How To (Really) Make It In America

by

We are incessantly blasted with the notion of Making It. In fact, it’s what some people would call: The American Dream.

However, I think it’s a dangerous game to play because Making It is always relative to our current situation in life and how we might feel one day in the future. It presumes that a particular destination even exists, a pot of gold at the end of the rainbowthat will release some sort of dopamine-infused “success” chemical in our brains once we reach its hull.

But once we get to wherever we think we want to get to (dollars in the bank, a title, X amount of followers/readers), we realize that from our new vantage point, there exist other far off lands and other accolades we’d love to reach.

I’ve been there too many times.

Once I get this job, I’ll be…
Once I move to _____, I’ll be….
Once I get my MBA, I’ll be…
Once I have $X in the bank, I’ll feel…

But the ellipses were never really fulfilled.

Too much focus on the proverbial pot of gold, and we forget the fact that this whole time we were actually riding a rainbow.

The other danger with the Making It style-of-thinking is that once we’ve reached the pot we’ve been aiming for, we might be upset with anyone who doesn’t notice the pot we find ourselves standing next to.

Unfortunately, some people won’t be able to see us because they are either standing by their own pots of gold in the forest far away, or they are on their own rainbows, high above the canopies, below which all the pots sit.

What To About This Conundrum

We should have goals in life and we should strive for success, but if success is solely defined as having a particular label or title, then we run the risk of falling victim to the demon named: Expectations.

True successes should be shared and experienced daily. True successes happen when other people’s lives are bettered in some manner, not just our own.

Soak in the accolades and give thanks for reaching a particular pot of gold you set for yourself, but be sure to get back up on the rainbows with everyone else as soon as you can.

That’s where joy sits.
That’s where connections occur.
That’s where your story is written
That’s where life happens.

If we can’t enjoy the fact that we get to ride rainbows everyday, then shame on the pots that anchor them down.

Maybe Skittles has it right for a philosophy on life: Taste the Rainbow.

(If nothing else with this post, I hope you’re at least picturing people zipping around on rainbows from place to place like this was a psychedelic version of the Jetsons.)