What Is The American Dream For Millennials?
One of the headlines in the Washington Post last week was ” Young people are losing their faith in the American Dream.” I have to say what a peculiar headline I thought that was, especially after hosting a small dinner last night made up of very young entrepreneurs, all from very different walks of life. I left that gathering feeling so empowered by the passion of these young people, by the fact that they are plowing their own path. They are going to make a difference in the world and it was just so nice to listen to how articulate and smart they are. It was so inspiring, and I left the gathering feeling hopeful for future generations.
Then I read the headline in the Washington Post, and it really rocked me. I thought, what is the American Dream for these millennials? It has to be different than it was for me. For me, it was supposed to be go to school, get a good job, find a nice girl, buy a home, start a family, get promoted, buy a bigger house, go on vacation—repeat, repeat, repeat—then retire. It was cut and dry. If that was what you wanted out of life, it was the safe, easy-breezy path.
I can assure you there wasn’t one of these young entrepreneurs that would subscribe to the traditional American Dream. They have a very different dream. They have a much more relevant and important path. It is a Global Dream. It’s not get a good job, it’s create a job for me and others. It isn’t get promoted, it is have a positive impact on people and share a higher purpose. It was such a beautiful thing to witness.
This should be a shout-out to the rise of the purposeful life versus the safe life. A shout-out to the challenge of creating a business versus just going to work and living by someone else’s rules. A shout-out against letting someone else control your destiny.
I am so thankful to have been able to experience this dinner with six very special young entrepreneurs who are doing incredible work —everything from making children in hospitals smile, to feeding people healing diets, to creating skin care that rejuvenates, to creating a philanthropic giving vehicle that will be the largest single raise in the world, to on-demand recycling, to using rap as a communication vehicle for change. Wow! If that isn’t an impressive re-interpretation of the American Dream (or should I say the Millennials Global Dream) I don’t know what would be.
So I would like to propose that the Washington Post re-write their headlines to read “Young People now have a new purposeful American Dream to make the World a Better Place.” Because I believe they are going to do it. YEAH!
Rock on —