I hear my daughter, Annie, talking about what she wants in life. She already knows the traditional American Dream. She wants a nice house with a swimming pool and a sports car and… We’ve all been taught to want more than we really need. It’s time to undream the American Dream.
I can’t blame my kid for wanting some nice things in life. It’s what our world teaches her. I used to think the same way. I used to dream the same dream.
It’s Time To Undream The Dream
We call it the American “Dream.” That’s ironic. We dream in our sleep. And our dreams rarely come true in real life. The American Dream is not real.
The media and slick marketers have taught us to dream the American Dream. We’ve been hypnotized into believing that products are what we need to achieve success and happiness. But it’s time to wake up and undream the stories they’ve put into our heads.
From the time we’re born, we get bombarded with commercial messages. We’re taught that there’s a certain way we must live in order to fit in and be happy. That’s the hook. Once we bite, they can keep reeling us in.
The American Dream Is Never Finished
Here’s why you need to undream if you want to live simple. The American Dream is never complete. We’re taught that there’s always one more step in order to achieve the dream. There’s always one more product or service we need to reach our potential. It’s a trick and a trap.
So what does it mean to undream the this false dream. It’s simple. You just stop listening. You stop believing the lies and do things that make you a better person rather than competing for a better image.
Three Steps To The Undreaming
- Stop watching the media: I rarely watch TV anymore. I know it’s impossible to eliminate all media and advertising, but make a point to limit your use as much as you can.
- Stop competing with others: Whether it’s conscious or unconscious, we often buy stuff to keep up with others. We think we need a bigger house or a nicer car. But it’s not true. We only need as much as it takes to live simply. The rest is our ego talking.
- Start creating instead of consuming: When I started writing, I stopped consuming as much media and stuff. You might practice music or build furniture. Whatever you do, you’ll find that producing something can take the place of consumption.
Once you begin to undream the American dream you can start to replace the old dream with new forms of action.
You’re an individual, Don’t let yourself be stuck in a mold that our culture has assigned. Make your own mold. Be your own person. Do your own thing. And if you’re going to dream, make it unique and follow it through into action.
I’ll have more to say about this topic in my next post…