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  1. #1
    Rubber Nipple Salesperson ladypinkington's Avatar
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    Default How do you measure success? What is the American dream for you?

    I was watching this wonderful special talking about the american dream and different authors experiences and approaches with the ideal and I found it fascinating.

    They went over Theodore Dreiser's -Sister Carrie, Edith Wharton's -House Of Mirth, F. Scott Fitzgerald's- The Great Gatsby, John Steinbeck's -The Grapes of Wrath, Ann Petry's -The Street, Gish Jen's -Typical American, and Saul Bellows -Seize the Day.

    I couldn't help but think to myself- what is the American Dream to me? How am I experienceing it or seeking it? What is success to me? Do I seek to reinvent myself and aspire to something greater and how, what and who is that? Is what I aspire to be/have of my own imagination and will or is it the appeasing the expectations others have of me and fitting in? There seems to be a struggle in my own life of wanting to improve but not at the expense of wanting and being happy with what I already have- who I already am.

    I have so much I want to say but not the time right now, so I am going to share this and run,lol. I would love to hear what everyone else's thoughts are on this.
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  2. #2
    Senior Member darlets's Avatar
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    If I was an American my dream would be to become an Australian.
    "The time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time."
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  3. #3
    Protocol Droid Athenian200's Avatar
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    Hmm... Well, I would say that for me, the dream would be to become a writer or programmer (or both), and earn money creating something that was very useful and popular, thus fulfilling my practical needs and my mental/emotional ones simultaneously.

  4. #4
    Glowy Goopy Goodness The_Liquid_Laser's Avatar
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    I know there are many versions of the American dream, but when I think of the words "American dream" what comes to mind is the late 1800's/early 1900's period in the US. It seemed like there was a lot of broad and important changes made that affect how we live today. Inventions and inventors are a big thing that come to mind for me Edison, Bell, the Wright Brothers, etc.... All the basic inventions that are now a part of our everyday culture were being created. Also industrialization was booming and starting to reach a point where even poorer people could take advantage of the new technologies (like the Model T). It seemed like an exciting time to be an inventor or entrepenuer or even an everyday citizen.

    I think we still have that kind of potential today, but it can be harder to see because of the overload of information. There are still culture changing technologies being created like the PC and the cellphone, and the world is still ripe with entrepeneurial potential. But I think any broad cultural change will look differently today than it would 100 years ago.
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  5. #5
    Senior Member miked277's Avatar
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    success in life for me would be to have some kind of positive effect on the world. solve some kind of problem, i dunno. of course i'm way too much of a procrastinator to accomplish much of what i would consider my ultimate goals in life but... it's always in the back of my mind.

    it's actually a little depressing thinking about it heh.

    it does remind me of this little tidbit from oliver stone (the movie director). i forgot where he said it but, he goes on to talk about his life story and when in his life he was working on such and such movie scripts. he'd moved to or been in new york city for a while going to school, working various odd jobs, writing scripts and trying to sell them w/ little to no success. he turned 30 and that same year his mother, i think it was, died. he said it was then that it really sank in that he'd really not done much w/ his life up to that point or at least he hadn't been much of what he would consider to be a success. that was almost exactly the time he started writing/putting out his first big movies. platoon, for example, was written that year however wasn't made into a film until '86 (10 years later).

    it's of course more dramatic when oliver stone tells the story but the point is that's how i feel sometimes. i only hope i can get my act together, galvanize myself, get some resolve, etc. anwyays, thats what i'm working on currently

  6. #6
    Senior Member niffer's Avatar
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    When I think of the American dream, I think of the early Olsen twins. >_>
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  7. #7
    Senior Member cafe's Avatar
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    Mine is pretty boring, but I had an exciting (sometimes in all the wrong ways) childhood, so I'm cool with that.

    I want/ed a happy marriage, some healthy and nice kids, a home of my own where I never have to move again unless I just want to, enough money to cover the needs (by first world standards), a few of the wants, and a nest egg large enough to retire in relative comfort.

    Writing something halfway worthwhile and/or making a positive difference in some small way would be gravy on the potatoes.

    We are decently on-track for the basic part so far and I am liking it.
    “There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old’s life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs.”
    ~ John Rogers

  8. #8
    Senior Member Dansker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by darlets View Post





    If I was an American my dream would be to become an Australian.

  9. #9
    Senior Member girlnamedbless's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by niffer View Post
    When I think of the American dream, I think of the early Olsen twins. >_>
    Lmao.





    As for the OP, the American dream for me is to be happy. I think if I were happy, everything would have already fallen into place.
    I bet they'll put something in the air tonight, just to light your face.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Lateralus's Avatar
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    I don't want the American dream if it means I'm going to be buried in debt. I have my own dreams, but I wouldn't exactly call them American.
    "We grow up thinking that beliefs are something to be proud of, but they're really nothing but opinions one refuses to reconsider. Beliefs are easy. The stronger your beliefs are, the less open you are to growth and wisdom, because "strength of belief" is only the intensity with which you resist questioning yourself. As soon as you are proud of a belief, as soon as you think it adds something to who you are, then you've made it a part of your ego."

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