How to Achieve the American Dream - Without Losing Your Latin Soul!: Bridging the Gap Between Two Worlds

How to Achieve the American Dream - Without Losing Your Latin Soul!: Bridging the Gap Between Two Worlds

by Don Daniel Ortiz


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781481709378
Publisher: AuthorHouse
Publication date: 04/17/2013
Pages: 150
Product dimensions: 5.00(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.35(d)

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How To Achieve the "American Dream" Without Losing Your Latin Soul!

Bridging the Gap Between Two Worlds

By Don Daniel Ortiz


Copyright © 2013 Daniel Ortiz
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-4817-0937-8



One Dream—Two Worlds

Is Your Ladder of Success Leaning Against the Wrong Wall?

"For what does it profit a man, if he is to gain the whole world, and lose his soul?" Mathew 16:26

Do you have a Dream?

What does it mean to you? Are you living it?

As children we dream about how our life will be when we grow up. We dream about adventure, romance, riches and happiness. Some of us even dream about helping others and making a difference in the world. Childhood dreams never truly die; they lie within you, seeking one day to become realized.

If you are like most Americans today, the American Dream means living in a home of your own, having a successful career or perhaps being in business for yourself. For others the American Dream means achieving fame, amassing wealth, or accumulating an abundance of material possessions.

For me, the American Dream means having the freedom to control my own destiny. Living the Dream means I have discovered my purpose in life and am free to pursue my vision of happiness, wherever that road may lead me. Although the American Dream can mean different things to different people, one thing is certain:

For Latinos in America, achieving the American Dream is meaningless if it doesn't nurture the Latin Soul!

The soul is that part of you that seeks meaning and purpose and a connection with something greater than yourself.

Isn't it your connection after all, to your faith, family and culture that nurtures your Latin soul and gives meaning to your life? Who are you, as a Latino, without your familia, native culture and religious traditions? And for us, family doesn't mean just the nuclear family comprised of a man, a woman and 2.3 children. No, for Latinos family means the extended family of abuelos, tios, tias and of course primos with whom you grew up and created mischief when you were young. For Latinos, without these relationships life feels empty, void of the bonds that give our lives meaning.

Is it any wonder why Latino youth, when the opportunity arises to attend college in a distant city or accept a job across country, are so reluctant to leave home?

This is the challenge for Latinos in America today ... We Live In Two Worlds!

On the one hand we grow up in a world where faith, family and "frijoles" are values we hold dear and on the other hand we live in a society where independence, notoriety and achievement are esteemed above all else.

As a Latino, it is a bit of a culture shock to learn that in one world, when you turn 18 you are expected to move out of your home and survive on your own and then when you get old, you are encouraged to move into a facility to live with strangers. In our world, extended families spanning three and even four generations are considered normal.

In the Latino world there is a welcome mat at the front door that say's, "Mi Casa Es Su Casa". In the other world, "Keep off the Grass" is the sign you are more likely to encounter when you enter someone's property. Also, in our world we give a warm abrazo or beso when we say hello or goodbye, even to someone we just met. In the other world, a firm hand shake or even cold shoulder is considered an appropriate salutation even when you have known someone for years.

As a Latino business professional you face a dilemma because in our world it is considered bad manners to brag about your accomplishments, flaunt your wealth or attract attention to yourself, and yet to succeed in America today you must often stand out from the crowd.

Ironically, in one world there are those for whom if you don't speak perfect Spanish or your hair is too light, you are not Latino enough, while in the other world, if your English has an accent or your skin is too dark you are considered by some to be different, foreign, not truly American.

Yes, there is a gap between our two worlds.

This gap exists because our core values, the soul of Latino culture, do not reflect the rugged individualism and materialism of contemporary American society. This gap is the root cause, I believe, why so many Latinos fail to live their American Dream.

Too often, as a Latino living in America you are forced to choose between achieving your Dreams and losing your soul. Because education, career and even opportunities for personal growth often entail leaving the comfort and security of home and family, many Latinos choose to stay with the familiar instead of embarking on the path unknown. The consequences of refusing to answer your calling are missed opportunities, stunted growth and for far too many Latinos, dreams unfulfilled.

And for those brave Latin souls who have left home to pursue their career ambitions there is a realization that as a life coach I hear all too often ...

"The ladder of success I have been climbing is leaning against the wrong wall!"

Many Latino professionals, (if they are honest), will tell you they have paid a high price for chasing success. Separation from family, long hours working away from home, plus precious time wasted commuting, all while running on a treadmill of a job with no real satisfaction, lasting security or peace of mind are just some of the costs associated with pursuing success. For these Latinos who have sacrificed their core values in the name of ambition, pursuing the American Dream has turned out to be a nightmare.

