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What Freedom Means to Me

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Published: Mar 14, 2024

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Essays About Freedom: 5 Helpful Examples and 7 Prompts

Freedom seems simple at first; however, it is quite a nuanced topic at a closer glance. If you are writing essays about freedom, read our guide of essay examples and writing prompts.

In a world where we constantly hear about violence, oppression, and war, few things are more important than freedom. It is the ability to act, speak, or think what we want without being controlled or subjected. It can be considered the gateway to achieving our goals, as we can take the necessary steps. 

However, freedom is not always “doing whatever we want.” True freedom means to do what is righteous and reasonable, even if there is the option to do otherwise. Moreover, freedom must come with responsibility; this is why laws are in place to keep society orderly but not too micro-managed, to an extent.

5 Examples of Essays About Freedom

1. essay on “freedom” by pragati ghosh, 2. acceptance is freedom by edmund perry, 3. reflecting on the meaning of freedom by marquita herald.

  • 4.  Authentic Freedom by Wilfred Carlson

5. What are freedom and liberty? by Yasmin Youssef

1. what is freedom, 2. freedom in the contemporary world, 3. is freedom “not free”, 4. moral and ethical issues concerning freedom, 5. freedom vs. security, 6. free speech and hate speech, 7. an experience of freedom.

“Freedom is non denial of our basic rights as humans. Some freedom is specific to the age group that we fall into. A child is free to be loved and cared by parents and other members of family and play around. So this nurturing may be the idea of freedom to a child. Living in a crime free society in safe surroundings may mean freedom to a bit grown up child.”

In her essay, Ghosh briefly describes what freedom means to her. It is the ability to live your life doing what you want. However, she writes that we must keep in mind the dignity and freedom of others. One cannot simply kill and steal from people in the name of freedom; it is not absolute. She also notes that different cultures and age groups have different notions of freedom. Freedom is a beautiful thing, but it must be exercised in moderation. 

“They demonstrate that true freedom is about being accepted, through the scenarios that Ambrose Flack has written for them to endure. In The Strangers That Came to Town, the Duvitches become truly free at the finale of the story. In our own lives, we must ask: what can we do to help others become truly free?”

Perry’s essay discusses freedom in the context of Ambrose Flack’s short story The Strangers That Came to Town : acceptance is the key to being free. When the immigrant Duvitch family moved into a new town, they were not accepted by the community and were deprived of the freedom to live without shame and ridicule. However, when some townspeople reach out, the Duvitches feel empowered and relieved and are no longer afraid to go out and be themselves. 

“Freedom is many things, but those issues that are often in the forefront of conversations these days include the freedom to choose, to be who you truly are, to express yourself and to live your life as you desire so long as you do not hurt or restrict the personal freedom of others. I’ve compiled a collection of powerful quotations on the meaning of freedom to share with you, and if there is a single unifying theme it is that we must remember at all times that, regardless of where you live, freedom is not carved in stone, nor does it come without a price.”

In her short essay, Herald contemplates on freedom and what it truly means. She embraces her freedom and uses it to live her life to the fullest and to teach those around her. She values freedom and closes her essay with a list of quotations on the meaning of freedom, all with something in common: freedom has a price. With our freedom, we must be responsible. You might also be interested in these essays about consumerism .

4.   Authentic Freedom by Wilfred Carlson

“Freedom demands of one, or rather obligates one to concern ourselves with the affairs of the world around us. If you look at the world around a human being, countries where freedom is lacking, the overall population is less concerned with their fellow man, then in a freer society. The same can be said of individuals, the more freedom a human being has, and the more responsible one acts to other, on the whole.”

Carlson writes about freedom from a more religious perspective, saying that it is a right given to us by God. However, authentic freedom is doing what is right and what will help others rather than simply doing what one wants. If freedom were exercised with “doing what we want” in mind, the world would be disorderly. True freedom requires us to care for others and work together to better society. 

“In my opinion, the concepts of freedom and liberty are what makes us moral human beings. They include individual capacities to think, reason, choose and value different situations. It also means taking individual responsibility for ourselves, our decisions and actions. It includes self-governance and self-determination in combination with critical thinking, respect, transparency and tolerance. We should let no stone unturned in the attempt to reach a state of full freedom and liberty, even if it seems unrealistic and utopic.”

Youssef’s essay describes the concepts of freedom and liberty and how they allow us to do what we want without harming others. She notes that respect for others does not always mean agreeing with them. We can disagree, but we should not use our freedom to infringe on that of the people around us. To her, freedom allows us to choose what is good, think critically, and innovate. 

7 Prompts for Essays About Freedom

Essays About Freedom: What is freedom?

Freedom is quite a broad topic and can mean different things to different people. For your essay, define freedom and explain what it means to you. For example, freedom could mean having the right to vote, the right to work, or the right to choose your path in life. Then, discuss how you exercise your freedom based on these definitions and views. 

The world as we know it is constantly changing, and so is the entire concept of freedom. Research the state of freedom in the world today and center your essay on the topic of modern freedom. For example, discuss freedom while still needing to work to pay bills and ask, “Can we truly be free when we cannot choose with the constraints of social norms?” You may compare your situation to the state of freedom in other countries and in the past if you wish. 

A common saying goes like this: “Freedom is not free.” Reflect on this quote and write your essay about what it means to you: how do you understand it? In addition, explain whether you believe it to be true or not, depending on your interpretation. 

Many contemporary issues exemplify both the pros and cons of freedom; for example, slavery shows the worst when freedom is taken away, while gun violence exposes the disadvantages of too much freedom. First, discuss one issue regarding freedom and briefly touch on its causes and effects. Then, be sure to explain how it relates to freedom. 

Some believe that more laws curtail the right to freedom and liberty. In contrast, others believe that freedom and regulation can coexist, saying that freedom must come with the responsibility to ensure a safe and orderly society. Take a stand on this issue and argue for your position, supporting your response with adequate details and credible sources. 

Many people, especially online, have used their freedom of speech to attack others based on race and gender, among other things. Many argue that hate speech is still free and should be protected, while others want it regulated. Is it infringing on freedom? You decide and be sure to support your answer adequately. Include a rebuttal of the opposing viewpoint for a more credible argumentative essay. 

For your essay, you can also reflect on a time you felt free. It could be your first time going out alone, moving into a new house, or even going to another country. How did it make you feel? Reflect on your feelings, particularly your sense of freedom, and explain them in detail. 

Check out our guide packed full of transition words for essays .If you are interested in learning more, check out our essay writing tips !

what does personal freedom mean to you essay

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Home Essay Samples Life Freedom

What Does Freedom Mean to Me: a Privilege and a Responsibility

Table of contents, personal definition of freedom, dimensions of freedom, the impact of freedom.

  • Mill, J. S. (1859). On Liberty. Longman, Roberts & Green.
  • Arendt, H. (1969). On Violence. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.
  • Sen, A. (1999). Development as Freedom. Oxford University Press.
  • Rawls, J. (1971). A Theory of Justice. Harvard University Press.
  • Beauvoir, S. d. (1949). The Second Sex. Vintage Books.

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What Freedom Means to me

This personal essay will reflect on the individual meaning of freedom. It will explore how freedom manifests in different aspects of life – personal, social, and political. The piece will discuss the significance of freedom in expressing oneself, making choices, and enjoying rights and privileges, while also considering the responsibilities that come with it. It will provide a personal perspective on how freedom impacts one’s life and the value it holds. Moreover, at PapersOwl, there are additional free essay samples connected to Free Will.

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There are millions of people around the world that live under conditions where the government withholds their human freedoms from them. Some people can not practice the religion they truly believe in, and others are scared for their lives on a daily basis. No matter how many restrictions citizens of different countries must abide by, nobody should be forced into silence. To “be free” means that everybody has the right to raise up their voice, and act for what they believe in.

To begin with, every human being has his or her natural right to freely convey their opinions and ideas.

In Franklin D. Roosevelt’s State of the Union address, “The Four Freedoms” speech, he expresses and displays the importance of having the freedom of speaking up for the right cause is. In his speech, Roosevelt comes up with a list of four freedoms that he believes should be given to every individual. The first freedom he mentions is the freedom of speech: “The first is freedom of speech and expression– everywhere in the world” (Roosevelt par. 275). By mentioning this freedom before the others, Roosevelt indicates how important it is to stand up for our beliefs. No matter how powerful governments become, they do not have the right to silence their citizens, as everyone is born with the right to freely voice their opinions. Furthermore, Roosevelt takes advantage of his own freedom of speech when he persuades citizens of America to help struggling or threatened democracies. Knowing that there will be a select few that would want to undermine his plan to join the war, he calls them out by declaring that, “[t]he best way of dealing with the few slackers or troublemakers in our midst is, first, to shame them by patriotic example[…]” (Roosevelt par. 45). Although Roosevelt’s language offends those he is regarding, it is an effective way to express his opinion. He believes that everyone will need to be on board with his plan in order for the democracies to be successful, and by making this comment Roosevelt is displaying his freedom of speech. No matter how angry “the slackers” get, Roosevelt has the freedom to say and express his beliefs freedom.

