I know that what I’m about to tell you is not probably something you don’t want to hear. I’m sorry to do this, but I’m about to burst your bubble. Let’s talk about the American dream. Many of you out there reading this have hit the subscribe button to this idea—because society has engrained into your head that there is a path to realizing this dream. That path goes like this: Want more articles like this? Create an account today to get BiggerPocket's best blog articles delivered to your inbox Sign up for free Go to college and get a degree. Get married and start a family. Combine your incomes and by a house. Downsize and send your kids to college. Hopefully after many years of hard work, you can retire and sip piña coladas on the beach. The reality is that this path to the American dream is false, and I refuse to subscribe to it. Don’t get me wrong—I am very fortunate to be here in the great U.S. of A., and I never want to leave. However, before following the path to the American dream, I want you to consider something first. I want you to consider following your own dream. Why Following the American Dream Will Rob You of True Happiness Now let’s go back to the original topic. Time and time again, the American dream has led so many down the path towards nothing but debt. To start down the path of fulfilling your own dreams, the first step you have to take is getting out of this deadly trap. Stop the downward spiral of using your credit cards for everything from electronics at Best Buy to triple lattes at Starbucks. In my eyes, financial freedom is having a successful business (real estate investing is also a business) and controlling your own destiny. The time for fun toys will come later; for now, let’s learn to be frugal. Truth be told, you don’t need a single dollar to start a career as a real estate investor. What you need is a commitment to your own aspirations. Start with something as simple as jumping on the BiggerPockets Forums. Whether you’re a flipper, a wholesaler, or a buy and hold investor, there are plenty of very knowledgeable folks willing to help you get started down the right path to success. One last thing—once you make this decision to carve out a future for yourself, you’d better be prepared to work your tail off. Your life is not contained within the hours of 9 to 5—nor should your business be. Having a successful business is hard work, but the reward of controlling your own future will be more fulfilling than any job title you have ever held. We’re republishing this article to help out our newer readers. What’s your take on pursing the “American dream”? Do you agree with this assessment? Let me know with a comment!