What I want to challenge today is your definition of the American Dream. Or, your neighbor’s definition, or your best friend’s definition. All of which, I’m guessing, you are holding up as comparisons to your own. That elusive American Dream – the one we were sold as children. Yeah, let’s challenge that for a moment.
But first, you’re here.
Honestly, I’m SO proud of you.
You’re beginning to think differently. You’re beginning to see that this “American Dream” may not really be all that dreamy. The thing is, there is SO much more to this life than a brand new Honda Odyssey, super chic clothes, a 3000 square foot house furnished by West Elm, Starbucks every morning… Those things can add beauty and value to our life, but they do NOT define our life. We define our lives.
I know it feels huge. Defining our values in order to live our life intentionally, from OUR own creation of the American Dream. Shew. Sounds daunting.
Put in the work now and reap much lighter living later. Your personal values will drive all future financial decisions, help ease marriage disputes, make parenting decisions smoother, create a path towards dreams and life goals, build your first budget, and calm the chaos of your life.
Sound too good to be true? This trail is real friend. You’ll have a clear path towards what YOU regard as your American Dream. You can let go of that new van your friend has, and be happy with your 2006 model with the dented rear fender. You can begin to see the beauty of potluck meals with friends at home rather than eating out…AGAIN. You’ll see how it works for your family to have screen time once a week, not 2 hours/day like all your children’s friends – and you’ll be true to that. Because that’s what you do. You live from your values.
So, that kick in the pants I promised you…
Stop making excuses.
We’re ALL busy.
We all feel tired at the end of the day.
We all would rather binge watch a TV show.
We all REALLY want that new model iPhone or minivan or computer.
You CAN’T have everything.
BUT, you can choose to make space in your life for the things that you DO want. Do you want this? Do you want to manage your finances like a boss? Do you want to begin running your life like it actually matters? Do you want to go to sleep at night knowing that you did the best you could that day? Do you want to live your life fully and with intention?
Henry Ford: “Whether you think you can or whether you think you can’t, you’re right.”
I know you CAN. Do you?
Keep doing your work friend,
P.S. Here are a couple people/things I’ve used to help me on my journey towards redefining my American Dream. What are you finding inspiring?
Allie Casazza – an intentionally living, minimalist mama in an RV – living her dream.
Sustainable Documentary – a look at our Food System – reminding us how we treat animals, the Earth and each other matters.