All in all, having the ability to express our views on different topics freely is a crucial right that all of us deserve. Likewise, regardless of gender, ethnicity, religion, and sexuality, nobody should be silenced, and forced to remain quiet about their views. In Malala Yousafzai’s speech, “Speech at the United Nations,” she raises her voice so that thousands of people silenced by the Taliban can be heard. Yousafzai connects her speech to a traumatic, and personal story to display how far some people will go to mute those who are being too loud: “Dear friends, on the ninth of October 2012, the Taliban shot me on the left side of my forehead.[…] They though the bullets would silence us” (Yousafzai par. 14). The Taliban were ruthless and nearly killed an innocent little girl all because she was using her voice to speak up for her education. All she wanted was to go to school, but the Taliban had other plans in mind for her, and they did everything in their power to muffle her voice as best they could. Her goal here is to show that nobody can be silenced, as the freedom of speech is something everyone has the right to. With this in mind, Yousafzai continued to raise her voice for others that could not speak for themselves: “We call upon all governments to fight against terrorism and violence; to protect children from brutality and harm” (Yousafzai par. 26). What the Taliban did to make her weaker, only made Yousafzai stronger. The incident helped her find her voice that was louder than ever, and Yousafzai used that to her advantage. Once she found her voice, she did not let it go to waste, instead used it to make a difference for those who are in need of help. In the end, although others do everything in their power to keep is quiet, as long as we do not lose sight of our goal, we can never be silenced. Lastly, everyone around the world should be able to act upon their beliefs freely, as long as they are not negatively affecting others in the process.

Kurt Vonnegut’s short story, “Harrison Bergeron,” depicts a society where the government forces everyone to be equal, and nobody has the freedom of speech. In order to make sure that nobody is better than one another, the government forces those who are above average to wear handicaps. When Harrison Bergeron, a fourteen-year-old prisoner accused of plotting against the government, breaks out of jail, all he wants to do is use his platform to give rights back to the citizens: “Harrison tore the straps of his handicap harness like wet tissue paper, tore straps guaranteed to support five thousand pounds” (Vonnegut par. 56). The handicaps that Harrison was wearing before tearing them off, was a way for the government to restrict his thoughts. Harrison remains peaceful while standing up for his beliefs, and does not harm anybody else in the process. He is not doing anything wrong, as he is simply exercising his natural-born right to express his opinions freely. However, things quickly change for the better as the Handicap General enters the room with a gun, and both Harrison and his fiance “[..] were dead before they hit the floor” (Vonnegut par. 79). Harrison and his future wife did not deserve to die, for all they did was to express their opinions by peacefully acting out against the rules. They were not being violent towards anyone, and no matter how bad the government wants to keep everything under control, nobody should lose their life for standing up for their beliefs. All things considered, regardless of the circumstances, everybody should have the right to act based on their opinions, without government interference, as long as they are doing so peacefully. In short, to “be free” means that all of us have a right to freely speak up and act according to our beliefs. These rights are not exclusive to a certain group of people, everyone is born with the freedom of speech. Some may think that their lives are amazing, but it all means nothing if they are restricted from expressing their ideas.   

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Ron Breazeale Ph.D.

How Do We Define Freedom?

Reilience skills of communication and finding purpose and meaning are necessary..

Posted January 13, 2021

The New Oxford American Dictionary definition of freedom is the “power or right to act, speak or think as one wants without hindrance or restraint.” What is your definition? What does the word "freedom" mean to you? How should freedom be exercised? And do you think that one of the purposes of the government of the United States is to ensure that people in this country have the freedom to act, speak or think as they want?

Realistically, there have always been limits to our freedom. One of the purposes of government is to make laws and to ensure that they are enforced. Relative to freedom, this means that we do not have the freedom to terrorize or endanger others. For example, we have laws against drunk driving. We have laws that require drivers and their passengers to wear a seat belt. In some states, there are laws that require a motorcycle rider to wear a helmet.

Freedom has traditionally been linked with the idea of responsibility. George Bernard Shaw expressed this succinctly, “Liberty means responsibility. That is why most men dread it.” It is an existential concept. To be free means that one has the burden of making choices and decisions. And in making those decisions and choices, we are responsible for both our own and others’ freedom.

The right to act freely and speak freely should end when it endangers others’ rights to do the same. This country is in crisis. Interestingly enough, it is a crisis over how we define freedom in this country. Each one of us needs to ask ourselves our definition of freedom and what limits, if any, should be imposed on our freedom.

This has been demonstrated clearly to us in the last few weeks, specifically in regard to the pandemic. Do Americans have the right to decide if they should wear a mask in public or if they should social distance? Many would say no. If the behavior endangers others, then they do not have the right to engage in it.

Restrictions on an individual's behavior as it relates to the health of other people is not new. If we recognize a public health danger to ourselves and others, we should act to eliminate it. This is why smoking in public places has been banned in most areas in this country. We do not have the freedom to endanger others.

Creating meaning and purpose in our lives and in our institutions is a critical part of being resilient, and God knows we need resilience at this point in time.

Ron Breazeale Ph.D.

Ron Breazeale, Ph.D. , is the author of Duct Tape Isn’t Enough: Survival Skills for the 21st Century as well as the novel Reaching Home .

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‘Freedom’ Means Something Different to Liberals and Conservatives. Here’s How the Definition Split—And Why That Still Matters

Man Wearing "Freedom Now Core" T-Shirt

W e tend to think of freedom as an emancipatory ideal—and with good reason. Throughout history, the desire to be free inspired countless marginalized groups to challenge the rule of political and economic elites. Liberty was the watchword of the Atlantic revolutionaries who, at the end of the 18th century, toppled autocratic kings, arrogant elites and ( in Haiti ) slaveholders, thus putting an end to the Old Regime. In the 19th and 20th centuries, Black civil rights activists and feminists fought for the expansion of democracy in the name of freedom, while populists and progressives struggled to put an end to the economic domination of workers.

While these groups had different objectives and ambitions, sometimes putting them at odds with one another, they all agreed that their main goal—freedom—required enhancing the people’s voice in government. When the late Rep. John Lewis called on Americans to “let freedom ring” , he was drawing on this tradition.

But there is another side to the story of freedom as well. Over the past 250 years, the cry for liberty has also been used by conservatives to defend elite interests. In their view, true freedom is not about collective control over government; it consists in the private enjoyment of one’s life and goods. From this perspective, preserving freedom has little to do with making government accountable to the people. Democratically elected majorities, conservatives point out, pose just as much, or even more of a threat to personal security and individual right—especially the right to property—as rapacious kings or greedy elites. This means that freedom can best be preserved by institutions that curb the power of those majorities, or simply by shrinking the sphere of government as much as possible.

This particular way of thinking about freedom was pioneered in the late 18th century by the defenders of the Old Regime. From the 1770s onward, as revolutionaries on both sides of the Atlantic rebelled in the name of liberty, a flood of pamphlets, treatises and newspaper articles appeared with titles such as Some Observations On Liberty , Civil Liberty Asserted or On the Liberty of the Citizen . Their authors vehemently denied that the Atlantic Revolutions would bring greater freedom. As, for instance, the Scottish philosopher Adam Ferguson—a staunch opponent of the American Revolution—explained, liberty consisted in the “security of our rights.” And from that perspective, the American colonists already were free, even though they lacked control over the way in which they were governed. As British subjects, they enjoyed “more security than was ever before enjoyed by any people.” This meant that the colonists’ liberty was best preserved by maintaining the status quo; their attempts to govern themselves could only end in anarchy and mob rule.

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In the course of the 19th century this view became widespread among European elites, who continued to vehemently oppose the advent of democracy. Benjamin Constant, one of Europe’s most celebrated political thinkers, rejected the example of the French revolutionaries, arguing that they had confused liberty with “participation in collective power.” Instead, freedom-lovers should look to the British constitution, where hierarchies were firmly entrenched. Here, Constant claimed, freedom, understood as “peaceful enjoyment and private independence,” was perfectly secure—even though less than five percent of British adults could vote. The Hungarian politician Józseph Eötvös, among many others, agreed. Writing in the wake of the brutally suppressed revolutions that rose against several European monarchies in 1848, he complained that the insurgents, battling for manhood suffrage, had confused liberty with “the principle of the people’s supremacy.” But such confusion could only lead to democratic despotism. True liberty—defined by Eötvös as respect for “well-earned rights”—could best be achieved by limiting state power as much as possible, not by democratization.

In the U.S., conservatives were likewise eager to claim that they, and they alone, were the true defenders of freedom. In the 1790s, some of the more extreme Federalists tried to counter the democratic gains of the preceding decade in the name of liberty. In the view of the staunch Federalist Noah Webster, for instance, it was a mistake to think that “to obtain liberty, and establish a free government, nothing was necessary but to get rid of kings, nobles, and priests.” To preserve true freedom—which Webster defined as the peaceful enjoyment of one’s life and property—popular power instead needed to be curbed, preferably by reserving the Senate for the wealthy. Yet such views were slower to gain traction in the United States than in Europe. To Webster’s dismay, overall, his contemporaries believed that freedom could best be preserved by extending democracy rather than by restricting popular control over government.

