“I used to subscribe to the American dream.
You go to college, get a 9-5 job, get married, buy a house, have kids and happiness is yours. 2 years ago I realized – not everyone’s dream needs to be the same.
I went to a well-regarded business school. I married my college sweetheart. We bought (and renovated) a home. I worked hard in my jobs and built a strong reputation for myself. All of these things I couldn’t be more grateful for.
But the dream doesn’t end here.
While I love my work, I don’t live to work. When I need to make deadlines, I’ll work as long as it takes. But this is not my nightly endeavor. I volunteer, I travel, I spend time with my family and friends.
I won’t say I have it all figured out because the truth is, I don’t think anyone does. But no longer do I do things because I should – I do them because I want to. You make your own dreams and you’re responsible for fulfilling them.
It’s not scary. It’s empowering. You can be anyone and anything you want to – it’s up to you.”
Earlier this month, I posted my thoughts [above] about the “American Dream” on LinkedIn. Almost 14,000 views and 100+ likes later, I realized this concept really resonates with a lot of people. And even more so, I’ve come to understand that others share my perspective on the need to make your own dream.
The challenge is that fear often overrules change. Change is easy to say but hard to do for so many people. It’s so important to have more to your life than work, but particularly in American society, sometimes it seems like it’s all there is. It becomes a cycle where you work more to pay for the things you don’t need that you bought to fill the void because you work too much.
I still believe in the American Dream. But it’s my version of the dream. That’s the beauty of America. Our ancestors came to the United States to create better lives for themselves and for their families. Perhaps originally it was to pursue the standard definition of the American dream, but they were the ones that made it possible. We now have the freedom to make our own choices and follow our own dreams, because they followed theirs.