And yet some Latinos have attained the top of their profession, possess all the symbols of success, only to find themselves asking the existential question; "Is this all there is?" What is the meaning of success if you are not passionate about your work and have no other purpose than collecting a paycheck, praying you don't get fired or laid off, just so you can pay your bills and make it to retirement?

This is a real problem for Latinos today and the clinical term for this condition is called cognitive dissonance. Cognitive dissonance is the unpleasant emotion that results from believing two contradictory ideas at the same time. Cognitive dissonance can lead to irrational decision making as a person tries to reconcile conflicting beliefs. This is a fancy way of saying that if your head and your heart are in conflict; your soul will be troubled.

Cognitive dissonance is as old as the human condition. The bible tells us in Mark 3:25, "A house divided against itself cannot stand." Jesus utilized this example over two thousand years ago, in a parable, to illustrate how working against your true nature is unsustainable and eventually leads to failure. What His words mean for you and me today is that your head and your heart must work in harmony, and focused on a single purpose, if your American Dream is to be built on a solid foundation. This is a challenge for anyone regardless of ethnicity but particularly so for Latinos because we straddle two worlds with often conflicting values.

* * *

My Story

The bank executive secretary walked into my office with a check in her hand. "This is for you," she said as she placed a cashier's check on top of my desk. "You need to buy some stock in the bank. All members of the Board of Directors have to be shareholders too."

I was in shock. Just that morning I had been asked, at age 32, to be a member of the Board of Directors of First Interstate Bank, NM. (Now Wells Fargo Bank, NM). Now I was being given money, without having to "earn" it, to buy stock in one of the largest banks in my hometown of Santa Fe, New Mexico. As the secretary closed the door behind her, I picked up the check with both hands, and stared at my name boldly typed next to Pay to the Order of just above the dollar amount. I leaned back on my leather chair, crossed my legs on top of my cherry wood desk, gave thanks to God Almighty, and savored the sweet smell of success!

It was only one year later that I realized the ladder of success I had climbed was leaning against the wrong wall.

As a former stockbroker and now head investment officer for a bank, my office suite was a long way from the trailer park I grew up in at the edge of town. I come from a working-class family, the only son of a carpenter and homemaker. I was the first in my family to attend college, and anyone who wore a suit to work and drove a car instead of a pickup truck was successful in my eyes.

It's not that I had anything against physical labor or blue collar work, the issue for me was advancement. I wanted to be one of those people who worked indoors, whose livelihood was not dependent on the weather and who didn't struggle from job to job to earn a living.

Most of all, I wanted to be able to afford to live in a real house that I could be proud of. With hard work and the love and support of my parents and family, I became the "success" I had always dreamed about, and by my late twenties I owned a custom built home, wore tailor made suits and drove to my indoor job in my Mercedes Benz.

I quickly discovered however, that it is possible to achieve a dream and yet lose your soul in the process. Something didn't feel right about my success, I was stressed out all the time, moody and definitely experiencing cognitive dissonance. The reason I describe the experience as losing my Latin soul is because, despite having achieved my childhood goal of becoming a successful professional, I was succeeding in the wrong world!

I am an entrepreneur at heart and, although I did not know it at the time, one of my core values is freedom. Working in the corporate world with its beaurocracy, company politics and arcane policies and procedures, was smothering my creativity. Many of my ideas to gain new clients and improve customer service were quashed because they did not conform to establishment customs and tradition.

Also, simple things like having a limit on my income regardless of how hard I worked, needing to get permission to go on vacation, (if Human Resources approved), and attending weekly meetings for no other reason than because they were scheduled, didn't jive with my entrepreneurial spirit. Most enlightening of all was the realization that the more successful I became, i.e., the more clients I had, the less freedom I had to enjoy my success.

Success vs. Fulfillment

I learned a very valuable life lesson while working in the corporate suite: there is an important distinction between success and fulfillment. Success is reaching your goal; fulfillment is being content irrespective of goals. I was definitely a success, as I had defined it, but I was definitely not content.

I always assumed that having a professional career in the corporate world would make me happy. Although I had the symbols of success such as a plush office, expense account, fancy car, etc., I was not happy. In fact I was miserable, and my quest to resolve this cognitive dissonance is the reason you are reading this book now. At that time in my personal journey I did not yet understand the concept of Dharma, something we will discuss in a later chapter, which is akin to your calling or purpose in life.

I want to share my story with you because it is my hope that on your journey to achieving your American Dream you will learn from my mistakes and take the path that leads you directly towards your fulfillment. Although I had achieved my American Dream, because I ignored my core values, I lost my Latin soul in the process. Looking back, I realize now that my ambition to be a successful professional was based not on my calling or purpose in life, but on a sense of insecurity. I pursued what I lacked as a child, not to serve a higher purpose, but to fill a void in my life.