But by the end of the 19th century, conservative attempts to reclaim the concept of freedom did catch on. The abolition of slavery, rapid industrialization and mass migration from Europe expanded the agricultural and industrial working classes exponentially, as well as giving them greater political agency. This fueled increasing anxiety about popular government among American elites, who now began to claim that “mass democracy” posed a major threat to liberty, notably the right to property. Francis Parkman, scion of a powerful Boston family, was just one of a growing number of statesmen who raised doubts about the wisdom of universal suffrage, as “the masses of the nation … want equality more than they want liberty.”

William Graham Sumner, an influential Yale professor, likewise spoke for many when he warned of the advent of a new, democratic kind of despotism—a danger that could best be avoided by restricting the sphere of government as much as possible. “ Laissez faire ,” or, in blunt English, “mind your own business,” Sumner concluded, was “the doctrine of liberty.”

Being alert to this history can help us to understand why, today, people can use the same word—“freedom”—to mean two very different things. When conservative politicians like Rand Paul and advocacy groups FreedomWorks or the Federalist Society talk about their love of liberty, they usually mean something very different from civil rights activists like John Lewis—and from the revolutionaries, abolitionists and feminists in whose footsteps Lewis walked. Instead, they are channeling 19th century conservatives like Francis Parkman and William Graham Sumner, who believed that freedom is about protecting property rights—if need be, by obstructing democracy. Hundreds of years later, those two competing views of freedom remain largely unreconcilable.

what does personal freedom mean to you essay

Annelien de Dijn is the author of Freedom: An Unruly History , available now from Harvard University Press.

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A Conscious Rethink

What Does It Mean To Be Free? (9 Types Of Freedom)

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drawing of hands breaking free from handcuffs - illustrating what does it mean to be free

When we think about freedom, our minds usually go to freedoms that people had to fight and die for, like freedom of religion, speech, to bear arms, and so on.

So we are quick to respond in the affirmative when confronted with philosophical questions such as “are we really free?”

Of course we’re free, we tell ourselves. We can say what we want, worship (or not) how we want, and even own guns if we want. 

Johann van Goethe, who is widely regarded as the greatest and most influential writer in the German language, famously said, “none are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free.”

When you consider freedom in it truest form, which according to the Cambridge Dictionary is “the condition or right of being able or allowed to do, say, think, etc. whatever you want to, without being controlled or limited,” can you really say that you’re free?

Aside from the popular freedoms that we’re familiar with, are we free to do, say, think what we like without being controlled (even if it’s by fear) or limited?

Societal pressure, familial expectations, financial constraints, and fears limit many of us. We do things, not because we want to, but because we have to.

While we may be free to say what we want, political correctness holds us back from voicing our thoughts (sometimes rightly so).

We may be free to worship how we like, but religion adds even more rules and restrictions on our behavior.

Our financial constraints keep us from doing what we really want to do when we want to do it. 

With all that in mind, can we say we’re really free? When you take all the constraints of life into consideration, what does it even mean to be free?

What Does It Mean To Be Free?

Some philosophers would argue that true freedom is impossible to attain. And while the thought of being completely free sounds nice, in practice, it would probably pose more problems than it would solve.

For example, imagine a world where laws were optional. If you’ve ever watched any of the Purge movies, you might find the concept of total freedom a little worrying.

But within the confines of laws, regulations, and general human decency, what does it mean to be free?

Freedom can mean different things to different people. For some people, it could mean being able to choose how they spend their day. Other people may define freedom as the ability to choose the type of work they do. To another group of people, freedom could mean the ability to buy whatever they want without having to worry about money.

When we expand our definition of freedom beyond what our government(s) assures us and take a critical look at our lives, we realize we’re not as free as we would like to think.

There are a lot of rules and guidelines that control our behaviors and police our desires. We have responsibilities and expectations that restrict how we spend our money and time. So many of our dreams have died quietly within us because we did not feel free to pursue them. 

We spend our time and energy doing what is expected of us, rarely allowing ourselves to do what we want to do. While we may be physically free, our roles, responsibilities, limitations, and fears often imprison us in our minds. 

At the core of the definition of freedom is choice. Many of us have had our ability to choose for ourselves taken away from us without even realizing it. So we follow the cookie cutter life that’s crafted for us, never realizing there is more to life outside our gilded cages of security.

9 Different Aspects Of Freedom

Within the confines of society, what does freedom look like? How can you be free physically, mentally, and emotionally? Below are 9 different ways we can be free: 

1. Free to be your authentic self.

Freedom means being comfortable being yourself. It means knowing who you are and living in a way that is true to that. You can’t put on a different persona with different people in various circumstances and think you’re free. In reality, you’re imprisoned by the perceptions of those around you.

When you’re not your authentic self, it’s because you’re governed by the approval of others. The fear of rejection is pushing you to bury your authentic self beneath the persona you think others want or expect. Your desire for approval is causing you to be who you are not.

For some people, they’ve put on this act for so long that they no longer know who they really are. They’ve denied their authentic self for so long that they’ve lost all sense of self.

True freedom means you are free to be yourself in all your imperfect glory.  

2. Free to live as you intend to live.

Freedom means being free to live as you want or intend to live. It means doing work that you’re passionate about. Being free means you work because you want to make yourself useful, in a manner of your own choosing. It does not mean you work because you have to.

This is not a freedom that is available only to the wealthy. It’s available to anyone who is willing to abandon comfort and embrace uncertainty. The freedom to live as you intend to live involves not following the usual path to success that everyone else follows. In order to have this freedom, you must chart your own path. 

The path you choose will be more difficult than the well-beaten path others use, but it will lead to you working on your own terms. This path will lead to you doing work that is intentional and meaningful. Ultimately, this will lead to better job satisfaction and overall fulfillment.

3. Free from debt.

Debt limits every possibility in life. You cannot owe thousands of dollars and hope for any semblance of freedom. Financial freedom means being able to afford what you need and feeling financially stable instead of constantly stressed about making ends meet. With financial freedom, you can do work you love and feel passionate about it because you’re not chasing a high paying job in a bid to pay off debt.

Financial freedom is available to anyone at any income bracket. You don’t need to have a net worth of millions to be financially free. It might surprise you to know that some of the richest people in the world owe astronomical amounts of money.

Freedom from debt comes from not feeling the need to overspend and the ability to live within your means. Being financially free means not having to depend on other people for your basic needs, like food and clean clothes. 

You don’t have to have multiple houses and cars, or travel to exotic locations to be financially free. Financial freedom can be as simple as acquiring income-producing skills that will ensure you always have job options. It can even be as simple as saving up as much money as you can, so you are not tied to a job that does not make you happy. 

Financial freedom means options across many aspects of your life.

4. Free to delegate work.

Freedom to delegate work means being free to spend your time how you’d prefer. It means not being afraid to ask for help when you need it. It also means not feeling guilty to hire help for chores you hate to do, but need done nonetheless.

Many people refuse to delegate work because they’re afraid other people can’t do it as well as they can. Or they fear they’re wasting money by hiring someone else to do it. So they over stretch themselves just to make sure all the work is finished. This doesn’t help their productivity, nor their stress levels.

Being free to delegate work means taking back control of your time and how you spend it. It means upskilling people to do it as well as you can. This freedom allows you to have time to rest and recuperate. It helps you focus your energy on activities that are most beneficial to you.

5. Free to be healthy.

Illness and disease inhibit the extent to which you are free. If you are not as physically and mentally healthy as you can be, how free are you? You are limited from living a full life if you have any of the many ailments that result from lifestyle choices, such as diabetes or heart disease. If you don’t make your mental health a priority, you could fall victim to a number of mental illnesses. 

Being free to be healthy also includes dealing with any addictions you may have. When you’re addicted to drugs, alcohol, cigarettes, or anything really, you are controlled by that substance. Even something as simple as a caffeine addiction that has you drinking multiple cups of coffee every day in order to function properly restricts your freedom. The addiction does not need to have a negative impact on your health for it to impede your freedom. Anything that restricts your choice is a threat to your freedom. Addictions block your choice. 

A free person takes their health into their own hands and improves their bodies the best they can. They are free from addictions and their bodies are equipped as much as possible to handle a health problem when it arises.

6. Free from the fear of being alone.

The fear of being alone has kept many people in toxic relationships that they should have left a long time ago. Freedom from the fear of being alone means valuing the relationship you have with yourself, first and foremost. It means being a complete person, without looking to someone else to complete you. 

When you are afraid of being alone, you put up with behavior that you have no business tolerating. You attract people who are abusive because they can sense your fears. They might even use your fear against you to push you to accept their negative treatment. 

Freedom from the fear of being alone means being free from toxic relationships, both platonic and romantic. It means loving yourself enough to leave an abusive relationship. This freedom means finding a healthy support system that helps you become a better version of yourself. 

7. Free to put yourself first.

Putting ourselves first comes with a lot of guilt for many of us. We either feel guilty for taking the time to focus on our needs or we feel guilty for “wasting” limited funds on ourselves.

This guilt is often the result of years of cultural and religious teachings against being selfish and thinking about our wants and needs. In order not to seem selfish, we put anyone and everyone before our needs and wants. Sometimes even perfect strangers.

While there should be room in our lives for altruism, continuously running on empty to please everyone else only leads to health and mental challenges in the future. The freedom to put yourself first means prioritizing your self-care and your need to rest and refuel.  

