When I was growing up, I was always wondering why the other kids around me always had more stuff than I did. I wanted these things too, so I was always looking for ways to get more. I wanted more for my life than what my typical Latino family had attained. Not that what I had was bad, but I just wanted more of what life had to offer.
Often I overheard my mother and stepfather wondering why I was always chasing my dreams rather than getting a 'real' job. To them, getting ahead was always just out of reach. Simply making it from month to month was the order of the day.
Encouragement from home was limited to messages with a slightly sarcastic edge: "Si Daniel, Si Daniel." Clearly my family did not believe that I could ever be as successful as I dreamed I could. Fortunatley, mentors showed up in my life who saw my abilities, even when I could not.
Many of us Latinos grew up in similar situations. Breaking out of the mold does not win any popularity contests. Our parents could not see us as doctors, lawyers, world leaders, or professionals of any kind, for that matter. We were supposed to carry on the tradition of working the same job our fathers and mothers performed, just being thankful we had a job. "Oh Daniel, why can't you just get a regular job like other people?" were the words I often heard over and over again.
Over time as I matured, my focus changed from wanting more things to wanting to make a difference. Times have changed. We Latinos now have a multitude of opportunities at our fingertips. We can be great leaders at national level as well as in all areas of our personal lives.
Let's not limit ourselves to entertainment and sports arenas. Let's aspire to be CEO's and sit on corporate boards and owning our businesses. Our capabilities are limitless. The key to success is this "whatever we choose to do, we need to do it with excellence."
It's OK to reach for your dreams. If your family does not support you, remember this: what other people see is not neccessarily a refection of your abilities. Your family loves you and wants the best for you but they can only understand from where their experiences have taught them.
Reach for the top position in your field, and when you get there, reach down and help the person below you , get to the same level.
Accept your greatness, be accountable, and DREAM ON!
For more information on Daniel Gutierrez go to http://www.acceptyourgreatness.com