The American Dream: Do You Have One?
The essence of the American Dream technically dates back to the creation of our country’s Declaration of Independence. In 1931, James Truslow Adams defined it as “that dream of a land in which life should be better and richer and fuller for everyone, with opportunity for each according to ability or achievement.”
For some of us, it’s 40 acres and a mule. For others, it’s a college education. And for others, it’s simply the ability to feed your family, house your loved ones, and occasionally enjoy some peace of mind.
We all work relentlessly to fulfill our version the American Dream. And although each generation molds its version of the American Dream around life challenges, current circumstances and the economy, one thing holds true — everyone’s dream leans toward the pursuit of a better life. The average American constantly chases the idea of “keeping the American dream alive.”
Last month, I highlighted four vital topics that undoubtedly prove America’s resilience in wanting a fuller existence despite life’s obstacles. This was part of our newly released Marketing Momma podcast series. What better way to commemorate the 20th anniversary of 9/11 than to celebrate how Americans thrived and came back stronger than ever despite one of the most traumatic events we faced as a nation. Businesses put Employee Assistance Programs in place, and we stood together as a country to prepare for the unimaginable. Americans adopted a more cautious approach to life with technology, finance, and security. Some considered this experience a wake-up call for workers, which led to an immediate surge in entrepreneurship and startups across the country.
Was entrepreneurship your American dream?
In late 2019, just a year shy of the 20th anniversary of 9/11, the COVID-19 pandemic debilitated populations, nations, and governments around the globe. Businesses shut down, most schools closed for over 13 months, and work-life as we knew it changed quickly and seemingly forever. We struggled to find ways to connect with co-workers via video calls. Our children became Google classroom gurus. And, still, in pursuit of that elusive American dream, we found innovative ways to make money while staying at home. As schools reopen, close, and reopen again, most Americans find themselves returning back to the office. Some work hybrid schedules, wear masks while in class, attend concerts or avoid large crowds altogether. Regardless of our station in this global crisis, we work harder than ever to get back to school and back to business all while we continued to secure our American dream.
Pull yourself up by your bootstraps – Really?
Our parents ingrained in us as children the principle of work now and play later. Fortunately, the adage that hard work and success require us to sacrifice our happiness and mental health doesn’t ring true today as much as it did previously. In fact, only recently has our country started prioritizing the importance of a healthy mental state over the pursuit of the American dream. Shrink the stigma around mental illness and suicide. Support people dealing with depression by listening and not judging. Inspire confidence in others and let people’s lights shine. Yes, achieving the American dream requires hope and hard work. However, we must take care of each other. Bosses take care of your employees and employees take care of your bosses. It’s hard for everyone.
Prepare for success.
As you continue to pursue your American dream, remember to set yourself up for success. Check out the Marketing Momma Podcast that focused on business certifications for tips. Certifications help business owners set themselves apart. If you stand out from your competitors, business certifications may help you grow your business and nurture your dream. Regardless of the path you choose, goal achievement requires preparation and discipline. Defined by our work ethic, attitude, and durability, Americans will always be in search of the American dream. We all have an American dream story. How will you tell yours?
Think about it. The American dream lives on in each of us.
Happy dream hunting.
Your Marketing Momma,
Cheryl McCants ~ Impact President and CEO