One of the thing I’ve always like with the American dream is the way in which many people have packaged it in such a way to make the successes that much more palatable.
Maybe it’s the QHP training in me kicking in (medical and mental health professionals use as many acronyms as Mr. Trump has observed scantily clad beauty pageant contestants), but I have always been wary of the sales pitch of the American dream. As regulars here know I moonlight in the social services field for my 9-5 and recently procured my MSW (more acronyms again). Having gone through that process, I’m always wary whenever people paint a rosy picture of success.
Now, whenever professionally you are used to seeing people at their most vulnerable, it can skew your perception slightly of messages you hear. I do feel it is an advantage because it facilitates the need to see the whole individual and the growth they have experienced. There is still much power to be had in hearing when someone speaks and feeling the emotions connected to the realities they experienced to achieve their successes. It just makes the whole conversation more authentic.
I was watching some crime shows recently, the ones where you see how some sweet-talking entrepreneur swoops in and sells parts of the Statue of Liberty to investors who ultimately get bilked. It got me thinking how difficult it is to be able to trust the things that you see. Make no mistake – people work hard here in the US. Even the folks who are con artists and vulture like opportunists work hard; nothing is truly handed to anyone here easily. Still, it is often important to look at all opportunities presented to us from a reality based lens. There are no constantly in bloom and thorn-free rose gardens in life.
I’ve gone to a few MLM (multilevel marketing) sessions in my time: companies selling financial products, insurance, high speed internet, etc. The atmosphere is usually very infectious and the speakers are often quite dynamic. People are very vested and you get this feeling of “come on in, try it out”. But, like with anything else, there is the underside of the level of work needed to put in; the cost of trying to build these independent businesses are very similar to other small business building ventures. Also, because they are network marketing based, the recruitment investment is often one of the hardest things to manage.
I was watching something recently where this solid YouTuber (with over 60,000 subscribers and climbing) was having connection difficulties with his internet. He was still running his channel which much acclaim with his target audience. He recently got his connection issues fixed, and you could see the weight lifted off his shoulders. He shared some details of his frustration of how his situation impacted his content creation and a few of his workarounds. Why this was so noteworthy was that he also shared both the support he received during the issue and his elation once this issue was resolved. It was a pretty good lesson in honesty and perseverance.
What does today’s commentary mean? Lots of things in life are flashy and inciting, but costlier than we may first imagine from the outside in. Also, a dose of real inspiration is necessary at times. People are never merely just the images they project or the stories they tell; but are a complex combination which includes how they choose to handle adversity and success.
To me, those are the lessons worth hearing about from other that I truly find inspiring.