Recently my high school aged nephew called me for a school project and asked me a number of questions, one of which was to define “the American Dream”. After answering his questions, I hung up the phone and was honestly surprised and saddened by my own answers.
I told my nephew that the American dream USED TO BE to work hard, live hard and in all things give credit and praise to God. However, now it is to work less, play hard and to credit oneself. That the American society has taken a perspective of being a puppet to outside influences and circumstances, instead of taking responsibility for oneself, one’s actions, and one’s future.
This school project prompted me to look at my own life. Am I allowing myself to be a victim of circumstance, or am I setting goals and attaining them? If I am not attaining them, what can I do differently? Am I teaching my kids to be successful with the strengths they have been given and to turn their weaknesses into strengths? Am I encouraging others to reclaim and redefine what the American dream is?
So how about you? Are you living your own American Dream? Do you think you deserve it? As Zig Ziglar has said, “You don't have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great.” Sometimes believing in oneself is the hardest step of the journey. Even though we may not know each other, I know one thing for sure, you are worthy of living your own dream. It may take time, effort and believing in yourself in a way you never have before… but trust me, it is worth it. So where does one begin? While there are many aspects of attaining the American Dream, today we will look at two of them; namely, health and wealth.
1. Health: Let’s face it. We have all heard the expression; if you have your health you have everything. How true this simple statement is. Yet, our healthcare system is a “sick” system. It is based on treating symptoms once you are ill. There is little taught about prevention. The byproduct of this system is that the incidence of heart disease, cancer and diabetes continues to rise (Source: Department of Health and Human Services, Health, U.S. 2010). This is further complicated by the decline of nutritional content of crops (Source: Davis D, Epp M, Riordan H. Changes in USDA food composition data for 43 garden crops, 1950-19999. Journal of American College of Nutrition Vol 12(6); 2004: 669-682).
So what is one to do? Do some homework. Learn about where your foods are coming from. Are they treated with pesticides, or filled with hormones, antibiotics, preservatives and additives? Some individuals think this is not a concern. But let’s put it in plain terms. If the meat you have ingested comes from a cow that has had hormones to increase its milk production, do you think that those hormones simply disappear before you ingest them? NO, they do not! If you are buying canned goods that have a shelf life of years due to preservatives… should you think, “Great, now I don’t have to buy another can for 2 years?” NO! Think about how the preservatives will affect your own health or the health of your children - for you truly are what you eat!
Learn about supplements. My husband and I did research 10 years ago looking for a supplement company whose products are worth digesting. We wanted to know that if we were going to spend money on supplements that they would better our health and actually be absorbed. After diligently researching the subject we found a company that we have since put our trust in for our health. I urge you to become an informed consumer. Genetics play a role but are not the end all in terms of your health. Look for a company that has PROOF that their products actually work. Contact the company and ask for clinical studies. Do supplement companies have to do clinical studies? No, but the companies that are worth digesting do! To begin your search click here.
2. Wealth: Typically we think of wealth as how much money one has in their bank account. But define wealth for yourself. For some it may mean be being able to take your family on a yearly vacation, for others it may be having a car that starts on the initial try, or having money for retirement, or building a camp for kids with disabilities. Regardless of how you define wealth, do you have a way to attain it? In this day of financial uncertainty, many of us do not have a plan B. Some of us do not even have a plan A due to job loss, illness or unforeseen circumstances. I’d like to invite you to consider looking at a business opportunity that allows you to work from home on your own time. A company that has a history of integrity and is well established. Now is the time to start planning your future, instead of letting your boss define it for you.
Let this be the day that you start setting your goals so that you can attain your personal American Dream. Don’t let it wait ‘til tomorrow. Your dreams are too important to wait another day. First, define your own dream(s). Write down the steps you need to take in regard to your health and wealth to attain that dream. As Zig Ziglar said “If you aim at nothing, you will hit it every time” - so write down your goals and act diligently to attain them. Discipline leads to success. If this process is done on a regular basis, success will be achieved.
And your dreams will become your reality.
About the Author: Susan Vander Pyl is a wife, mother, sister, daughter and friend. As a nurse she had the privilege of working with cancer patients. Currently she is working to increase people’s knowledge of disease prevention and educating people as to how changing brands can truly change your life.