The New American Dream


I was on a Southwest flight to San Diego in March of 2014. If you’ve ever flown on Southwest, you may have flipped through their in-flight magazine, Spirit. I love this magazine.  There are interesting articles, crossword puzzles, Sudoku puzzles if you’re so inclined (I’m not, they make me want to pound my head against the tray table), an origami lesson, and even a drink recipe.

What’s not to love?

The March issue was especially good. It contained a wonderful article called “The New American Dream.” It starts with a quote from the author,

“The changing economy is spurring a radical new approach to living, and to earning a living. And for a growing number of creative entrepreneurs, that approach seems to be working.”

The article is a series of stories of people who have left their life-sucking jobs to do something they’ve always dreamed about.  Here’s a sample of the stories:

Mike, a web developer for 15+ years, started a furniture making business where he could hand-craft his own furniture and sell it. He wanted something more tangible and mysterious and that was furniture making for him.

Kiyoshi and Emma wanted to spend more time together, but their careers weren’t letting that happen. Kiyoshi’s plan was to pursue work in Third-World development and Emma was a preservation librarian. They decided to take a year studying at The Farm School in Massachusetts and then leased land in Forest, Illinois. They now operate Lucky Duck Farm, where they sustainably raise animals and grow organic Asian vegetables.

Starting out as a graphic design major, Todd has been a neon sign maker for the last 22 years. He loves it and is still passionate about it. Here’s a quote from him,

“Sometimes, at night, I sit in the backyard, and when it’s all lit up, and I’m experiencing the glow of the neon and the line art and even the flashing bulbs, it’s an almost spiritual experience.”

The world is full of people like Mike, Kiyoshi, Emma, and Todd. Unfortunately, the world is also full of people who have not found the courage to do the work they truly want to do, or they haven’t found what’s truly meaningful for them.

I get that. I’ve been in both camps. It took me a great while to figure out what I was passionate about and the courage to take the steps to make it happen.

If your business is not aligned with your passion and purpose,  think about reworking it so that it is. If you don’t know exactly what your purpose or passion is exactly, that’s okay. Just take some action towards figuring it out. Take a class. Read a book.

Do something.

You won’t regret it and you’ll be a step closer to your ideal business, even if you don’t know what that is yet.

Note: here’s a link to the magazine if you’d like to read the full article:

Spirit Magazine | March 2014

With love & joy,

Signature & Pic

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