We all know about the mid-life crisis. And in recent years we have heard more and more about the quarter-life crisis. This typically describes people in their mid to late 20′s wrestling with the direction and purpose of their life.
The scary part is – they are often VERY successful.
But, successful at what?
Growing up we are told to get good grades, get into a good school, which leads to a good job, so that you can climb the corporate ladder, have a wonderful spouse and family, retire at the right age, and relax your later years away in the spot of your choice. And if you are really good, you’re kids will be able to the same.
It’s called the “American Dream.”
But what is the American reality?
I am not going to say that it is not a nice path – and there are many who have achieved that path to live happy and fulfilling lives.
Yet the American dream leaves a lot of important information out – and makes a lot of poor assumptions. For example, have you ever asked yourself, “What do I really need to be happy?”
I believe our society is experiencing an epidemic. An epidemic of purpose, authenticity, and meaning.
We have been force fed a blueprint of what success and happiness look like, yet not one ever asked us our opinion. And, if you are not asking yourself these questions of purpose, passion, and happiness – you just might find yourself waking up from the American dream – and feeling like it’s a nightmare.
Uber-successful film director and comic icon Tom Shadyac was the picture of success and fame – and now he lives in a trailer park.
He sold the houses. Sold the possessions. Lives in a trailer, bikes to work, and donates his time sharing his passion and purpose to young people less fortunate than him. And though I don’t know him personally, he now looks like a very happy man. If you need more proof, check out his documentary I AM or his new book “Life’s Operating Manual.” They both might change your life.
Improvisation is built on and based on the principle of “YES And.” It is about listening and building off of ideas – and turning them into magic on stage. It’s creativity and collaboration at its finest.
Your life is no different. You have ideas, passion, purpose, and a desire for authenticity. A yearning for more joy and fulfillment in life – but you have not been taught how to say “YES And” to yourself.
It is scary, uncertain, and often uncomfortable. But man, is it awesome!
I am not against the American Dream, but I am against a prescribed formula of success based on superficial outcomes. As Lily Tomlin once said, “Even if you win the rat race, you’re still a rat.”
We all need to say YES And to ourselves – but do you know how?
Luckily, we know how to help. Are you ready to say yes?