This freedom positively impacts the freedom to be healthy. Because by prioritizing yourself, you’re also putting your physical and mental health first. You’re being the advocate for yourself that you are for other people. 

8. Free to make mistakes.

It’s impossible to learn without making a few errors along the way. But from a young age, we are indoctrinated with an unhealthy fear of making mistakes.

In elementary school, for example, after we are taught a new skill once, twice if we’re lucky, we practice it a few times through assignments and worksheets. If we get an answer wrong, the teacher marks our paper with a bright red pen. So naturally, we do our best to reduce the amount of red ink on our work because we know the reward is reserved for the person who doesn’t make any mistakes. 

In reality, mistakes help us learn. It’s not likely that you’ll learn a new skill and make no mistakes right off the bat. But because we’ve learned to be afraid of making a mistake or shamed when we did, we fear doing so again in adulthood and easily give up in situations where we don’t quickly grasp what is being taught.

We now have to unlearn years of this mental conditioning that effectively sets us against improvement and development. The fear of making a mistake keeps us firmly in our comfort zone. It keeps us from branching out and reaching for our dreams. It keeps us right on the path of the status quo.

When we’re free to make mistakes, we’re open to learning, open to taking chances, and open to finding unusual solutions. This freedom gives us the courage to chart our own path, to go out in uncharted territory because we are not afraid. 

9. Freedom from fear.

One thing you will notice with the different aspects of freedom mentioned above is that fear prevents us from enjoying most of them. Fear keeps us imprisoned. It prevents us from embracing discomfort and keeps us locked in the confines of our comfort zones. 

With freedom comes a lot of unknown. We don’t know if we are making the right choice by stepping into our freedom. At least within our comfort zone, we’re comfortable. We may not be happy, but we know what to expect. 

Freedom doesn’t give us the same guarantee. It just promises us the opportunity to do what will leave us with no regrets . Living without fear doesn’t mean the fear will disappear. Freedom from fear means not allowing fear to stop you. It means moving forward even as your knees are knocking together.

You essentially learn how to read your fear and differentiate between the fear that keeps you alive and the fear that holds you back from living your life fully. 

Freedom is more nuanced than we have ever been taught or realized. It is more than just about your freedom of movement or speech. To be truly free, your mindset must embrace the possible negative impact of freedom on your immediate comfort. You must be willing to embrace a lifetime of struggle and commit to fighting against fear. 

Because what is the use of religious and political freedom when we enslave ourselves by the way we live or think? True personal freedom means being able to live as you are, to do what you want, and to spend time with people you like. To cast off the expectations of society, family, culture, and religion requires a relentless pursuit of freedom. 

The fight for freedom is deeply personal, but totally worth it.

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what does personal freedom mean to you essay

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what does personal freedom mean to you essay

What Does Freedom Mean to You? 3

In the U.S., we say we are “the land of the free.” The lyrics of our songs, extoll the virtues and necessity of freedom:  Let freedom ring. Sing your freedom, because there’s nothing in the world like freedom, freedom of speech / freedom to say / freedom to think / this is my lucky day.

We assume the rights of freedom and debate its boundaries in politics, yet how often do we take time to reflect on what freedom means to us personally?

Freedom is not a concept carved from stone; it is malleable and personal, always shifting shape depending on where you find yourself standing and the angle of the slanting light.

My personal definition of freedom is the ability to act based on my convictions without external restriction or retribution. It is the ability to represent myself as I see myself to be, not having to hide or disguise who I am in order to pursue happiness, fulfillment, and growth. It is the power of free self-expression. Personal freedom is one of my top three values.

Of course, there are boundaries to freedom. My actions should not hurt others or restrict their personal freedoms, and so this is the dance of conscience. Will what I want conflict with what others want or need? If so, how can I have the personal autonomy I need while respecting the freedom of those around me? I believe there is always a path for mutual free expression, when we respect one another.

Today, as we prepare to celebrate our country’s independence, I offer the following quotes as food for thought and as writing prompts:

“I am free, no matter what rules surround me. If I find them tolerable, I tolerate them; if I find them too obnoxious, I break them. I am free because I know that I alone am morally responsible for everything I do.”  ― Robert A. Heinlein
“We must be free not because we claim freedom, but because we practice it.”  ― William Faulkner
“If we don’t believe in freedom of expression for people we despise, we don’t believe in it at all.”  ― Noam Chomsky
“Man is condemned to be free; because once thrown into the world, he is responsible for everything he does.  It is up to you to give [life] a meaning.”  ― Jean-Paul Sartre
“The secret of happiness is freedom, the secret of freedom is courage.”  ― Carrie Jones

And I leave you with these questions:

  • Which, if any, of these quotes resonate with you?
  • What do you believe about freedom and how do you describe or define it for yourself? –

Please share your thoughts on Freedom — leave a comment.

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3 thoughts on “ What Does Freedom Mean to You? ”

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Freedom is a responsibility, not just a privilege or a right to which I am merely entitled. Freedom means that I must recognize that my rights stop where another person’s begins. Freedom also means expressing myself freely but not so unrestrained that my expressions/words harm others. Freedom means being able to leave my home or neighborhood without fear of bodily injury or death. Freedom means being able to embrace creativity without fear or retribution. Freedom comes with a price, though. For sometimes in others pursuit of their freedoms, they bully or physically harm another. In that regard freedom seems like a double-edged sword.

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Well said, Sara. Freedom IS responsibility — to ourselves and those around us, to respect everyone’s space and expression. Yet, it is sometimes difficult to see when we might be harming (or at least infringing) on others. Freedom is also related to the drive to become who we are, to live up to our potential. Complicated, yet important to think about.

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This is very good, Amber. Thank you for your input. My classmate and I appreciate you. We are doing a project on freedom and this helped a lot! much love xoxo.

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Freedom Essay for Students and Children

500+ words essay on freedom.

Freedom is something that everybody has heard of but if you ask for its meaning then everyone will give you different meaning. This is so because everyone has a different opinion about freedom. For some freedom means the freedom of going anywhere they like, for some it means to speak up form themselves, and for some, it is liberty of doing anything they like.

Freedom Essay

Meaning of Freedom

The real meaning of freedom according to books is. Freedom refers to a state of independence where you can do what you like without any restriction by anyone. Moreover, freedom can be called a state of mind where you have the right and freedom of doing what you can think off. Also, you can feel freedom from within.

The Indian Freedom

Indian is a country which was earlier ruled by Britisher and to get rid of these rulers India fight back and earn their freedom. But during this long fight, many people lost their lives and because of the sacrifice of those people and every citizen of the country, India is a free country and the world largest democracy in the world.

Moreover, after independence India become one of those countries who give his citizen some freedom right without and restrictions.

The Indian Freedom Right

India drafted a constitution during the days of struggle with the Britishers and after independence it became applicable. In this constitution, the Indian citizen was given several fundaments right which is applicable to all citizen equally. More importantly, these right are the freedom that the constitution has given to every citizen.

These right are right to equality, right to freedom, right against exploitation, right to freedom of religion¸ culture and educational right, right to constitutional remedies, right to education. All these right give every freedom that they can’t get in any other country.

Value of Freedom

The real value of anything can only be understood by those who have earned it or who have sacrificed their lives for it. Freedom also means liberalization from oppression. It also means the freedom from racism, from harm, from the opposition, from discrimination and many more things.

Get the huge list of more than 500 Essay Topics and Ideas

Freedom does not mean that you violate others right, it does not mean that you disregard other rights. Moreover, freedom means enchanting the beauty of nature and the environment around us.

The Freedom of Speech

Freedom of speech is the most common and prominent right that every citizen enjoy. Also, it is important because it is essential for the all-over development of the country.

Moreover, it gives way to open debates that helps in the discussion of thought and ideas that are essential for the growth of society.

Besides, this is the only right that links with all the other rights closely. More importantly, it is essential to express one’s view of his/her view about society and other things.

To conclude, we can say that Freedom is not what we think it is. It is a psychological concept everyone has different views on. Similarly, it has a different value for different people. But freedom links with happiness in a broadway.

FAQs on Freedom

Q.1 What is the true meaning of freedom? A.1 Freedom truly means giving equal opportunity to everyone for liberty and pursuit of happiness.

Q.2 What is freedom of expression means? A.2 Freedom of expression means the freedom to express one’s own ideas and opinions through the medium of writing, speech, and other forms of communication without causing any harm to someone’s reputation.

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What Freedom Means to Me

The Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) Patriot's Pen Essay Contest is a youth essay competition, conducted nationwide, which gives students a chance to write 300 to 400-word essays expressing their views on an annual patriotic theme.  This year the theme is "What Freedom Means to Me" and Sublimity School had three 7th-grade students at the local awards ceremony held Nov. 10 at the Stayton Fire Hall.  Sublimity winners chosen by our local VFW post, are: Rachel Ptacek, 1st place; Mya Joyce, 2nd place; CharlyBeth Woodley, 3rd place.

From left to right, CharlyBeth Woodley, Rachel Ptacek and Mya Joyce, Sublimity School 7th graders recognized for their submissions in the VFW Patriot's Pen Essay Contest, theme "What Freedom Means to Me."

