Living Your American Dream – where it begins and how it continues. Being energized and motivated to make your way in the world begins at your own homestead. Your home is the place where you feel secure just relaxing or strategizing your next adventure to brand your mark on the world. Whether that adventure entails emotional or financial risk or both, you need your safe haven with a moat around it and a drawbridge that you pull up in times of peril or reflection.
Imagine having your own little Kingdom. The place you always feel secure. Back during the days of kings and knights in shining armor, you would think of this as my castle, my horse, my chickens, my goats, and my armor. My castle with a moat around it and a drawbridge to protect my family and me from all threats.
Today, this is most likely your home, utilities, cars, food, insurance, living expenses, entertainment, and everything necessary for a reasonable life. Here is where the American Dream begins by outright owning your own home and having enough passive income to never feel threatened. In his book My Life & 1000 Houses; Failing Forward to Financial Freedom Mitch Stephen writes, “The minute my lifestyle was paid for in full, was the minute I could started chasing all the dreams of my life full time!”
Security begins at home. Security enables freedom to do anything you want to do. Security empowers risk taking from a risk-free home base. It takes courage to succeed at anything. Courage comes with risk. It takes courage and risk to live the American Dream…
The ultimate truth about real estate is that no more of it will ever be created. It is a finite resource. Another key truth of real estate is the fact that it is the most tangible asset we have. Real estate never goes away. Real estate is NOT Xs and Os that can be manipulated on a financial statement or a luxury car that can be destroyed in a wreck. Still, real estate alone is not the American Dream. The American Dream is written into the United States Declaration of Independence.
"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that 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.”
As one of the best-known sentences in the English language, it represents the moral standard that mankind strives for. Nowhere in that living document does it tell us what happiness looks like, what lifestyle to pursue, or how to achieve it. What it does is ensure each of us has an equal opportunity to pursue our personal vision and promotes freedom of choice and enterprise as paths to personal happiness.
Only you can decide what your American Dream is. Still, many people find inspiration from James T. Adams writing in his book The Epic of America (p. 214-215).
…"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."
As you aspire towards your dream happiness, envision sitting behind the safety of your own moat with the drawbridge pulled tight and locked. Imagine happiness anchored in a rested body and soul fully prepared to engage in any endeavor or adventure. Full of energy, vigor, vision, and a well thought out strategy. Now you are ready to sound the trumpets, exit your castle walls, lower the drawbridge, and cross the moat.
With family and castle secure, you are unwaveringly confident and energized to prove the value of your ideas to the world. Risk be hanged…
The American Dream has always had roots in real estate. There are many historical examples of people going to great lengths to homestead land they cherished. America’s bedrock is founded on the hard work of immigrants from the very beginning. The statue of Liberty still stands beckoning people from all over the world to build their own version of the American Dream. The quest for a homestead has constantly driven deeper into the forests, across the plains, west to the Pacific shoreline, and north to Alaska.
Pioneering the Oregon Trail began with early tales coming back from fur trappers and missionary groups proclaiming Oregon’s agricultural potential that captured the imagination of American farmers and down trodden. It was as recent as 1841 when a band of 70 pioneers first blazed the Oregon Trail beginning from Independence, Missouri, going west along the Platte River, through the Rocky Mountains, and northwest to the Columbia River.
All along the way, they encountered treacherous river crossings, Indian attacks, and the death-defying passage over the Rockies. Yet, the vast majority of pioneers on the trail survived to reach their destination in the fertile, well-watered land of western Oregon. The U.S. Donation Land Claim Act allowed settlers to claim 320 to 640 acres of free land between 1850 and 1854 in the Oregon Territory.
The American Dream, as novelist Thomas Wolfe wrote, is:
…"to every man, regardless of his birth, his shining, golden opportunity ….the right to live, to work, to be himself, and to become whatever thing his manhood and his vision can combine to make him."
Please leave a comment about your thoughts of the American Dream.
About the author: Brian Kline has been investing in real estate for more than 35 years and writing about real estate investing for nine years. He also draws upon 35 plus years of business experience. Brian currently lives at Lake Cushman, Washington. A vacation destination in the Olympic Mountains with the Pacific Ocean only a few miles in the opposite direction.