You see, when you are driven by your ambition, and not your values, you may become a success but your victory will be hollow. Ambition for ambition's sake, like the notorious "Napoleon complex", is often overcompensation for feelings of insecurity. If you look closely you will find that too many "successful" people today are secretly unhappy and unfulfilled because they ignore their core values and are instead driven by unmet needs, often from childhood, that will never be satisfied with the trappings of professional success.

These individuals may have the outer symbols of success, they may have a prestigious job title, live in the best neighborhoods, drive the sleekest automobiles and wear all the "right" clothes, but inside they are suffering in silence, living comfortable but meaningless lives without purpose or passion for their work. Even a well fed eagle must be able to soar high in the sky to be happy and fulfilled.

Answering the Call

Once I realized that my ladder of success was leaning against the wrong wall, my focus changed dramatically. I started an inward journey of self discovery to learn who I was and, most importantly, to discover my purpose in life. I also wanted to make a difference in the world, but how?

I started reading anything I could get my hands on in the field of personal growth and development. I read many of the classics like Think & Grow Rich, The Power of Positive Thinking, As A Man Thinketh and of course the Bible. These all had a powerful influence on me but didn't answer the fundamental question of who I was and my purpose in life.

Then one day I attended a motivational seminar in Denver, a modern day version of EST. It was an intense three days of self discovery which, at the conclusion, made me feel as though my world had been turned upside down. What I realize now is that my world was upside down when I walked in, the seminar had turned it right side up!

That seminar was a catalyst for setting me on the right path on the journey we must all take if we are to discover our purpose in life and achieve our Dreams. I learned to let go of the needs of my ego and instead listen to the desires of my heart. An inspired, more authentic and spiritual self emerged from that seminar with a new American Dream that nurtured my Latin Soul. I began having what I can only describe as "mystical" experiences that scared me at first but also showed me that the physical world we see with our eyes is not the only reality that exists. Soon thereafter, I heard the Call!

The Call for me was to quit my job, sell my house, get rid of my earthly possessions and buy a one-way ticket to Spain, my ancestral homeland. Like peeling the layers of an onion, I felt compelled to shed layers of my life that I depended on to form my identity including my job, possessions, social roles and even some of my closely held beliefs. Who was I if I wasn't a stockbroker with the uniform of a suit I wore every day, and an office and business card that told me who I was?

I didn't know!

Many of my friends and colleagues thought I was crazy to leave everything I had worked so hard for behind, yet I could see in their faces they admired me for having the courage to go on this quest. I felt a powerful urge to leave everything behind and travel to a foreign country with no itinerary or plan.

Something inside me had awakened and I knew I would forever regret not taking the leap of faith to discover my true destiny. My journey eventually led me to Egypt where I had an epiphany that changed my life. Five years later I published my first book, 101 Secret Ways To Tell If You Are Living Your Life Purpose. (Infinity Publishing)

Living the Dream While Enriching My Soul

Now, because I listened to my heart and answered the Call I am following my true path in life, living the American Dream while enriching my Latin Soul in the process. I am no longer a stockbroker or corporate suit working in an office. I have embraced my entrepreneurial spirit and my life now is oriented around my core values.

As a writer and success coach I work from the comfort of home and every day I have the freedom to do as I choose. My creative energy is allowed full expression through my books, coaching and seminars and the feedback I receive from the lives that have been changed as a result bring me joy that words cannot express. My work now has meaning and purpose and I definitely feel like I am making a difference in the world. The Latino Success Academy is a legacy I hope will provide the tools and training for Latinos to unlock their full potential for years to come. (www.

You, too, can achieve your American Dream without losing your Latin soul if you answer your Calling and take the journey that will lead you to your deepest desire and the discovery of your purpose in life. There are stages to this process and the steps are outlined in this book.

Excerpted from How To Achieve the "American Dream" Without Losing Your Latin Soul! by Don Daniel Ortiz. Copyright © 2013 by Daniel Ortiz. Excerpted by permission of AuthorHouse.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Table of Contents


Preface....................     ix     

Chapter 1: One Dream—Two Worlds Is Your Ladder of Success Leaning Against
the Wrong Wall?....................     1     

Chapter 2: The American Dream More Than Just 'Keeping Up With the
Joneses'....................     14     

Chapter 3: The Latin Soul Faith, Family & Frijoles....................     27     

Chapter 4: Bridging the Gap Between Two Worlds Core Values................     34     

Chapter 5: Two Worlds—One Story The Secret That Can Change Your Life......     51     

Chapter 6: Defining Your American Dream How do you know when you are
living your Dream?....................     74     

Chapter 7: Your Hero's Journey The Path to Living Your American Dream.....     85     

Chapter 8: Awakening the Hero Within How Ordinary People Live
Extraordinary Lives....................     96     

Chapter 9: The Dream Paradox You Must Be Awake to Live Your Dream.........     110     

Chapter 10: The Final Choice Love vs. Fear....................     123     

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