These students' essays will now advance to the district level of competition for further consideration, potentially advancing to regional and national competitions. Below are the three essays:

The definition of freedom is, the condition of being free from restraints, but to me, freedom is more than that, freedom is having the right to be me and express myself. With the freedom our veterans have fought for, we really get to be ourselves. Freedom lets us talk how we want and explain about yourself to be how you want yourself. You can protest for what you believe is right and even if it's wrong you are able to express it. You can have a religion to follow what you believe in, not what you are forced to believe in. Not being afraid to say what you believe, because nothing bad will happen to you. If you do, it’s not a secret, is another great freedom we have. I also get to write how I want and about what I want to write about. The freedom of press. I can write fun or serious stories however I want to. Then I can share them and don't have to hide them like in some other countries. Another great freedom here is getting to go to school. In other countries, kids don't get to go to school, let alone girls. I learn a lot at school and it’s where I become myself the most. Without this freedom we would all be more alike, and not be able to be ourselves. Every morning I wake up, not having fears of whether or not I’ll live that day. I’m confident to act as my normal self. I have no fear of this because our future, present, and past men and women have fought to keep us safe. Not in the middle of wars and not worried for our lives. Allowing us to confidently live our day. It is all of these things that make us who we are, and with the freedom we have fought for, we really can be ourselves. So freedom might just be a word in the dictionary, but to me, freedom is getting to be one-hundred percent me. — Rachel Ptacek

To me, freedom means to be able to go to school, walk around, and do almost anything without worrying about the safety of yourself and those you love.  Unlike other countries, you don’t have to wonder whether you are going to live through the day. Technically, freedom means ‘the power or right to act, speak, or think as one wants without hindrance or restraint,’ but here in the United States of America, it means so much more.  To Americans and others living here, freedom is the right to be yourself.  We can practice any religion, such as Catholic, Buddhist, Muslim, or any others.  We may print or write whatever we want.  We can petition, if we feel necessary.  Americans can have whatever job we are qualified for.  We aren’t forced to have certain professions.  Anyone can get a free and formal education through high school. In addition, anyone, at any age, has the right to continue their education. The reason we are able to enjoy these freedoms is because of our military. I thank all former and current military men and women, who gave us this gift of freedom, which we, as Americans, are known for. I know that many other people do as well.  America is an amazing place to live, because of our freedom, and our military, who protect us every day. Many citizens of other countries immigrate here from places, such as Mexico and China.  My grandma,  Linda Lai, and my mom, Carol Joyce, came to America in 1972.  They came here because of the opportunities we have due to our freedom.  This wonderful thing that we were given in the Revolutionary War, which is protected by our military every day, is the reason that I am in America today. Therefore, every American citizen should be proud of this beautiful country. Without the liberties we have as a free country, we wouldn’t be in the same situations as today. Our flag, with its 50 stars and 13 stripes, represents our freedom. As long as this flag still flies, I know I’m free. I am so proud to be an American. God bless the U.S.A.! — Mya Joyce

Freedom is not just a word. The meaning behind it is much more. Freedom is the ability to express myself the way I want to. There is no uniform on how my life should be. With freedom I can choose my own moral compass, make my own decisions. Being in a country with freedom means I can choose my own religion. With freedom I can say what I want. Freedom to me means no one rules my life. I choose my own future. Choosing my own moral compass lets me believe what I think is right and what I think is wrong. I believe we have an amazing privilege to have freedom. I know our freedom did not come easy.  The veterans who fought for our freedom risked their lives for us. I am very familiar with what it’s like to have someone important to you fight for my freedom. My dad is veteran of the United States army. He served for seventeen years. He fought in Iraq and Afghanistan. Now my brother is in the military. Freedom means a lot to me because my family fought for it. I am very thankful for all the men and women who fought for my freedom. Being free lets me choose my own future. I can be anything I dream of. Since I am free I can do things other women around the world cannot. I can work, I can get an education, I am aloud to drive on my own. Being a free American means I can marry who I want. There is equality because we are free. Being free is a beautiful thing. I am thankful for everyone who fought or fights for my freedom. They fight for my rights. So when someone asks me what freedom means to me I will reply, freedom is my future, freedom is what my family fights for, freedom means everything to me. — CharlyBeth Woodley

Aristotle's Cafe

  • What Is Freedom, And How Can We Define It?

questions about freedom

What does freedom mean to you?

Does it mean time freedom, the ability to choose what you want to do without worrying?

Maybe financial freedom, and the ability to not worry about money?

Or is more about the freedom of speech and the ability to think, wonder…

And also complain about the world around you.

These are the types of questions we regularly ask at  Aristotle’s Cafe . But what exactly is freedom? How can we define it?

With an expert  Facilitator  guiding the discussion, we attempted to question freedom in our most recent session. Although it might have been a challenge with such a diverse crowd of strangers, we were all happy to be free to do so.

questions about freedom wisdom

“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.”

What is freedom.

One of our Aristotle’s Cafe members defined basic freedom as “…when you do not feel any constraints.” Whether those would be physical, mental or emotional constraints.

However, we acknowledged that feeling free and being free can be two different things…

We wondered if feeling free may not necessarily mean that you are free, for example, are you free if you feel obliged to help someone? Or are you truly free when you feel those urges to eat your favorite snack or watch your favorite show? When you are free to choose topics to talk about ?

Being free may mean that you have full control of yourself, meaning your mind, body, and emotions.

Former President of the United States, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, said it quite beautifully in a speech that there are these four freedoms:

  • Freedom of speech and expression
  • Freedom of every person to worship God in his or her own way
  • Freedom of want – meaning that economic stability can be achieved.
  • Freedom of fear – meaning that you aren’t in physical danger or fearing for your life or the life of those who you love.

With that in mind, are you free?

Free to express, worship, live in a stable and peaceful way?

These are tough to answer for many of us because no matter where you’re born it’s difficult to actually feel complete on all of these elements. We started thinking about a solution that would make this achievable for most people on earth.

It sounds great right?

"The nature of education, is the paradox of freedom"

questions about freedom joy

Is Total Freedom Good?

We seem to live in a world where freedom is alive because of a certain level of control. Historically and in the present day, it takes a very short time to find examples of slavery.

You would have a big challenge to find someone that enjoys being a slave – yet is it possible for everyone in the entire world to be completely free?

Stripped naked of our daily constraints, such as the need to pay bills, meet a deadline or be in a particular location.

It seems doubtful that once in that state we could actually appreciate it. Everything is relative, and soon enough people might feel the pressure of another constraint.

As always, we seem to find more questions than answers…

Such is life in Aristotle’s Cafe.

Is Ignorance Freedom?

One of the many opinions that came up when we asked people “What does freedom mean to you?”

Was time freedom.

It’s pretty straight forward – time freedom is the ability to choose what you want to do with your time. It’s doing what you love doing most now, not later.

It might mean focusing more on personal well-being and happiness, or it might mean doing all the crazy things you always wanted to do.

The one main rule is that if you truly value and put importance on time freedom you’d never say, “I’m too busy to do that” or “I don’t have enough time to do that.”

It’s about being free and spontaneous to make choices as they come.

The largest challenge to enjoying life in this way is something we all laughed about. You might have a lot of time, but you won’t have a lot of money.

Of course, there are rare individuals and outliers when it comes to this, but for the most part, people trade their time and working hours for money. And that’s the way the majority of the world survives.

This would mean that only a few people would be able to truly enjoy time freedom, and it might have to do with their knowledge.

That idea lead us to another interesting question…

Has Society Contributed To Your Freedom?

We discovered that for some it has. One person in the group said, “All of my freedom comes from society. If I were stripped of what other people do for me, there’d be nothing left.”

Therefore, on the one hand, certain societies can provide someone with freedom. It can give someone choices, multiple directions, time freedom, freedom to acquire knowledge, jobs, and experience someone else’s views, opinions and so forth.

Society can be useful for providing freedom to the majority, by applying some constraints…

We can help provide freedom to people in need. By working together under some set rules and laws.

On the other hand, society can rob you of your desires, thoughts, dreams, so that if you wish to dress in a particular fashion that goes against societies standards and ideals, you may be ridiculed, bullied, insulted and no longer feel free to dress in such a way.

“When I discover who I am, I’ll be free.”

questions about freedom ignorance

Lack of Freedom As Motivation

We brought up the idea that being in a place where control and limitations thrive can also be a powerful motivation.

It is known that humans can turn negative situations into positive outcomes, many successful people have proved it. We can use the lack of freedom that many of us feel in certain areas of life, as motivation to push us further, higher so that in the future we can achieve goals we never thought possible.

However, to say that is is a necessity to have, contradicts accomplishments achieved by people who were free.

For example…

What does Freedom Mean to You?

There is no one that can answer this question for you. In fact, what freedom means to you is really the reason for this entire conversation.

Yes – YOU!

What does freedom mean to you? Write your answer in the comment section below and let us know your thoughts.

What does freedom mean to you? Because we all have our own perspectives and beliefs, but the important thing is to start to shape and form your ideas and communicate them effectively.

As the world continues to become more and more global borders are starting to blur, economies are intertwined, and individuals with completely different cultures are living side by side.

Unless we find mutual respect and understanding there won’t be any freedom for anyone because there will always be that back and forth struggle. The push and pull of cultures clashing with limited resources.

