We have all heard the success stories of the John Rockefellers, Henry Fords and Steve Jobs of the world, men who took their ideas and turned them into a successful reality. We've heard the stories of immigrants coming to America to find a better life. But does this America still exist? Unfortunately, there are many today who believe that the American Dream no longer exists in America. I personally disagree, and believe that the American Dream does still exist...you just have to be willing to work for it.
The problem with the American Dream in today's society is that we are not taught to be leaders. In schools, we have limited abilities to pursue our own personal interests. Instead, we are told what we need to learn, what we should believe, and how to be successful. We are told that the only way to find true success and happiness in life is to go to college. We are not presented with opportunities to create our own success, and if we go against the "normal" path to success (college), we are told we will be burger flippers our whole lives. Those who try to create their own paths are outcasts because we are all supposed to conform to society. We become so afraid of failing that we no longer take risks, and instead we follow a path that will ensure monetary gain.
Another problem with the American Dream is that so many of us are not willing to work. Sure, we "work;" we do our nine to five jobs and go home and flip on the TV. Very few go the extra mile to try to expand and pursue their own interests. We learn to do the bare minimum, and hope that we will have a little extra at the end of each pay cycle to splurge on ourselves. We do the work that we know will lead to a steady paycheck. And that's what most of us want: something steady, not risky.
Yes, the American Dream does exist for those who decide to go the extra mile and work, who are not afraid to take risks. It exists for those who create their own paths for success. Some of the most successful people I know did not go the route that society tells us leads to success. They did not need college for what they wanted to do; they entered the workplace and worked towards their success. And do not equate success with how much money you make. Some of the richest people in the world are unable to find happiness. Do what makes you happy—not what will make you the most money. Do not let other people's negativity and lack of faith keep you from pursuing your own dream. Create your own happiness, and work day and night until your dreams become a reality.