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What is The American Dream and How do we Attain it?

Updated on July 3, 2012

Many people come to this country to live the American Dream and instead find a hectic lifestyle of too much work and not enough time to enjoy life. But what is the American dream first of all? Is it to go to school, get a good education and find a high paying job? Is it to somehow win the lottery and be set for life? Is it to own a traditional business and stay working there for the rest of your life? What is it? Why do people come here for? Do we even know what the American Dream is? Is there such a thing?

In the early 1900s a man by the name of James Truslow Adams came out with the term "The American Dream (1931)," and in his book "The Epic of America" this is how he defined it:

"The American Dream is 'that dream of a land in which life should be better and richer and fuller for everyone, with opportunity for each according to ability or achievement. It is a difficult dream for the European upper classes to interpret adequately, and too many of us ourselves have grown weary and mistrustful of it. It is not a dream of motor cars and high wages merely, but a dream of social order in which each man and each woman shall be able to attain to the fullest stature of which they are innately capable, and be recognized by others for what they are, regardless of the fortuitous circumstances of birth or position."

We read here that the American Dream is to live in a place filled with opportunities for everyone regardless of the race, religion or background. A place where you are free to succeed according to your own abilities. Not a place where regardless of the abilities you have you can't succeed too much because of the government penalizing you for it, or because you have to be stuck in a certain job position.

How else can the American Dream be described? If we go to the Declaration of Independence we read:

"...all Men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness."

We have the right by our Creator, who is God, to live freely and pursue what makes us happy. Many countries don't abide by these principles. Many leaders from other countries use socialism, tyranny and communism to run their country. That's why people in those countries are in bondage to their own government. That's why we see so much poverty and nobody succeeds except the political leaders who keep most of the money. Then we come to this country because we know there's more chances here to succeed and attain what we want, and we get caught in the web of another bondage which is work, work, work. Then we go to college so we can get a degree and earn a better salary. Then after we finish our degree we're left with a huge debt and if we do find a good paying job. And instead of working 8 hours, now we're working 10-16 since the job demands more responsibility. And work, work, work till death. No real quality time to enjoy, except for vacations. Is that the lifestyle people in general really desire? I doubt it. The majority of us get entangled with this lifestyle because we have no other option... Do we?

The truth is yes, there are many options. There is a way out of the system and a way to live the live of independence that any normal human being desires. A lifestyle where you have both, time and money, not only one or the other. A lifestyle where you are independent of the government and of other people. A lifestyle where you can pursue what you really like... full time. A lifestyle where you just don't survive, but you can afford to help those in need with your own time and money. A lifestyle where no one owns you. That, my friend, is the American Dream.

How can we attain such lifestyle?

We attain it through the Free Enterprise System. We attain it through Capitalism, working the system the right way. We attain it by owning our own business and succeeding, linking ourselves through other businesses, and becoming investors instead of mere consumers. The best way to attain such a lifestyle is to become an entrepreneur. It's a whole mind-shift that the majority of people are not willing to accept. That's why 80% of the population has 20% of the money, while 20% of the population has 80% of the money. Because 20% of the population understands this and 80% of the population are following a system that will probably help them earn money, but keep them broke, and poor time-wise (not enough time). Becoming a successful entrepreneur is the best way to defeat time-poverty and attain financial freedom. It's also the best way to keep this economy in shape.

Now days, because of the Age of Information, we can start up an Affiliate Marketing business with a ridiculously low investment; and with hard work and effort, and by helping others succeed, we ourselves can become very successful at it. We need to inform ourselves better if we want to get out of the rat race and take advantage of the Free Enterprise System that God put in the mist of us so through this channel we can succeed ourselves and then we can better help the world. But it's a whole mind-shift. The majority of us are programmed from childhood to be mere consumers and employees with no hope of financial independence. A person may earn $100.00 an hour, own big homes by the water and luxury cars, yet not live the American dream, since that person might be stuck in his job day and night with little on no time spent for the most important things in life, such as his family. So what's really the point of paying so much for such a career to get to this position where you don't have a life outside your work zone? If you quit your job, then there won't be no income coming in. If you decide to find another job better so you can have a little more time for your family, then you would have to take a big pay cut from $100.00 an hour to maybe $20.00 an hour. But you can't because now you have this humongous debt to pay.

So can this lifestyle of time poverty be described as living the American dream? Who wants to be time-poor?

Educating our young generation in regard to this is greatly needed, cause they're basically following a system which will not lead them to the American Dream, but to a life where they have to exchange their time for dollars (if they have the ability to do so) till they die. Yes, we need workers, but why be bound by a job that you don't want to do, and you have to do it for the rest of your life? "But someone has to do the dirty work," you may say. But why for 50 years? Why depend on doing the dirty work in order to survive?

Many like to depend on the government. But is that the American Dream? Then some leaders in government choose to tax more those who are making a lot of money. Is that encouraging people to live the American Dream? Or is that a way of punishment to those who choose to reap the reward of their hard earned labor? Unfortunately not ever government leaders who get elected have knowledge of what the American Dream really is. That's why education in regard to this is very important.

"...It is not a dream of motor cars and high wages merely, but a dream of social order in which each man and each woman shall be able to attain to the fullest stature of which they are innately capable"

"...all Men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness."

Feel free to pursue it to the best of your ability. Let no government, no job, no organization, system or mentality rob you from such blessing.

Anthony T

Recommended book:

"Who Stole the American Dream II" by Burke Hedges


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    • Mick Beet profile image

      Mick Bert 

      2 years ago from Australia

    • Agnes Penn profile image

      Maria del Pilar Perez 

      7 years ago from Nicholson, Pennsylvania, USA

      Welcome to Hubpages. This hub is quite insightful. The American Dream has been misconstrued by many and many have missed, as you say, the important things in life. Once we start putting God first and learn within our families how to coexist in peace then we will appreciate the gifts that come from the free enterprise system and representation via votes and not rely on government to solve our problems. Until then the few who do must struggle for the many who don't.

    • Sa`ge profile image


      7 years ago from Barefoot Island

      It was not stolen, it is just covered by propaganda and censorship that is not recognized as such at this moment in time. but soon it shall be.


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