~ read.

The Dream is a Trap

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.