I recently posed the question: Are you in your dream job? A few people responded that they were, but I imagine most people fall into the majority of people — 80% according to a Careerbuilder.com survey — are still looking for their dream job. People give many reasons why they are not in their dream job: lack of skills, lack of opportunity, too young, too old… the list goes on and on. Is it too idealistic to expect that everyone could have a job they love? A public speaking and presentation skills coach named Lisa added a comment to the previously mentioned post, saying:
I am definitely in my dream job, and I created it myself, which is the best kind!
I was accused once of being an elitist for saying that everyone should have a job they love. For people who have language barriers, disabilities, lack of skills, etc., it might be hard to get those dream jobs, because they have fewer opportunities available to them.
Wow. Maybe I’m in the minority here, but if somebody believes that someone else can’t be in a job they love because they have language barriers, disabilities, or lack of skills…well, I’d say that person is an elitist! Here’s the cold hard truth: most people are not in jobs they love because of choices they have made or have failed to make. I’m not saying they were easy choices, but they were choices nevertheless. It’s convenient to throw up excuses to serve as insurmountable barriers as a way to comfort ourselves, giving us the illusion that control of our own lives is out of our hands. Forgive my French, but that’s a load of hooey.
I was watching a morning news show the other day, and they were running down the top ten list of wealthiest women in entertainment. Oprah Winfrey was the queen of the mountain, easily outdistancing Martha Stewart. I believe they said Oprah was worth about 1.5 billion dollars. (That’s billion with a “b.”)
How dare Oprah Winfrey achieve such success? The nerve of her! Didn’t she realize that she:
- is a woman?
- is black?
- came from a poor family?
- was sexually abused by members of her own family?
- had been a pregnant, unmarried, homeless teenager?
- has struggled with her weight and would constantly have her appearance criticized?
- would never be considered drop-dead gorgeous?
- and that only the rich can get richer?
I can’t imagine someone having more obstacles to success, but somehow, Oprah has been able to host the highest rated television show in history, become an influential book critic, an Academy Award-nominated actress, and a magazine publisher. She has been ranked the richest African American of the 20th century, the most philanthropic African American of all time, and the world’s only black billionaire for three straight years. She is also, according to several assessments, the most influential woman in the world. (Source: Wikipedia.org)
How did Oprah do it? She realized that in most cases, the only obstacle to a life you’ve always dreamed of is…you. I think she says it best:
It doesn’t matter who you are, where you come from. The ability to triumph begins with you — always. — Oprah Winfrey
It’s hard to argue with that, especially coming from someone who just invested $40 million and much of her time establishing the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls near Johannesburg in South Africa. I don’t care if you like her or not, agree with her politics or not, you have to respect all that she has been able to accomplish coming from a background that most “elitists” would consider filled with too many insurmountable obstacles.
Kudos to you, Oprah.
If she can do it, why can’t anyone?
[tags]oprah winfrey, dream job, elitists, success, fortune, money[/tags]
Totally! You are 100% right, in my opinion. I believe having a job you love is a basic human right, and not a luxury, and it’s very sad that we all don’t, yet. I dream of the day when we will, though. One of my favorite Buckmisnter Fuller quotes is:
“Everyone has the perfect gift to give the world–and if each of us was freed up to give the gift that is uniquely ours to give, the world will be in total harmony.”
I truly believe that.
Great quote, Maria. That’s exactly how I feel, and Fuller says it more perfectly than I’ve ever seen it put!
Kelly Cox Semple says
I always said my Dad was my HERO because he worked in a field he loved, despite numerous obstacles (including decades of his mother asking when he was going to get a “real” job). He had frustrations at work, but they were much more tolerable because he was doing something he loved and believed in. Wow!
Sounds like your dad was a pretty passionate guy, Kelly. What, pray tell, did he do?
Kelly Cox Semple says
He still is passionate about life, just more quietly in retirement. :-) He was the parks and recreation director for my hometown. He worked to make sure that everyone in town could play! As much as he loved it and had fun doing it, he took other people’s leisure time very seriously. That’s what made him so good at it!
Here’s a tidbit about my Dad. To this day, my hero. http://sanguinaryblue.blogspot.com/2005/12/600-quarts-of-santa.html
Kelly, your dad sounds like one awesome guy — with a big heart of a child! Thanks for including that link…I really enjoyed reading about your dad’s Santaness!
Maria Palma says
Wow. I love this post! Tears are welling up because I, too, have faced many challenges on my journey – like a father who asked me when I was going to get a “real” job. However, he has come around and realizes how happy I am…
By the way, thanks for dropping by CustomersAreAlways.com and sharing the posts with my readers!
Maria, I was happy to be able to contribute to your blog, and I’m even happier that you’re doing what you love and your dad has come around! I have been blessed with really supportive parents (although I think they’ve questioned my sanity at times) and it’s hard to imagine how difficult it would be without that.