Here’s what I’m thinking today:

I feel that there is no such as thing as being “successful” in life. Although one can become a so called young professional (meaning a corporation hired you). This does not guarantee that you will feel “successful”. Therefore they may buy all the things that they think their status entails. Supposedly the American Dream. And does it make them even happier? Maybe at the moment of purchase, but it becomes old very quickly.

The American Dream is a false hope for many. Certainly, not everyone can achieve this. However this is the dream that gets kids motivated to go to college, and believe they will get their “dream job”. A very small number of people probably feel they have earned the American Dream. There is always some kind of problem usually with money. This is due to the peer effect and great marketing. (And btw if you get a marketing degree, there very small chance you will earn a job that you like).

Then there are others who judge others based on their sort of job status. These people explain that you should major in something useful, like engineering or accounting. Then there are massive layoffs of both engineers and accountants. Those who say such a thing is very 2005-like. This is 2010, where no one is safe, not even high school teachers. There is no silver bullet to getting a dream job. If I had known this, I might have delayed majoring in something(although with no chance of earning a job with that major).

We cannot dwell on the past too much, we must move forward. My generation does not look like it will live better than the last generation. We will live in smaller homes, drive smaller cars(if we even have a car), and use much less resources. More people hit with poverty. As these things are too expensive to live with. There are simply too many people. This will be good for the environment, as there will less trash created, and energy wasted per person. One’s lifestyle must change in order to survive a layoff, downsizing, restructuring, etc. We have seen this over and over again. Sometimes it is unforeseen. Life is hard, some say: just deal with the pain of it.

Or we could dramatically reduce our living standards right now so you do not have to compete in the “rat race”. Choose to live without a car (many in cities already do), choose to live in a small house or apartment (thus dramatically reducing the consumption you must do), and live frugally in your own way. It is very hard to do all of these when you already have lived very well (compare to worlds standards).

Do you need all of your “stuff” or are you bogged down by it?

Try to get rid of a few things and see how it feels. In a way some of the things you have accumulated are empty promises, promises to yourself that you would do something with it but never did. I felt this experience as I came across things I was throwing away and donating to Goodwill.