Stop Buying into Other People’s Dreams

Happiness takes risk

We Millennials are a disillusioned and jaded generation. We’re discontent, unfulfilled, and unhappy. We question what’s next after college and whether or not our work has any real meaning in the world. Many of us are having quarter-life crises because we don’t know what we want. This is because we have been buying into other people’s dreams.

We grew up watching MTV, showing us success and happiness means stacks on stacks on stacks and to fly like a G6.

We grew up listening to our parents and teachers, indoctrinating us success means a long career at a desk job and making over 6 figures.

We grew up with Twitter and Facebook, sharing boring snippets of our life in less than 140 characters, and envying snapshots of others’ lives on Facebook, wishing our lives were more exciting.

And thus we grew up buying into other people’s dreams and not our own. We have come to perceive our own happiness and success as a dream directed by someone else. And ultimately, the story will unfold with us believing “the world’s greatest lie… that at a certain point in our lives, we lose control of what’s happening to us, and our lives become controlled by fate.” We need to take back control of our lives to feel more fulfilled and alive.

I believe that life is a journey to understand ourselves and share experiences with others.

The greatest challenge we all face growing up is becoming comfortable with who we are. But the ironic thing is, once we get comfortable with an identity, we become complacent. We fear change — we resist it. The fewer risks we take, the less we grow. Our perspectives narrow, our emotionsPeter-Pan out and our lives grow boring. Instead, we should constantly push ourselves towards where we feel most resistance and where we are most uncomfortable. So take a chance — take a spontaneous solo trip; kiss that girl or guy; move overseas. Do whatever it takes to discover yourself.

We need to be wealthy with experiences, not money. Yet society has defined wealth for us as money and material. We want to live lifestyles of the rich and famous and to “Keep up with the Kardashians.” But we shouldn’t. Instead, wealth should be measured by the amount of shared experiences we have had with friends. Money is a commodity — it comes and goes, but we’re only in our 20’s once. Money won’t buy us that backpacking trip we missed in college. And it sure as hell won’t buy us back the risk we forgone to feel safe. The wealthiest are not those with the fanciest cars or the most expensive watches, but those who share the best stories with the old and new friends made along the way.

The moment we decide to stop buying into other people’s dreams is the moment we step into the unknown — and that’s where our own life’s journey begins.

“Who is the happier man, he who has braved the storm of life and lived, or he who has stayed securely on shore and merely existed?” — Hunter S. Thompson

Title Photo Credit: flickr