The American Dream is believed to be the character of the United States.
This term is coined as a set of ideals where freedom is comprised of the opportunities for prosperity and success. The term defines the end goal in life as involving social mobility and social uprising for anyone who tries to achieve it, whether it’s through hard work that involves rough or smooth obstacles (Clark). One can find the American Dream implanted into the roots of the Declaration of Independence, which declares that “all men to be created equal” with the right to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness”. Thus allowing for everyone to have a fair opportunity in achieving their own rendition of the American Dream since it too involves happiness as a common conceivable emotion.
The most challenging part of the American Dream is actually achieving it. In order to have the best chance of that happening one must have high levels of motivation, be willing to put in hard work, but will also have to realize that there are different levels of success rates in different career paths. A person without motivation is like a car without gas. A car will not progress without gas and a person will not progress in life without motivation.
The first initiative someone has to take to start their own path of the American Dream is rooted from the amount of motivation they have. An American psychologist by the name of Richard Deci conducted a research that leads him to the conclusions that human beings can be proactive and engaged or, alternatively, passive and alienated, largely as a function of the social conditions in which they develop and function. Accordingly, research developed by Deci’s theory has focused on the social–circumstantial conditions that expedite versus precluding the natural processes of self-motivation and healthy psychological expansion. Specifically, elements have been investigated that enhance or undermine underlying motivation, self-regulation, and well-being. The findings have led to the presupposing of three innate psychological needs: competence, autonomy, and relatedness, which, when the satisfied result in enhanced self-motivation and mental health, and, when impeded, lead to weakening motivation and well-being. Also taken into consideration, is the significance of these psychological needs and processes within domains such as healthcare, education, work, sport, religion, and psychotherapy. Therefore proving that in order for someone to have the highest amount of motivation they must fulfill the skills needed in their field of employment, be able to carry independence, and have understandable reasoning behind what they legitimately want to pursue. Conclusively, without a backbone of motivation one will have no charisma in actually starting their own journey of the American Dream.
As someone goes through life they begin to realize that nothing is handed to them on a silver platter, that is unless you are not born into high wealth or a high social class. Socialist Leonard Beeghley’s definition of the super-rich is congruent with the definition of upper class employed by most other sociologists which are 0.01% of the world’s population. So chances are you, the reader, were not born into the upper class, thus meaning that one will have to work for some type of success. A quintessential exemplification of a hardworking person can be highly visible in the story of the Yang family.
Howard Yang suffered cultural shock when he immigrated to Garden Grove in 1980 and took menial jobs to support his family. One of the key ways he knew he was working hard was when he saw how much food he had on the table each night. Also keep in mind that The Yang’s are Hmong, an ethnic group that collaborated with the U.S. military against communism during the Vietnam War. When the United States withdrew, thousands of Hmong were placed in Thai refugee camps and later settled in America. Thus making it even more of a struggle for Howard Yang. He started farming the crops he knew best — Asian vegetables, cherry tomatoes and eggplant — barely turning a profit.
Yang says his father enjoyed the freedom of being self-employed but did not like working long hours in the intense Valley heat. In spite of initial hardships, Yang knew he could make a better life, which led to his turning his farm into a strawberry farm. Although the job was still burdensome, the strawberry farm was profitable. Yang sold fruit on contract with a processor and ran a lucrative roadside stand. Eventually, the family moved to a suburban home in Clovis, a middle-class community known locally for its acclaimed schools. Three of his children are now able to attend college, including Yang himself, who is studying biology at California State University, Sacramento. Then he immediately expressed interest in cooperating on research projects with, UC Small Farm Program farm advisor, Richard Molinar, after making more of a name for himself (Warnert).
This risk paid off fortunately in his favor and he ended up collaborating on a multitude of projects. Something to take away from Howard Yang’s story is that he started from his ethnic roots, took multiple risks, and fought for what he wanted, even if it was not in his immediate length of reach. Success is different in everyone’s field of profession. Especially salary wise.
For example, one who wants to become a successful anesthesiologist will make an average of $270,000. On the other hand, someone who wants to be a professional makeup artist will only make an average of $64,000. This is a huge salary difference. Although each person will be happy with their salary because the American Dream is not becoming a millionaire. The American Dream is getting ones dream job.
Getting ones dream job will lead to success and with success comes fortune. Although everyone has to start from the very bottom of the status ladder and will all face scarcity. According to Jennifer L. Hochschild the problem of scarcity may be most devastating for people anticipating absolute success or for people willing to see success almost anywhere. They, after all, have the least reason to expect failure. “Losers” of this type have an unmatched poignancy: “I don’t dream anymore like I used to. I believe that in this country, we would have all we needed for the decent life.
I don’t see that any more, ” (Hochild 28). Conversely, the availability of resources and opportunities may shape the kind of success that Americans dream of. If resources are profoundly scarce (as in a famine) or inherently limited (as in the election to the presidency), people almost certainly envision competitive success in that arena.
If resources are moderately scarce people will be concerned about their position relative to that of others, but will not necessarily see another’s gain as their loss. When resources and opportunities seem wide open and broadly defined–anyone can achieve salvation, get an “A” on a exam, claim 160 acres of western prairie–people are most free to pursue their idiosyncratic dreams and to measure their achievement by their own absolute standard (Hochschild 28). The only problem is that there are different levels of scarcity for every different kind of career path. Someone who wants to be a teacher might have an easier time getting there then a person who wants to be a Hollywood Film Director. This is the largest obstacle that people come across when going through their path of the American dream, but everyone will come to realize that being jealous of one’s success is in actually dissimilar to them because their job might have been easier to achieve when compared to your job. As a result of all these factors, the American Dream can be defined as: Someone pursuing their dream career and achieving the highest level of authority that one can get in that field of study, no matter the struggles they have to go through. Not only that, but also achieving a realistic level of wealth that is legitimately achievable.
In order to have the best chances of all of those parts happening one must have high levels of motivation, be willing to put in hard work, but will also have to realize that there are different levels of success rates in different career paths. If you were to keep the positive mindset that is needed, then the American Dream is achievable.