If you asked your parents about their childhood dreams, many of them would likely say, “I wanted to acquire an education, get a stable career, and eventually buy my own house.” The American Dream was alive and well in the United States from the conclusion of WWII until the global financial crisis in 2008.
What was the meaning of this dream? In a nutshell, work. James Altucher’s book, Choose Yourself! describes more.
As males went off to fight in Europe, many women entered the workforce at this time. Women, on the other hand, remained to work when the war ended and the soldiers returned home. For the first time in history, both men and women worked full-time, putting food on the table and paying the bills.
Families had more disposable income than ever before since two persons worked. This allowed them to buy automobiles, bigger houses, and new appliances, giving them a quality of life that their parents could only dream of.
However, something terrible lurked behind the gleaming surface of the American Dream: a marketing campaign aimed to persuade people to spend money. Americans were increasingly encouraged to use their money to express themselves, boasting about their wealth by possessing more possessions than their neighbors.
The American Dream, however, has come to an end since the financial catastrophe of 2008. Stable, middle-class occupations are no longer available. Companies have either outsourced work to developing countries or simply replaced employees with technology in order to save money.
Many occupations today are essentially temporary and provide no security or independence to the employee. Millions of people who were urged to invest in their education, then find a stable career and enjoy the American Dream are either unemployed or underpaid for their work.
It’s a heartbreaking tale. Should we, nevertheless, be disappointed? As you’ll see, the death of the American Dream has resulted in the birth of a new, promising period.
So the American Dream has come to an end. But that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. We are entering a new era of personal liberty. Working and spending in the past era was reliant on others to manage your life.
You needed someone else to “choose you” in order to achieve the American Dream. If you desired a better job, for example, you had to keep your head down and work hard in the hopes that your supervisor would notice you and promote you.
Even in the creative industries, this was true. If you wrote a good play, book, or TV show, for example, you’d have to wait to be chosen by the gatekeepers — industry executives – because only they could convert your concept into a profitable reality.
The world is a different place today. You don’t need anyone else to make you successful anymore. Instead, you can and must make your own decisions. You must step outside of the corporate world and empower yourself since the only positions available to you in the corporate world are transient. But how do you do it?
Apart from self-assurance, all you need is a smartphone or a laptop with an online connection to accomplish your goals. You don’t need a publisher or an agency if you’ve written a book; you may self-publish it online. You don’t need to pitch your TV show to others; simply upload it on YouTube to reach your target audience.
You avoid falling into the trap of only seeking money by selecting yourself. The American Dream was built on the drive to earn more money in order to buy more. It didn’t matter that you were essentially unhappy as long as the work you did paid for this lifestyle. The new epoch is distinct. We have the freedom to do whatever we want, and as long as we make money doing it, we are content!
Have you ever looked across a coffee shop at someone you believed might be your soul mate? If you had, there’s a good chance you didn’t do anything about it. But you’re not alone: most of us would rather wait for the person we want to talk to to come to us. Why? We fear rejection above everything else, and we’ll go to any length to prevent it.
Our fear of rejection is what leads us to believe that we must let others “choose” us. Most of us just believe we aren’t good enough and that we must rely on others (teachers, bosses, publishers, and so on) to make decisions for us in order to achieve. The majority of people are willing to let others make their decisions for them.
This is a way of thinking that must be changed. Rather of dreading rejection and allowing others to make decisions for us, we should make our own decisions and take control of our lives. What’s the alternative? We allow others to make decisions about our future, which exposes us to rejection and makes us sad.
This is not how one should live one’s life! Make yourself the only one who has power over your dreams. However, it is simple to declare that you will not allow anyone to dictate your dreams.
So you’re revved up and ready to live in the “choose your own adventure” era! But where do you begin? Going out and selling yourself – and facing rejection – on a daily basis can be intimidating. You must build a firm foundation to prepare yourself for this on a daily basis. This entails looking after your four “bodies”: physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual.
Let’s take a look at the first two: physical and psychological. Our physical body is, without a doubt, an important element of our lives that allows us to thrive. As a result, we must maintain our health and fitness. Taking care of one’s physical body is simple: get enough sleep (about seven to nine hours each night); eat only two meals per day, not three; exercise regularly; and so on.
Taking care of your mental body, on the other hand, is more difficult. We squander a lot of mental energy by obsessively overthinking and worrying about things we can’t change. This is a simple habit to form, but the implications are serious: worrying or fearing things over which you have no control leads to burnout.
You must teach your mind to strive toward positive goals in order to break this bad habit. And the most effective approach to do it is to strengthen your idea muscle. Attempt to read or skim selected chapters from four different works on a daily basis (ranging from celebrity memoirs to scientific tomes). Then make a list of at least ten ideas. It doesn’t matter what these ideas are about; they could be enormous, like ending world hunger, or more humble, like a list of methods to please your partner. The most important thing is that you come up with ideas and write them down.
You’ll soon find that you don’t have time to worry about frivolous matters since you’ll be too exhausted from coming up with useful ideas! It takes a strong physical and mental body to have the confidence to “choose yourself.” But that isn’t all you require. You still have two more bodies to feed: your emotional and spiritual bodies. Your emotional body is crucial: you must eliminate negativity and be optimistic in order to “choose yourself” and grow.
But how do you do it? Stop associating with folks that make you enraged. We’ve all met these folks; they’re the ones you grumble about to your partner or pals, saying things like, “You won’t believe what she said this time!”
Maintaining a relationship with someone like this saps your vitality and compromises your emotional well-being. As a result, you must progressively distance yourself from such people. Kindness, on the other hand, is critical. Try not to be impolite while you work to end your toxic relationships. Instead, if you see the individual, give her a pleasant greeting but refrain from engaging in additional conversation.
You will nourish your emotional body and boost your ability to thrive by removing this obstacle to thinking positively. Finally, there is the spiritual body. The only way to maintain a healthy spiritual body is to live in the present moment.
Check out my related post: What is your career path?