then, I was scheduled for nights and weekends, throwing my personal and professional lives out of alignment. Because I needed the money, I couldn’t really say or do anything about it. That’s when I started to pursue passive income. Winning back control of my life didn’t come right away, but I set goals and, over time, achieved them. 

In most cases, financial freedom requires income streams coming from other sources beyond our medical income. When you build your financial stability through side hustles and passive income, your overall freedom increases and you can take back control of your life. In other words, financial freedom is not just about making more money. It’s about eliminating stress and making choices based on what’s best for you without financial constraints. 

Peace of mind will come with knowing you have the financial safety net and the freedom to invest in your passions.

Mindset Freedom

Do you ever feel like a robot? You wake up, get ready, drive to work in an “I forget the drive” fog, clock in, do the exact same thing you did the day before, clock out, and go home exhausted. Rinse and repeat. Doctors can be so caught up in our rigorous routines and critical responsibilities that we adopt a survivalist mentality. We’re constantly putting out fires and dealing with emergencies. Then there’s little of us left over, resulting in a scarcity mindset—a feeling that there are no options to change things for the better. 

To combat that hopelessness, and to achieve mindset freedom, develop an abundance mindset that views the world with a curiosity and a desire for exploring new possibilities. This allows you to take calculated risks and grow beyond the confines of the profession.

Where do you start? Attaining an abundance mindset is achieved through practicing gratitude. That sounds simple, but soon you will see the profound impact it has on your attitude. When we go out of our way to appreciate what we already have, it eliminates the negative energy that comes with focusing on problems and what’s “missing.” Practice it daily and find routine, consistent moments. It could be in the morning before your feet hit the floor, while you journal, at the table eating a meal with the family, or while on a walk. Be grateful for things that are simple or specific. Find appreciation for a sunny day, a bike ride with the kids, a good conversation with a patient…anything. 

When you cultivate mindset freedom, obstacles turn into opportunities and your overall wellbeing comes into further balance. Your life will feel abundant.   

Location Freedom

Have you ever vacationed somewhere and seriously thought, “I could live here.” Well, pursue those dreams. When you leverage financial freedom to cultivate location freedom, the world is your oyster. 

The late, great Anthony Bourdain said that “travel changes you,” adding that “as you move through this life and world, you change things slightly, you leave marks behind, however small.” Location freedom is knowing that you have the power to choose where you leave your marks. 

What if you had the finances to stress-test living in your dream location? I think some of you would be surprised that you have more location freedom than you think. You could practice medicine wherever you want. Another option could be to take the time to explore the world or move to a different location you love for one month a year. 

For those long periods of travel, achieve location freedom by planning and establishing methods, in advance, for your work to continue smoothly in your absence. Begin by setting aside the time in your calendar within the next year—that month you’ll experience location freedom. This allows you to plan your work schedule around your vacation and set realistic expectations. Figure out what you can automate or delegate, and set those plans into motion. It works. I have friends that travel three and four months out of the year while still practicing medicine. 

Remember, the goal of location freedom is not just about being able to work from anywhere. It’s about enjoying the world around you to positively impact your overall health.

Vitality Freedom

By nature of the job, physicians give themselves to other people. Then we come home and we happily give ourselves to our family and friends. But how many of us actually make it a priority to take care of our own health? Doctors are often the worst patients—something I know I’m guilty of. I thought I was taking care of my health, and then I finally checked my cholesterol levels after ignoring them for years. The results? I’ve set goals to improve my cholesterol and have some work to do. 

To round out a balance of our holistic wellbeing and to achieve true freedom, we need to prioritize our overall health and vitality. 

Create vitality freedom by choosing to focus on and preserve your vitality, whether through healthier living, stress management, or preventive healthcare. What might that look like? Create and maintain a balanced physical lifestyle by integrating regular exercise activities into your routine. It doesn’t have to be strenuous—a simple daily walk, yoga, or even gardening can do wonders for your physical health. 

Ensure you’re getting adequate, quality sleep every night. Create a morning routine that fosters your sleep hygiene and sets yourself up for successful habits. Schedule regular check-ups and visit the dentist annually to maximize your preventative healthcare. 

And those are the five freedoms that give us an overall sense of true freedom. When balanced, we come to realize that we choose to practice medicine not because it’s financially lucrative but because it brings us joy.

The 5 Days to Freedom Challenge

Challenge yourself to cultivate the five freedoms and incorporate them into your daily life. You won’t get them all at once. Focus on one at a time, and try to get it a little better, bit by bit. Set goals for each type of freedom and look to achieve them this year. As you achieve each, you’ll feel the pleasure of improving a true sense of freedom incrementally.  

If these freedoms resonate with you and you’re looking for a community to compound your freedoms, I’d like to extend an invitation to you. Part of the journey toward true freedom is about learning what’s possible by seeing how other physicians have done it. You can join our community of doctors who are just like you, coming from all backgrounds but in pursuit of the same goals. Or you can subscribe to our newsletter where we share stories of physicians, opportunities for passive income, and useful resources that will aid you with your journey.

Join our community at Passive Income Doc Facebook Group. And let us know in the comments below the freedoms you are excited to pursue. 

Disclaimer: The topic presented in this article is provided as general information and for educational purposes. It is not a substitute for professional advice. Accordingly, before taking action, consult with your team of professionals.

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