3 Important Steps toward Living the Dream
“It takes a lot of courage to release the familiar and seemingly secure, to embrace the new. But there is no real security in what is no longer meaningful. There is more security in the adventurous and exciting, for in movement there is life, and in change there is power.” Alan Cohen, Author
What does it mean to “live the dream”? Most people think living the dream is getting a great education, landing a job with security and benefits, buying a beautiful home, raising a family, then retiring with a large 401K and traveling. This is the life you see in the movies and the life people portray on their Facebook walls, but is it realistic or just a fantasy?
What actually happens when one is “living the dream” is that they struggle through school so they can get into a college that is usually their parents’ choosing, pick a major at age 18, change it at age 20, and graduate with a load of student loan debt. Now they have to work extra hard to pay off their debt and their mortgage. Because they are working so hard to make ends meet, they are unable to spend quality time with their families. By the time they reach mid-life, almost everything they learned in college is irrelevant to what they are doing now.
How things appear on the outside and how they feel on the inside are completely different. Something is missing, and trying to continue along this path can bring about frustration, depression, stress, illness, impaired relationships, and a complete lack of meaning in life. Does this sound familiar? Could it be time to redefine what “living the dream” means?
Here are three steps we can take to redefine “living the dream”, and everyone’s version is different.
– – In choosing our work, we can start by engaging in what moves us, something that gives us a feeling of purpose and that is personally significant to us. If we see the value in our work and the contribution we make to serve a greater purpose, we feel a stronger sense of connection to everything around us. We are part of the whole. Our unique talents, skills, experiences, and passions can guide us to determining what our life’s work is.
– Because our economy, society, and world are in constant change and motion, most of what we learned in college no longer makes sense in today’s world of work. We must become life-long learners to adapt to the changes. Opportunities to learn are everywhere. The best learning takes place when we use the world as our college campus and we immerse ourselves into new experiences, go new places, and try new things.
– We must define success for ourselves. We cannot allow someone else’s idea of success become ours. We have only one life to live, and our happiness depends on living it our own way.
Are you feeling the rumblings of discontent? Are you trying hard to “live the dream”, but it just doesn’t feel right for you?
In order to be happy and fulfilled, we need the satisfaction of doing work that has purpose and will allow us to spend time doing what we enjoy, we need to become lifelong learners to grow and adapt to our ever-changing and exciting world, and we need to live our life on our own terms. This is what “living the dream” is all about!
Please share in the comments below how you are “living the dream”.