How is it that the Dream traps so many of us?
What makes it so powerful?
It traps us in a belief system that tells us the Dream is the “right” and “only” way.
This belief system causes us to get trapped in jobs that -
- We don’t enjoy
- Cause us to feel powerless, hopeless, sad, resentful and maybe even angry
- Cause us to constantly complain about the job, company, co-workers, boss or the catch-all “them/they”, e.g. “they told me I couldn’t…” or “I would, except they…”
- Don’t allow us to realize our true potential
- Don’t allow us to express our true selves
- Cause us to make unhealthy choices, negatively affecting our physical, emotional and psychological wellness
- Cause us to believe that enjoyment and joy is only possible outside of work, e.g. on weekends or vacation
- Keep us running on a never ending race to accumulate more
- Cause us to convince ourselves that this is the way things are supposed to and have to be
- Keep us so “busy” that we don’t have the head space to even realize we’re trapped
I don’t know the answer. From my own experience chasing The Dream for so long, here are some reasons I suspect that give The Dream its power -
- The human need to be accepted and belong
It’s easier to relate to people who are also chasing The Dream, rather than seek out and connect with those who aren’t.
- A fear of risk
The Dream Pushers trick us into believing The Dream is a low risk lifestyle.
- Attachment to comfort and aversion to discomfort
The Dream is sold to us as a neat and predictable life plan. We’re tricked into believing it provides comfort and ease.
- Aversion to responsibility
The Dream Pushers tell us what to do. For some, this may be attractive, particularly if they have an aversion to taking responsibility for their own happiness.
- The overwhelming onslaught of distraction The Dream Pushers bombard us with all the time
The Dream is pushed on us every waking minute of our lives. We get trapped in a cycle of never-ending busyness and distraction. We get trapped in habitual reactions and responses.
As a result, we feel we’re “so busy” that we have “no time” to be still. Being still is a pre-requisite to clear thinking.
Clear thinking can make space for us to question The Dream. The Dream Pushers don’t want that.
What am I missing? Why do you feel The Dream is such a powerful trap?
P.S. - This was originally published in my free weekly newsletter here.