The American Dream
What is this idea of “the American dream?” This idealistic view of what you’re supposed to achieve in life. You’re supposed to get good grades, go to college, graduate, and start your decently paying career. After you move up in the company, you purchase the single family home with the white picket fence, move in with your soul mate and have your 2 kids-preferably one boy and one girl. Your life is viewed by others as being perfect. You’re living life to the best one could live. But why??
Why is this one idea the epitome of the perfect life? Why is there so much pressure to reach this exact goal? The perception of the American dream is an antiquated concept and comes from a scarcity mindset. The mindset that what you have is never enough. This anxiety pushes people to feel they need to have more. And then they have to tell the world about what they have so everyone knows about it. They post pictures of all their material possessions, they humble brag about all the countries they’ve traveled to, they purchase a new vehicle every few years.
Despite the social pressure that exists to make you feel like this is the only way to be viewed as successful, you don’t have to live your life this way. You are the master of your destiny and you get to decide what makes you happy in life. You have nothing to prove to anyone.
Once you decide on your goal, there are many ways to go about accomplishing it. You don’t have to take the same path that everyone else took to get there. Think outside of the box- but have a plan! If you need to make tweaks and alterations to the plan as time passes, that is more than ok. Be flexible and make the necessary changes accordingly.
If you decide to go off the beaten path, expect this new path to come with dissenters. Don’t be afraid to stand up to those who will doubt you. Many people will hate on your ideas or the way you want to live your life. Many people will not understand your why. Listen to their constructive criticism but relinquish the unhelpful comments and suggestions. Try not to let these negative viewpoints get into your head and interrupt your dream because you know what they say, opinions are like…everyone has one.
Consider the founder of Microsoft, Bill Gates. He was intelligent and fortunate enough to be accepted into Harvard University. But what did he do? He dropped out of Harvard! I’m sure there were plenty of people in his life who were not supportive of his decision. But he made his own way, took a different path and became the co-founder of the world’s largest personal computer software company. He is now a billionaire and philanthropist. But he may never have become the person he is today if he followed through with society’s expectations instead of his own individual goals and desires.
The only thing that matters is that you are safe, happy, and healthy. Do you feel fulfilled in life? Do you feel that you are important and you are somehow, no matter how small, making a difference in the world? Live your life the way you need to. If your heart propels you to take a different path, consider that alternative path. Don’t be so quick to dismiss a “crazy” idea. No matter what anyone else says.
“All great thinkers are initially ridiculed – and eventually revered.”― Robin Sharma