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How to Achieve the American Dream

The United States is a place where anyone can get ahead with hard work and determination. Here's how to achieve the American Dream.


  • TIP: Financial security is also an important part of the American Dream. Crunch the numbers and determine if renting makes more financial sense.
  • Step 1: If you have children, teach them Adams' belief that everyone should be able to achieve their fullest potential, regardless of their circumstances. Because an important part of achieving the American Dream is passing it on to future generations.
  • FACT: 52 percent of Americans believe they are living the American Dream, according to a 2010 phone survey.
  • Step 2: Buy a house. Home ownership has always been an integral part of achieving the American Dream.
  • Step 3: Don't let your race, religion, ethnicity, or social class hold you back. The American Dream is about succeeding -- or failing -- based on what you do, not who you are.
  • TIP: Adams stressed that the American Dream is not about "motor cars and high wages."
  • Step 4: Get educated. Though earning a college degree is considered by many to be an essential part of achieving the American Dream, you don't have to attend school to educate yourself; you can do it with the help of the public library.
  • Step 5: Find a good job -- one that pays a fair wage and offers career advancement to anyone who works hard. If you discover that your current position provides neither, move on.
  • Step 6: Understand the origin of the American Dream: The term was coined by historian James Truslow Adams in his 1931 book, _The Epic of America_.

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