So what does freedom mean to you?

If everything were to be provided freely for us, and we had the freedom to do as we please, what exactly would you do?

Where would you go? Would your life dramatically change for the better? Or for the worse?

Freedom is something that most people find pride in, to be grateful for. It allows us to think, do, live as we please.

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16 Comments

Freedom means getting to say the things i want to say and think and belive the things i want to belve

Nobody is completely free, not with yourself not with anyone else! Restrictions everywhere! complete freedom leads to senseless jungle life style! However, freedom for me means acting in a way that brings peace and harmony not only to you but to those around you as well!

Thanks for your thoughts on this Mengie. If you’d like to have more deep conversations on interesting topics feel free to join one of our free online discussions sometime soon: https://www.aristotlescafe.com/events-workshops/

Assuming the concept of freedom is defined as the liberty to do and say what we please. Is true freedom possible? Can true freedom exist without limits or rules?

Each individual is a different world; each of us has a different story, different ways of thinking, different desires. Each individual will have the need for a different version of freedom. Exercising my freedom could mean crossing a boundary onto someone else’s freedom. I am free to dance and sing in front of another person, but in doing so, am I creating a conflict by disrupting the person’s freedom to enjoy a quiet undisrupted space?

Parting from the fact that each individual is its own universe, I believe the concept of freedom cannot exist without the limitation of Respect. In order not to create conflicts while practicing the type of freedom each of us requires, it is imperative to exercise the required level of respect that each instance requires. I believe this type of “controlled” freedom has the potential to satisfy both, our need of freedom and our requirement of respect from others. I see this as the approach that brings us closer to a sense of fully experiencing freedom.

Wow, I really love your perspective jl, thanks for sharing it!

freedom is a gift of God no one gives me a freedom but most of people expect from others this leads to human being under freedom

Thank you for sharing Firew, I really appreciate your opinion.

I think freedom cannot be taken as an absolute. For instance we are all slave to breathing, yet we would not question breathing. This is a stupid example, but essentially it illustrate the fact that there will always be constraints and facts of life that we have to deal with, and that freedom cannot stand alone as a concept. We cannot really discuss the nature of freedom unless we specify “freedom from what?”

Thank you Paul, I really appreciate you sharing your thoughts.

Freedom from is different but not unconnected to freedom TO. We can fight all our lives to be free from various constraints but if we don’t know to what purpose we want to dedicate that freedom we are no more than an animal who is free to act as it pleases. Real freedom is when you can CHOSE to do what you think is right. Even if you don’t particularly want to do it! Because then you know you’re not a slave to your lower instincts. The greatest freedom is when you positively chose to do what you don’t want to do and then don’t do it..!!.. but for your own greater good. Like I want to party but I chose to study so I can become a great person. I want to cheat on my wife but I chose to be faithful to her so that my truest relationship will stay intact. I want to drink alcohol but I chose to hold back etc… When you have the freedom FROM physical/ emotional / religious oppression/ economic oppression you can begin to exercise your true freedom, the freedom TO.

“FREEDOM” Freedom like what we want to like to do. According to me freedom for me I can take my decision without perspective . If don’t marry yet I want to study that situations my parents also sport my decision even they also listen carefully what I really want . Freedom my own happiness my own decision, and my own rules.

Thanks for your thoughts!

Freedom is the best It is very hard to get freedom

Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

freedom is the ability to do wrong

right actions are constrained

in any given moment there is finite right action

but wrong actions are unlimited

nature demands right action

you must eat, you must drink, you must breathe

if you choose to not breathe you will die

wrong actions are temporary and are corrected by rightness

freedom is an illusion created by detachment from reality

the natural world is an absolute dictator

you do not exist to the natural world

it is there only for its own benefit

social freedom is also an illusion

all man made systems are by definition constraints

some men gather the earths resources

other men are made to buy them back

neither can ever be free

Thank you so much for your thoughtful comment!

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What Does Freedom Mean To You Essay

Freedom to me is the ability to do what I want, when I want, without having to answer to anyone. It’s being my own boss and making my own decisions. Freedom also means being able to travel and explore new places without worrying about money or work. To me, freedom is living life on my own terms and doing what makes me happy.

Freedom can have various meanings depending on the context in which it is used. Freedom is sometimes defined as a “political right.” In other situations, it may be defined simply as “the state of being free,” according to Merriam-Webster. Others may think of freedom as a precious gift that must be fought for.

Freedom, to me, is the ability to do what I want, when I want, without having to worry about the consequences. It is the ability to be myself and not have to pretend to be someone else. Freedom is being able to love who I want and not be judged for it. Freedom is also being able to voice my opinion without fear of retribution.

Freedom is important because it allows us to be our true selves. It gives us the ability to express ourselves fully and without restrictions. It also allows us to live our lives the way we want to, without interference from others.

These definitions are all for the same term, although their meaning vary. The word freedom can have various meanings, including as a political right, the quality or state of being free, and a struggle for liberty.

Freedom to some people can mean different things, but in general, it is a power or right that is not given by another person or authority, but one that is self-given. Freedom can also be seen as the ability to act and speak freely without restraint, as well as the absence of oppression. Freedom is a concept that has been around for centuries, and its meaning has changed over time.

Freedom, in my opinion, has the most conflict with the Merriam-Webster definition being “political right.” In order to exercise power, the government must take away liberties. The goal of a government is to establish control, and in order to establish control, it must limit freedoms.

In my opinion, the government’s ultimate goal is to have power over the people, and they use freedom as a tool to manipulate the people into submission. Freedom should be about having the ability to do what you want without interference, but instead it has become a means for furthering agendas.

When I think about what freedom means to me, I think about being able to do what I want without worrying about the government or anyone else interfering. Freedom to me is being able to live my life the way I want to without having to answer to anyone. Unfortunately, in today’s society that is not always possible. We are constantly being told what we can and cannot do, and our freedoms are slowly being taken away from us.

I believe that everyone should have the freedom to live their life the way they want to, as long as they are not harming anyone else in the process. We should all be able to pursue our own happiness without having to worry about the government or anyone else interfering. Unfortunately, that is not always the case. Freedom is something that we have to fight for every day, and it is something that we should never take for granted.

This is not something that is wrong in any way since every society requires a structure to keep it together. However, because the state has been established to take away liberties, freedom should not be considered a “political right.” A less complex definition of this may be found in the condition of being free.

The got Freedom House Index. Freedom is the power or right to act, speak, or think as one wants without hindrance or restraint, and the absence of a coercive force. Freedom encompasses both the ability to do things freely and being free from something.

The definition of freedom has changed throughout history, and even today there are different interpretations of what freedom means. For some people, freedom may mean being able to do whatever they want without any restrictions. For others, it may mean being free from oppression or being able to choose their own destiny.

Freedom is a complex concept with many different dimensions that can be explored. However, at its core, freedom is the ability to live your life in a way that you choose – without interference from others.

Freedom is important because it allows us to choose how we live our lives. It gives us the opportunity to make our own choices and to pursue our own goals and dreams. Freedom allows us to be ourselves. It is an essential part of who we are as human beings.

Without freedom, we would not be able to express our unique individualities. We would not be able to develop our talents and abilities. We would not be able to choose our own friends, or have any control over our own lives. Freedom is what makes us human.

This is because freedom is more than simply the “state of being free.” Although this phrase is an appropriate definition of freedom, it isn’t a moral definition. When Newman says that “habit of mind is developed, which endures through life and has the characteristics of freedom, equity, calmness, moderation, and wisdom” (Newman “Knowledge Its Own End”), he’s referring to this kind of freedom. There’s a better way to define freedom than what you’ve read here.

Freedom, according to Aristotle, is the power to act or not to act, and to do this for a specific purpose that you have chosen (Aristotle). Freedom is also different than independence. Freedom is the power to choose, while independence is being free from the influence of others. Freedom, then according to Aristotle’s definition, means “the ability to exercise choice” while independence implies “not being subject to restraint or control by others” (Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy). So, freedom according to Aristotle is a more moral definition because it speaks of the ability to choose, and this is what we will use as our working definition of freedom.

There are different types of freedom. There is negative freedom which is the freedom from interference or constraints imposed by others. This type of freedom is often thought of as the more “traditional” view of freedom. And then there is positive freedom which is the ability to act freely in pursuit of a goal or good. So, positive freedom is more than simply being free from restraints, it is being free to act towards a specific end. Freedom, according to our working definition, then, is the ability to exercise choice unhampered by external constraints.

There are different ways to think about what freedom means. One way is to think about it in terms of rights. Freedom, in this view, is the right to do what you want without interference from others. Freedom of speech, for example, is the right to say what you want without fear of censorship or punishment. Freedom of religion is the right to worship as you please without interference from the state. Freedom of association is the right to associate with whomever you choose, and so on.

Another way to think about freedom is in terms of power. Freedom, in this view, is the power to do what you want without interference from others. This kind of freedom is often thought of as “freedom of action”. It is the ability to act freely in pursuit of your goals and objectives. Freedom of action includes both negative and positive freedom.

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Trump Has Been Convicted. Here’s What Happens Next.

Donald J. Trump has promised to appeal, but he may face limits on his ability to travel and to vote as he campaigns for the White House.

