Can we be living the good life as well as living the dream?

Many people feel they will only be satisfied when they reach a certain level. Having toys, houses, and even jobs are often needed to have that good-life feeling. Striving for measures of success creates energy and a sense of well-being. Having goals and wants is motivational. Yet often when we have enough, we still want a little bit more.

For some the good life is not about money or things. Many people feel that working hard and playing hard generates that sought after feeling of significance. For others, like myself, helping people provides a sense of meaning and purpose. Some say the good life is measured by experiences such as traveling. Where I used to live in Germany, this was the most popular measure of significant living.

“Johannes. How are you?”

“Great. I just got back from a three-week vacation in Norway. It’s a wonderful place. Have you been there?”

While these things are all good and I’m not criticizing them, I submit that living the dream goes beyond that. A real sense of significance is based on the heart’s desire; i.e. being authentic. When I was a teenager, we had a youth group leader who liked to say: “Be original.” He encouraged us to have an authentic sense of self which was not based on peer pressure, being cool, or having the latest greatest stuff. If adults are not careful, this pattern can continue and a person can gradually lose all sense of identity and calling.

Be authentic. Be original. Live the dream, not just the good life.

What does being authentic mean to you?