I remember the day I was told I was coming to “America.” Being a gullible and imaginative kid in Mexico, everything I heard about el norte just seemed magical like Disneyland. At one point, I really thought ice cream fell from the sky and I wrote about it here.
Now that I’m all grown up and in the smack center of the hustle and bustle of a demanding career, I’ve noticed that I’ve become a victim of first world problems. What are first world problems you ask? Well, for starters, complaining that my iPhone 5 screen broke. Trust me, I’ve already slapped myself a few times – one slap for breaking it and another two slaps for complaining about it. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg of my first world problems. I strongly believe that the root cause of these problems is the misconstrued fantasy that the American Dream is an end result once all of our goals and ambitions are fulfilled. Yea, good luck feeling fulfilled and that you “made it” if having kids and teaching your grand-kids your best talent are on your list. Obviously you can’t have grand-kids if you don’t have kids of your own to begin with, but I bring up this ridiculous and contradictory example to clearly point out that we sometimes set up our own traps of disillusionment, disappointment and sense of failure. One step at a time vato loco. There’s a time and place for each dream to happen and fast forwarding is not an option unless you’re Marty McFly.
And it’s not just about taking it one step at a time, but enjoying and relishing the success of each step! I like to think of each step of success as a separate, but related, small dream. So in effect, I started living my American Dream long before I could fully visualize it. Dreams change, morph, transform and extend over time, but be careful that they don’t become nightmares. The best way to do that is by celebrating each success as it materializes, and if it takes a while for the next one to come just relax. The trick is to continue celebrating those small dreams you’ve already reached. That’s what my mother calls agradecimiento (gratitude) and it all starts with fully appreciating what you already have and not dwelling on what you lack.