One of the things I see us struggle with is this whole concept of being successful. Unfortunately, many of us have been indoctrinated with the so-called “American Dream” for as long as we can remember.
I have no problem with the American Dream. I’m totally down with material and financial success. We live in a universe of abundance, where there is enough for everybody. My issue is that the American Dream was a collective dream and not an individual one for each of us. Dreams are not defined for us by someone else. They come from inside of us. How can someone tell us that “Success” equals having a house in the suburbs, two cars in the driveway, 2.5 kids in the backyard swimming pool, and a dog?
How can someone define what kind of jobs signify that we’ve “Arrived”? When I was growing up, “Success” meant you went to college and you got a corporate job with some big company. “Success” meant you got a paycheck every two weeks and a 30-year mortgage. It also meant material things-like shiny cars, big houses, and expensive clothing. As someone with an entreprenuerial spirit, this became a problem for me as I tried to pursue this dream.
Even in the entreprenuerial world, “Success” is defined for us. Small business owners are considered complacent, mediocre and average, while the moguls are defined as true pioneers. It’s not enough for a restaurant owner to have one local restaurant. To be successful they must be like McDonalds, colonizing planet earth as we know it.
The housing market crash of 2008 was a huge wake-up call for the millions of people trying to pursue this “American Dream”. It was referred to as the bubble bursting, which is definitely an appropo use of language because many of us were actually living in a big bubble-an illusion of happiness and success…wearing ourselves out on the hampster wheel trying to live this cookie-cutter dream.
So, the real question is: Now that “Their” dream doesn’t work, what’s OUR dream?
Here’s a great dose of wisdom on the subject:
“I’ll tell you who the successful people are:
success is the schoolteacher who’s teaching school because that’s what he or she WANTS to do.
success is a woman who’s a wife and mother because SHE wanted to become a wife and mother and is doing a good job at it.
success is a man who owns a corner gas station because that was HIS dream, that’s what HE wanted to do.
success is the salesman who wants to become a top-notch salesman who wants to grow and build with his organization
…success is anyone who is doing deliberately a PRE-DETERMINED job because that’s what he or she decided to do deliberately.”
-taken from Earl Nightingale.
None of us have to be self-employed. Nor do we have to work for someone else. What matters is what WE want and what our heart’s desires are. That is true success.
until next time,
keep writing, living, being!