Dreams are what fuel us day to day. Dreams are there to give us hope for a better tomorrow. But what happens when those dreams are deferred? Our parents and grandparents dealt with many life situations that may have put their dreams on hold. These life situations were unavoidable and had to be dealt with accordingly. With our grandparents and great grandparents they were part of surviving the Great Depression so they had to do what was needed to make sure their family didn’t starve. They may have had dreams, but priorities came first and so the dreams were deferred. Our parents went through the civil rights era whether it was the right to be seen as an equal no matter the race or to be taken seriously in the workplace as a woman; because of these limitations dreams were sometimes forcibly deferred. Racism kept individuals from becoming doctors, lawyers, professors, etc. Little girls were taught that they could only go into certain professions such as teachers, secretaries, etc and that the higher paying careers should be left to men. That they should just be focused on being a great wife, mother, and glorified house cleaner. For our parents it was prejudice that deferred the dreams of so many.
What are the reasons that dreams have been deferred for our generation? Even though we just went through the Great Recession it definitely could not hold a torch to the Great Depression. Although there is still racism and sexism out in the world it is nowhere near what was going on through the sixties and seventies. Today more than ever anyone can be anything that they want to be. There is nothing holding them back, but themselves. Education is free and if you want to work hard no one is going to keep you from doing that. There are so many stories about individuals who come from the most desperate situations and they go on to be highly successful people who end up helping others reach their own potential. So what could be holding our dreams back? The answer is complex while simple at the same time. It is this generation’s debt vs. income ratio as well as our behavior toward money in general.
There is so much complaining every day on social media and out in public about how everyone hates their job. Continuously people say “Thank God it’s Friday” and “Oh no it’s Monday” and so it is apparent that millions of people are not living their dream at least when it comes to their job. So why don’t they just quit the job they hate so much, go after their dream, and live happily ever after? It’s simple, they need the paycheck. Why do they need the paycheck because they have debt that is not going to magically disappear. There is too much debt compared to the amount of income coming in so walking away from a paying job could lead to a financial catastrophe. Even though this is a huge problem for the individual it can be handled and this individual could still go and live out their dreams, but here is the difficult part: Behavior. Although people want to live out their dreams, those dreams are not powerful enough to convince them to stop spending money and adding on to the debt in their life and so as a result dreams are deferred. People go through life doing what they don’t want to just for a needed paycheck and when retirement comes they look back on their life with sadness because they spent eight hours a day, five days a week, for forty years doing something they hated.
Dreams don’t have to be deferred anymore! We all can make a decision today to say an interesting word to ourselves and that word is NO! NO to spending money that should be going to paying down debt. NO to friends and family members who want us to spend money we don’t have on stuff we don’t need. NO to working a job that is not our calling just because we need a paycheck. It is time to take the steps needed to get out of debt so that you can live out that dream. Do you want to help others in need, do you want to start your own charity, how about travel the world and take pictures that could change the way others look at the world? Those dreams whatever they may be are still alive in you, but your behavior towards money has to change in order for those dreams to come to reality. Sacrifice for that dream has to start today and although people may pressure you and even laugh at you while you are getting out of debt once you are living your dream and they are still in a job that they hate the laughter surely will stop.
My first career I use to love, but eventually it went south and I was no longer happy, but I could not quit because our family was $45,000 in debt. I was stuck going through the motions each day just so our family debt could be paid. I became fed up one day and decided that I had a dream and that job wasn’t it so I worked on getting out of debt and as a result life became unlimited. When you have NO DEBT you can start to do what you want to do because you are not depending on anyone else for your livelihood. Dreams start to come true and make room for new dreams that change the world for the better. When retirement comes you look back on your life and can honestly say you lived a life fulfilled! Only you can make your dreams come true!
Do you see debt as a hindrance to your dreams?