With the American presidential election coming up, each party has spent a tremendous effort convincing the public that their candidate for president will do a better job at helping the ordinary citizen reach the ‘American’ dream.
I put ‘American’ in quotes because the dream is one that is shared by people across the world; we each have a vision of life success that we aspire to.
Yet, so often we let society and our peers determine the terms of that dream, and the path to it. As a kid, the path to the dream is laid before you quite clearly: get good grades, go to a good college, and get a good job: boom, add in a mortgage and kids and you’ve got the dream.
As you get older, the well-trodden path towards success diverges, but it is there: go to business school, get promoted, make partner….and so on. It’s easier to follow the path than to walk away from it–and that’s why it is easy to make a misstep.
Too often, I watch my friends pursue the ‘American’ dream at the expense of their own.
Stop following the crowd for the sake of following the crowd–take a step towards your own vision.
The path you choose doesn’t matter; you can even choose to follow along with everyone else — that is 100% okay–as long as you choose that path for yourself.
Breaking away from the well-trodden default is risky and challenging; you lose the safety that comes with numbers, and who knows, it might all fall apart.
But then again maybe it won’t.
Dare to dream — your own dream.