  • Share full article

Donald J. Trump in a dark suit, red tie and white shirt.

By Jesse McKinley and Maggie Astor

  • May 30, 2024

The conviction of former President Donald J. Trump on Thursday is just the latest step in his legal odyssey in New York’s court system. The judge, Juan M. Merchan, set Mr. Trump’s sentencing for July 11, at which point he could be sentenced to as much as four years behind bars, or to probation.

It won’t stop him from running for president, though: There is no legal prohibition on felons doing that . No constitutional provision would stop him even from serving as president from a prison cell, though in practice that would trigger a crisis that courts would almost certainly have to resolve.

His ability to vote — for himself, presumably — depends on whether he is sentenced to prison. Florida, where he is registered, requires felons convicted there to complete their full sentence, including parole or probation, before regaining voting rights. But when Floridians are convicted in another state, Florida defers to the laws of that state, and New York disenfranchises felons only while they are in prison.

what does personal freedom mean to you essay

The Trump Manhattan Criminal Verdict, Count By Count

Former President Donald J. Trump faced 34 felony charges of falsifying business records, related to the reimbursement of hush money paid to the porn star Stormy Daniels in order to cover up a sex scandal around the 2016 presidential election.

“Because Florida recognizes voting rights restoration in the state of conviction, and because New York’s law states that those with a felony conviction do not lose their right to vote unless they are incarcerated during the election, then Trump will not lose his right to vote in this case unless he is in prison on Election Day,” said Blair Bowie, a lawyer at the Campaign Legal Center, a nonprofit watchdog group.

Mr. Trump will almost certainly appeal his conviction, after months of criticizing the case and attacking the Manhattan district attorney, who brought it, and Justice Merchan, who presided over his trial.

Long before that appeal is heard, however, Mr. Trump will be enmeshed in the gears of the criminal justice system.

A pre-sentencing report makes recommendations based on the defendant’s criminal record — Mr. Trump had none before this case — as well as his personal history and the crime itself. The former president was found guilty of falsifying business records in relation to a $130,000 payment to Stormy Daniels, a porn star who says she had a brief sexual tryst with Mr. Trump in 2006, in order to buy her silence.

At the pre-sentence interview, a psychologist or social worker working for the probation department may also talk to Mr. Trump, during which time the defendant can “try to make a good impression and explain why he or she deserves a lighter punishment,” according to the New York State Unified Court System.

The pre-sentencing report can also include submissions from the defense, and may describe whether “the defendant is in a counseling program or has a steady job.”

In Mr. Trump’s case, of course, he is applying — as it were — for a steady job as president of the United States, a campaign that may be complicated by his new status as a felon. Mr. Trump will likely be required to regularly report to a probation officer, and rules on travel could be imposed.

Mr. Trump was convicted of 34 Class E felonies, New York’s lowest level , each of which carry a potential penalty of up to four years in prison. Probation or home confinement are other possibilities that Justice Merchan can consider.

That said, Justice Merchan has indicated in the past that he takes white-collar crime seriously . If he did impose prison time, he would likely impose the punishment concurrently, meaning that Mr. Trump would serve time on each of the counts he was convicted of simultaneously.

If Mr. Trump were instead sentenced to probation, he could still be jailed if he were later found to have committed additional crimes. Mr. Trump, 77, currently faces three other criminal cases: two federal, dealing with his handling of classified documents and his efforts to overturn the 2020 election , and a state case in Georgia that concerns election interference.

Mr. Trump’s lawyers can file a notice of appeal after sentencing, scheduled for July 11 at 10 a.m. And the judge could stay any punishment during an appeal, something that could delay punishment beyond Election Day.

The proceedings will continue even if he wins: Because it’s a state case, not federal, Mr. Trump would have no power as president to pardon himself .

Jesse McKinley is a Times reporter covering upstate New York, courts and politics. More about Jesse McKinley

Maggie Astor covers politics for The New York Times, focusing on breaking news, policies, campaigns and how underrepresented or marginalized groups are affected by political systems. More about Maggie Astor

Our Coverage of the Trump Hush-Money Trial

Guilty Verdict : Donald Trump was convicted on all 34 counts  of falsifying records to cover up a sex scandal that threatened his bid for the White House in 2016, making him the first American president to be declared a felon .

What Happens Next: Trump’s sentencing hearing on July 11 will trigger a long and winding appeals process , though he has few ways to overturn the decision .

Reactions: Trump’s conviction reverberated quickly across the country  and around the world . Here’s what voters , New Yorkers , Republicans , Trump supporters  and President Biden  had to say.

The Presidential Race : The political fallout of Trump’s conviction is far from certain , but the verdict will test America’s traditions, legal institutions and ability to hold an election under historic partisan tension .

Making the Case: Over six weeks and the testimony of 20 witnesses, the Manhattan district attorney’s office wove a sprawling story  of election interference and falsified business records.

Legal Luck Runs Out: The four criminal cases that threatened Trump’s freedom had been stumbling along, pleasing his advisers. Then his good fortune expired .

AP Buyline

Paying off your mortgage early: What to know and how to do it

Paying off your mortgage early: What to know and how to do it

In a nutshell

Paying off your mortgage early removes a major monthly expense from your budget and frees up money for other financial goals. However, you might be on the hook for possible prepayment penalties from your lender and lose certain tax benefits.

  • Paying off your mortgage early prevents interest from accumulating on your mortgage balance.
  • You can pay off your mortgage early by applying a lump sum or making extra principal payments throughout the year.
  • It’s best to prepay your mortgage when other financial priorities are taken care of and you don’t have any other significant debts.

What does it mean to prepay a mortgage?

Prepaying a mortgage means paying off your entire balance months or years before the end of your loan term. There are two ways to pay a mortgage: stick to your original mortgage agreement and make your standard monthly payments on schedule. The second way is to prepay your mortgage before the loan term ends to pay off your home sooner.

The benefits of paying off your mortgage early

Paying off your mortgage sooner has some notable financial perks.

  • Clear a major expense from your budget: According to data from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the average mortgage payment in the United States is about $2,045. Prepaying your mortgage can put thousands back in your pocket every month to invest, start a business or pursue other goals.
  • Prevent interest build-up: When you take out a mortgage, you agree to pay interest over the life of the loan. The quicker you pay off your mortgage balance, the less interest you’ll pay. This could save you thousands of dollars.
  • Get a guaranteed financial boost: While investing in stocks and other assets can be risky, prepaying your mortgage is a solid way to increase your financial well-being. Remember, there’s no getting out of the interest charges on your mortgage while it’s active. So, paying it off early will result in long-term savings.
  • Own your home free and clear sooner: As long as you have a mortgage, your lender can foreclose on your home if you fall behind on mortgage payments. Paying off your mortgage means you are the sole owner of the property. If needed, you can tap your home’s maximum value for a home equity loan or home equity line of credit (HELOC).

How to pay off your mortgage early

Homeowners have two main options for paying off their mortgage early. Here’s a breakdown of both and how to use them.

Make a lump-sum payment

The first way to tackle your mortgage balance is to pay the remaining balance outright. For instance, if you have $100,000 left on your mortgage, you can pay it off in one payment. While this option is faster than increasing your monthly payments and provides more savings, it requires a hefty amount of money upfront.

Make extra payments

The second way to pay off your mortgage early is to put more money toward your principal balance each year.

You can approach this strategy in a few ways. First, you could make biweekly payments. This means you’ll pay half of your monthly mortgage payment every two weeks for a total of 26 payments. Because your mortgage only needs 24 half-payments per year (for a total of 12 full monthly payments), you’ll end the year with one full extra payment toward your mortgage.

You can also make an additional payment during a time of the year when you have extra cash or get a windfall cash, such as a hefty tax return, an inheritance or an annual bonus.

Lastly, you can boost your monthly payments by calculating how much it would cost to make one extra payment per year and tacking on that amount to your regular payments. To do so, take your regular monthly payment (for principal and interest) and divide it by 12. Then, add this amount to your mortgage payment. For instance, if your mortgage payment is $2,400, you would add $200 to your monthly payments for a total of $2,600 each month.

Ask your lender what their process is for applying extra principal payments. Typically, you must specify that you want extra payments applied to your principal balance only so it doesn’t go toward interest.

When to pay off your mortgage early

Paying off your mortgage early could move the financial needle for you. For example, if you’re putting a few hundred dollars into a savings account every month, you can redirect that toward your mortgage. Oftentimes, this makes better financial sense than saving the money because mortgages have higher interest rates than high-yield savings accounts.

Second, a windfall (such as an inheritance) can provide the resources for a lump-sum prepayment. Just remember that it’s essential to weigh the benefits of this against your other financial priorities and goals. For instance, it won’t do much good to pay your mortgage off early if you don’t have an emergency savings fund. A car repair or medical bill can spell disaster regardless of your mortgage situation if you don’t have money set aside.

That’s why it may be a better idea to split a lump sum between your mortgage and other financial needs (such as a college fund or a car loan with a higher interest rate). Paying $30,000 toward a $100,000 remaining mortgage balance will still lead to massive savings on interest charges.

Mistakes to avoid when paying off your mortgage early

Paying off your mortgage early can also come back to haunt you. Doing your homework and talking with a financial advisor can help you avoid the following pitfalls.

