Go Beyond the American Dream
Where do I begin?
Begin where you are right now!
You are only 3 Rules away from creating an incredible life?
Have you settled for the American dream, or are you striving towards it? The rule I suggest you break, is to go beyond the expected, beyond the American Dream.
The American Dream is held up as a place of aspiration, and inspiration. It’s a great place to aspire to if you’re struggling, or in poverty and are doing everything you can to improve your life. Even then, for people who aspire to, and gain entrance, it is really just a resting place. It is not a terminal where you get off. Do not think that you have arrived and that your life is complete, when you have reached your version of the American Dream. So what is the American Dream really?
For most of us it means striving towards acceptance and success, often according to other people’s ideas and rules of how we ‘should’ live. As we strive towards the goal, it becomes important to attend the right schools, go to the same churches, belong to the right clubs, and marry the right person. So is it your choice really? There’s little space allowed here for fresh air and diversity.
I have had clients who have done everything expected and believed that the American Dream would bring them happiness. It cannot provide a happiness because it is most often another’s idea of how we should live, and since it is based on another’s way of life, it cannot hold sustenance for us. About the age of thirty, many wonder is this all there is?
If we believe that the American Dream is a stopping place, we are settling for an illusion, a gilded cage to which we cling all the while speaking of freedom.
There is an ancient story that tells of a warrior, a freedom fighter, traveling through the mountains. He stopped to spend the night at a caravanserai that housed a beautiful parrot in a golden cage. The parrot repeatedly called out “Freedom! Freedom!” The man felt sorry for the parrot that sounded so desperate to be free. After the owner went to bed, the warrior opened the door of the cage whispering to the parrot “Get out! Get out!” The parrot however started clinging to the bars of the cage. He said to the parrot, “You can have what you want, freedom! Fly into the sky, and be free.” The bird resisted, clinging hard, and did not move. When the warrior attempted to remove the parrot, he fought back, pecking the warrior’s hands all the while shouting “Freedom! Freedom!” Determined, the warrior pulled him out and threw him skyward. He felt relieved, thinking he had set the creature free, and so went to sleep. In the morning when he awoke he heard “Freedom! Freedom!” He went to look expecting to see the bird off in a tree. Alas the bird was sitting in the cage. The door was open.
So in what way are we like the parrot? Often we limit ourselves in order to stay in our “safe zone”, living by other people’s second hand rules, because we are afraid to move out of our comfort zone, our gilded cage. We claim that we want freedom, but we ignore the boundless possibilities of the world around us. The world beckons us to step out of our cage that keeps us secure and comfortable.
People, like the parrot insist that they want more freedom. Does what you say and what you do hold together? In other words is the story of your life cohesive? In order to have more freedom, responsibility must be accepted for everything in your life...”
A full life embraces the joys and the agonies, the loves and the losses, as well as the sweet and the bitter. When we are able to accept life’s paradoxes with responsibility, then we are free!
I offer you an in- depth exploration of the obstacles you need to release to go beyond the American Dream. In my free audio and transcript (available at laurabyoung.com) you will discover how to leave the gilded cage, the illusion of safety and security. You will also discover what your boredom means and how to leave it behind. Do you want to change your life? If you are ready, you can start immediately!
This article was originally published at Laura B Young. Reprinted with permission from the author.