Conquering the American Dream is surely no easy feat. Whether it’s achieving financial freedom or individual fame, it’s been said that it’s a game programmed, rigged, so that nobody ever wins. But that’s what “they” all say. You are here, reading because you are about to step foot into the Dream. You are about to commit to it. And, indeed, you are a player, one of millions that have said, with confidence, “I can win.”
To play, you must achieve.
To play, you must pay.
Knowing where to go, and what to do, well, that’s something else entirely. That takes us past the introduction and into the game itself.
If you’ve paid to play, you’re penniless and broke.
You’re starting right where everyone else starts.
You’re starting where plenty have ended theirs.
You start right here, with mission one.
You will need a number of items and possessions, but most will make themselves known with time.
You see thousands upon thousands of doors leading to opportunities but you need, above all, the keys to open them. You need the keys or the cunning to step foot through the door to your right, your left, and everywhere else you look.
You will also need identification. Drivers license, passport, a plastic card slipped between the folds of a wallet, you need to prove to all the other players that you exist. Your profile, your social security number.
Post registration, you will also need a purpose.
The Dream works only if you choose the right categories. What do you hope to achieve?
Wealth, luxury, notoriety, celebrity, all of the above? Fame is a common feature, if only because players identify effortlessly with the names printed across marquees, on billboards, the names of players that show up at the start of every new song.
You, as player, will quickly find a purpose, even if you are never able to decide and really—
The choice, it chooses you.
Over the course of the game, you will meet people that will become both friends and allies. You will want to keep track of everyone and, more so, keep close to the people that open doors for you.
Safe passage is all about the people you know.
Keeping track is as simple as knowing when to make contact; moreover, you will need to know when someone can help you. You need to be able to understand the difference between another player and one that could very well be a new platform for opportunities.
You will want to learn from your mistakes, figuring out who likes what, and how to reveal the best side of yourself for the given situation.
Not everyone will want to hear about your religious beliefs and/or political affiliations.
Obvious but still worth mentioning: common sense.
You need it to be a player that thrives in this game. You will quickly lose friends and subsequently opportunities if you, say, call people at two AM or pester them constantly, smothering them with communication.
Don’t push unless the threat is real.
One last thing before we begin. If you get stuck, feeling like there’s no way out—walls closing in—don’t be afraid to use a lifeline. What’s a lifeline? It could be a line of credit, a loan, a favor you haven’t yet used. It’s different every time but you need, need, need to know that the game is all about pressure and stress.
If you feel cornered, and you often will, you need to react, not wither.
You need to play the system. Don’t let the system play you.
The Dream is what you make of it. Don’t hold back. Don’t live in doubt.
It’s time to begin.