Not allocating payments toward the principal

Unfortunately, your extra payments might be ineffective if you don’t communicate that you want them to be applied directly to the principal. Your lender may automatically put the extra payments toward interest charges unless you follow a specific process for extra principal payments. Before sending in any additional money, clarify your lender’s process so your money is used as intended.

Violating a prepayment penalty clause

Some lenders charge prepayment penalties because they don’t want to lose interest earnings from a long-term mortgage. However, mortgages originated after Jan. 10, 2014 have capped prepayment penalties of 2% of the loan amount in the first two years of repayment and 1% in the third year. Lenders cannot charge prepayment penalties after the third year of repayment.

If you’re thinking about paying off your mortgage early, review your servicing agreement or monthly statement to see if your lender charges this fee and how much it is. If your lender does charge one, it may make more sense to wait until after Year 3 to do an early mortgage payoff to avoid the penalty.

Draining your financial resources

Paying off your mortgage early can leave you without a financial cushion. Remember, an emergency fund can help you avoid high-interest borrowing during a crisis. Set up an emergency fund with six to 12 months of living expenses saved before prepaying your mortgage.

Paying inconsistently

A steady pattern of extra payments is the most effective way of reducing your principal balance and interest charges. Sporadic payments are not as effective, however.

For example, paying $150 more per month on a $270,000 mortgage with a 7% interest rate can help you save about $92,000 in lifetime interest. However, missing a payment throws off the pattern, leaving the interest charges to accumulate on a higher principal amount.

Ignoring better interest rate opportunities

While paying off your mortgage can feel like a weight lifted from your shoulders, it can be detrimental if you disregard other aspects of your finances. For example, other forms of debt — such as credit cards or personal loans — might have higher interest rates. Paying off your mortgage instead of these debts means carrying higher-interest debt for longer, leaving you in worse shape financially.

Similarly, review the assets you have before putting extra money toward your mortgage. If there are savings, investment or retirement accounts with a higher annualized rate of return than your mortgage rate, investing in those accounts may be a better bet.

Disregarding tax implications

The IRS allows homeowners to receive a mortgage interest deduction on their federal taxes. This option can potentially save thousands of dollars per year in taxes, depending on your income and overall financial situation. This tax advantage requires itemizing deductions instead of taking the standard deduction. Discuss your situation with a financial planner or tax professional for guidance before paying off your mortgage early.

Are there any downsides to paying off a mortgage early?

The downsides of paying off a mortgage early depend on your situation. Prepayment penalties from your lender can reduce or even eliminate the advantages gained by paying off your mortgage.

Additionally, becoming mortgage-free but cash-poor can leave you vulnerable to financial hardship, such as a downturn in the housing market, a job loss or a serious illness or injury that sidelines you from work. Lastly, if you have a low interest rate on your mortgage, other financial opportunities (such as increasing more toward your retirement account or investing in the stock market) might provide better returns over time.

Tips on how to pay off your mortgage early

Paying off your mortgage early can be a wise financial move, but only if done strategically. Here are some tips to help you on the journey:

Refinance to a shorter loan term: If you’ve got extra money each month, you should consider refinancing your mortgage to a shorter loan term. However, this only makes sense if you can get a lower interest rate than what you currently have. Keep in mind this will increase your monthly payments since you’re paying your balance off in less time, so make sure the math works for your other financial obligations.

Make extra payments from the start: Interest charges are the most expensive at the beginning of the loan term because that’s when your principal is the highest. Making extra payments from the get-go can help you save money, even if you taper off several years later or have months where you can’t put extra toward your loan’s principal.

Round up your payment to the nearest $100: Rounding up your mortgage payment to the nearest hundred is a simple yet effective strategy to pay off your mortgage faster. For example, if your monthly mortgage payment is $1,348, rounding it up to $1,400 can help you shave time off your loan by gradually reducing the principal balance and the total interest paid.

Increase your payment by $1 per month: Adding $1 to your mortgage payment each month may seem insignificant at first, but over time, it adds up. For example, after five years of using this strategy, you'll pay $60 more per month on your mortgage, creating more interest savings and a faster payoff schedule.

Put extra income toward your mortgage: Bonuses, raises, tax refunds or an inheritance can provide the lump sum needed to pay some or all of your mortgage principal. These sources of cash can dramatically cut your mortgage balance.

The AP Buyline roundup

Paying off your mortgage early can significantly reduce the amount of interest you pay over your loan’s lifetime, potentially saving you thousands of dollars. You can make extra payments or use windfalls to knock down the principal amount ahead of schedule. However, check for prepayment penalties first and ensure you’ve built enough savings in an emergency fund and you maximize other financial investments before paying your home off early.

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

Does prepaying my mortgage affect my credit score.

Prepaying your mortgage doesn’t directly influence your credit score. However, paid-off mortgages fall off your credit report after 10 years. When this occurs, your credit score might dip slightly because your credit report will have a less diverse credit mix and the average age of your accounts will be shorter.

What happens if I pay my mortgage off early?

You could trigger a prepayment penalty by paying off your mortgage early. On the other hand, doing so also means you own your home free and clear sooner and reduce your interest payments.

Are there any limitations on how much I can prepay on my mortgage?

Some lenders enforce prepayment penalties on mortgages. This can be as much as 2% of the loan balance in the first two years of repayment and up to 1% in the third year.

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    They've denied their authentic self for so long that they've lost all sense of self. True freedom means you are free to be yourself in all your imperfect glory. 2. Free to live as you intend to live. Freedom means being free to live as you want or intend to live. It means doing work that you're passionate about.

  10. What Does Freedom Mean to You?

    My personal definition of freedom is the ability to act based on my convictions without external restriction or retribution. It is the ability to represent myself as I see myself to be, not having to hide or disguise who I am in order to pursue happiness, fulfillment, and growth. It is the power of free self-expression.

  11. Freedom Essay for Students and Children

    Freedom also means liberalization from oppression. It also means the freedom from racism, from harm, from the opposition, from discrimination and many more things. Get the huge list of more than 500 Essay Topics and Ideas. Freedom does not mean that you violate others right, it does not mean that you disregard other rights.

  12. What Freedom Means to Me

    The meaning behind it is much more. Freedom is the ability to express myself the way I want to. There is no uniform on how my life should be. With freedom I can choose my own moral compass, make ...

  13. (PDF) What freedom means to me?

    Freedom is the state of mind. where a person can think, speak and act according to his/her wish. The God has created every. person unique. What is black and white for one person may be grey for ...

  14. PDF What Freedom of Speech Means to Me

    Freedom of speech has been used throughout history and present times to express opinions about problems in America. Martin Luther King Jr. is a prime example of a man voicing his beliefs about what he thought was right. He used free speech to try and unite an entire nation. King was an admirable example of the use of freedom of speech.

  15. Essay on What Does Freedom Mean to You

    Freedom is what we desire the most. A kind of idiomatic expression that we badly need and feel. Among the 12 philosophers that were discussed, Jean-Paul Sartre's opinions about freedom have greatly drawn much of my reflections on life's realities or experiences and views in life. According to him, freedom is to be seen in relation to man ...

  16. What is Freedom? And What Does It Mean to You?

    Being free may mean that you have full control of yourself, meaning your mind, body, and emotions. Former President of the United States, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, said it quite beautifully in a speech that there are these four freedoms: Freedom of speech and expression. Freedom of every person to worship God in his or her own way.

  17. What Freedom Means to Me: Essay

    Freedom may be defined in three ways: First, it is the power or right to act, speak, or think as one wants without hindrance or restraint as when we say that we have the freedom to speak. Second, it is the state of not being imprisoned or enslaved as when one sat, "Finally after three years of my imprisonment, I had tasted freedom again".

  18. What Does Freedom Mean To You Essay Essay

    The word freedom can have various meanings, including as a political right, the quality or state of being free, and a struggle for liberty. Freedom to some people can mean different things, but in general, it is a power or right that is not given by another person or authority, but one that is self-given. Freedom can also be seen as the ability ...

  19. What does freedom mean to you? Free Essay Example

    Freedom could be defined as being able to choose for oneself out of available options in order to create the greatest amount of happiness for the individual. This could also mean that freedom still exists even with laws. A person is still able to choose to break or abide by a law.

  20. Why the Freedom to Read Is Important

    The experience of reading is unique to each individual, but the emotions and connections that it elicits are universal. That's why the freedom to read is so important. The freedom to read is to have the freedom to select any situation you wish to experience and enter it in your own imaginary space. Reading enables us to explore different ...

  21. What Happens Now That Trump Has Been Convicted ...

    Trump Has Been Convicted. Here's What Happens Next. Donald J. Trump has promised to appeal, but he may face limits on his ability to travel and to vote as he campaigns for the White House. There ...

  22. He Admits to Filing a False Police Report to Have His Wife ...

    He Admits to Filing a False Police Report to Have His Wife Arrested

  23. Paying off your mortgage early: What to know and how to do it

    Make extra payments. The second way to pay off your mortgage early is to put more money toward your principal balance each year. You can approach this strategy in a few ways. First, you could make biweekly payments. This means you'll pay half of your monthly mortgage payment every two weeks for a total of 26 payments.