Working in restaurants and retail my entire life, I thought that I would work up to the American Dream, having a corporate job from 8-5, Monday through Friday. That is what my parents have done their entire life; that is how people make money, right? I thought working the grind would make me happy, and bring in more money. It took me about 4 weeks of living the American Dream to realize that the key to happiness is not the American Dream, at least not for everyone. The key to my happiness was figuring out my priorities.
The American Dream is not for everyone. Money and sales and corporate backstabbing are key elements of working a corporate position. And for some people, like myself, it was not an enjoyable work place. The money was good, but it did not justify the unhappiness is caused in myself, and, indirectly, in my home life. Even the Library of Congress says that for many people, the American Dream is “the pursuit of material prosperity.” (see this ) That is not the American Dream that I want.
Figuring out your priorities will be the key to your happiness. My priority, when I accepted my corporate job, was health care and salary. It was a job I didn’t particularly mind, but a work environment that I despised. I realized that it wasn’t what I wanted after all. Happiness became a priority. My relationship with my husband has always been a priority, and when our relationship started to suffer because I was in a terrible mood, that was the last straw. This isn’t a new concept. Happiness eventually comes down to a state of mind, rather than financial success (see this ).
Make it happen. If your job makes you unhappy, change it. Change your position, change your company, or change your life. If you don’t have enough time for your favorite hobby or your favorite hubby, fix it, because life is too short. What is more important?
If you realize the American Dream is not your dream, change your priorities and make it happen.