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The American Dream's Not Dead, Just Different

February 23, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 193

The "American Dream" is a mantra, an ideal, a national ethos in which the citizens of this great country believe they have an equal opportunity for liberty, prosperity, and success. It is founded upon the bedrock of the United States Declaration of Independence, that declares "all men are created equal", and that they are "endowed by their Creator with inalienable rights" including life, liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.

Don't worry! I'm not writing to give a lesson on American history. However, I felt it necessary to address the single, most important reason Americans think the way we do about the context of our lives in this country. Our American sub-cultures are, in part, the derivations of this mindset that our lives should be better, fuller, richer, and all without restriction from government or others.

We have been softly or subliminally programmed from our youth to embrace certain images of success and freedom. You know, we should strive to have a house, with a white, picket fence, two cars, and two children. The dream extends to our hobbies and past times, the types of social affiliations we should belong to, or not, but all in the service of our attaining the "American Dream." Many seek the proverbial carrot of the "American Dream" whether we do so consciously, sub-consciously, or unconsciously. As Americans this ethos is hardwired into the very framework of each aspect of our lives.

The means by which Americans were taught they could have or achieve such a dream was simple in a seemingly distant past. We were taught to go to school, get good grades, work hard, go to college, then get a good, secure job with great benefits. Upon checking this off of our mental checklist, we were then expected to stay on that job, with that company or employer for 40+ years and retire from that job to receive a guaranteed pension until we later expired.

In comes the drama, the tension, the conflict! While this approach to life in America was reasonable for our predecessors, innovating the industrial revolution, leaving their family farms for the allure of jobs in huge factories, it makes little to no sense for all of us in this America Nuevo. America, in its post-modernity, is presented with a most interesting dilemma. Do we change and evolve with the times, or do we ignore the rapidly changing landscape of our business, economical, and financial realities?

In December, 2007 the country slid into one of the worst recessionary periods since the Great Depression, according to experts. This was no spontaneous event! The experts weren't surprised at its unfolding. There were many benchmarks that were trending in ways to reveal a dynamic financial and economic down turn was under way.

This recession was building as the housing market was at an all-time high. Seekers of the "American Dream" were realizing fulfillment. They were making billions by way of "aiding" Americans secure one aspect of the "DREAM", owning a house. Well, the housing market began to experience a huge decline between 2006 and 2007, and the housing bubble actually burst in December, 2008 according to experts.

When this occurred, the "American Dream" turned into an "American Nightmare." Millions of overzealous Americans and their families were rocked by the collapse of the housing markets. Home owners were devastated as they were turned upside down in their mortgages. Banks were failing at an incredible rate, and they were calling out for government aid. We were in the midst of an administration change, and there's absolutely nothing worse than crisis amidst transition. As all of these events converged they seemed to combine to create a figurative Molotov cocktail, and businesses, banks, and households were scorched as a result.

The aftermath or wake of the crash played out in layoffs of over 100,000 American citizens, the closing of many small businesses, the devaluation of major banks and corporations, the closing of large and small banks, the economic decimation of entire towns or cities, the unemployment rate rising to over 10%, and the American confidence being shattered. Credit markets froze as people were afraid to spend in fear they may be next on the chopping block. American cynicism rose, and middle-class American families were devastated as they had their lives redefined in a flash.

Many would believe the "American Dream" is dead. Many would estimate America has taken a turn for the worst and cannot or will not totally recover. Well, if America attempts to maintain her former ideals then we may be in for some real trouble. If we hold onto the philosophies that made our country great forty or fifty years ago hope might be lost. But, if we're willing to redefine ourselves, our culture, our sub-cultures and embrace the new context thrust upon us by head-spinning change, we'll come out of this differently but stronger.

The "American Dream" is just different. I'm amazed at how many Americans have chosen to follow the paths that are crumbling before them. People are going back to school to make themselves more valuable in the market place. While I certainly applaud their drive to achieve and grow, it's simply a move in the same direction. Not to mention, many of the people going back to school are in classes with kids half their age, and they'll be competing with them in the shrinking job markets. People are surprisingly still looking for jobs and they're forced to accept jobs far below their worth or former income margins. All this is happening because we're blind to the new reality, the "New Deal."

It's time for Americans to gather ourselves, come to our senses, and instead of just looking for another job that will put you back in the situation you were just in, look for a real "opportunity." Opportunities are plenteous! Opportunities are all around. You just have to be looking for one that fits you and for what you have passion. The United States unemployment rate, although dropping, is still at over 8%. Our government and the experts are constantly talking about job creation. Doesn't that seem like a sign we need to make a change?

The "American Dream" is different in that you can't rely or depend on something or someone else to provide you the realization of life, liberty, or your pursuit of happiness. Unscrupulous company executives spend pension funds now. Greedy business owners lay off hard-working, loyal employees to fatten their bottom lines, and jobs are scarce. It takes more than one job, in many instances, just to make ends meet. Former VP's and upper management have gone from earning six figure incomes to delivering pizzas to keep food on the table.

So if you're still hopeful for and desirous of realizing the "American Dream" you still can. But, open your eyes, your mind, and your heart to realize you won't have it the old, conventional way. You must look for your opportunity, and you must seize it when you find it. Don't let anything or anyone stand in your way. Resist the temptation to fall back on the familiar. The familiar is no longer what it was! To have the dream and have time to be able to enjoy it you'll have to look for a way to start and own your own business. You will have to develop an entrepreneurial spirit. You'll have to look for ways to service the needs of as many people as you can. You have to become your own boss!

So, it's time for you to clearly identify your dream life. It's time to alter your disposition so you can drastically change your position. It's time for you to get unstuck from the rut developed from many years of doing the same thing, the same way. It's been said, "A rut is nothing more than a grave with the ends kicked out." It's time to feel alive again! It's time to reignite the fires of excitement and joy in your life. It's time for you to commit to working your full-time job, if you still have one, while you work part-time on your fortune. It's time to start your own business, to set your schedule, to remove all limits on your income, and to realize the fullest expression of your worth.

If you're interested in reclaiming your power over your future, if you're ready for a radical change, if you're ready to free yourself from the grips of the "American Nightmare" you can contact me using the information provided below. I'll be waiting for you on the other side.

If you're ready to live the most incredible life you could imagine, a life fit for royalty. Contact me at or 484-693-1616.

Source: EzineArticles
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