The old dream is dead, long live the new dream!
Although we are quite aware of the many changes, which are happening, we still are putting them into the framework of the old dream, the old paradigm.
The old (and current) dream is and was to live a life like the American middle-class. This means to own a house in a suburb, to drive a car, to have children, to eat meat, to have a holiday and to have consuming as a hobby and lifestyle in itself. Many people, especially in emerging and developing countries are still aspiring to this dream.
However, the reality is that this is simply not possible anymore. The resources that would be necessary to sustain that dream like oil, water, food, land, and jobs are not sufficiently available. Most of these resources are close to depletion. Already in the West we are consuming 3 to 5 earths to maintain our lifestyle.
It is therefor an illusion to focus on this goal. The reality demands that we focus on a new dream and a new paradigm. This is not easy as most businesses and institutions are still inspiring us to chase after that old dream. That is because that old dream is their bread and butter and they are only focusing on short-term gains and not on the long-term impact of their behavior. This emphasizes the need to create a new dream for ourselves.
In order to help you with that process of creating a new, sustainable dream, I am looking at these 12 life areas and what the key changes are.
As there is no special order, I will just start with the first one.
The old dream focuses on your looks, on your clothes, on externalities. If you look good, you will feel good and be happy.
The new dream focuses on who you really are, your internal beauty, your values and virtues.
The old dream wants you to be an employee at a large organization, where you work until you can retire. Compliance, specialization and fitting into the culture are key.
The new dream knows that lifetime employment is no longer possible and helps you to be an entrepreneur. Differentiation, being a generalist and uniqueness are key.
The old dream is about being married and having two children.
The new dream is about running a single person household, same-sex marriage and all other possibilities.
In your old dream your friends were physically in your neighborhood.
In the new dream you can connect with anyone, globally.
The old dream let you being entertained by the big media, it was a passive, consuming role.
In the new dream you are active and are producing your own content.
The old dream lets you believe that there is strict difference between your body and your mind. The doctor is there to fix your body.
The new dream is about ownership and has a holistic and preventive focus.
The old dream is about owning a single house in a suburb.
The new dream is about green apartments in city centers.
The old dream is about making a lot of money so you can consume more and retire wealthy.
The new dream is about being happy and healthy and sharing your resources with others.
The old dream is about having a fixed mindset. It is also about giving your responsibility away to educators.
The new dream is about having a growth mindset. It is about understanding who I am an about using my potential for the greater good.
The old dream is about having one wife/husband until you die. The current divorce rates indicate that the new dream is about being flexible and not being limited.
The old dream is doing service, especially when you are retired, or doing service to benefit your own family.
The new dream is about integrating a meaningful purpose into your daily activities.
The old dream is going to church and be loyal to that community.
The new dream is about finding your own voice and following your own journey.
In order to survive in these challenging times, it is crucial to take ownership for your own life. We are used to giving our ownership and responsibilities away to others (parents, teachers, bosses, partners etc.).
Now it is time to take full responsibility and define and create our own, new dream.
What is your new dream?