I am not one for motivational speeches or bettering myself through the wise words of self-help books. In fact, the recent trend on Facebook to put up ‘go get ’em’ status update phrases like, ‘Life is a gift, never take it for granted’, makes me want to regurgitate. Repeatedly and Violently.
However, I couldn’t help but listening to the full length of this Oprah Winfrey clip, where she tells the story of how she got the big break in her career and what she learnt from that experience-
In my opinion she seems to be saying, when you want something so much and you have done all you can to obtain it and it still evades you, surrender and let it go; for often, God can dream a bigger dream for you.
When I listened to this clip for the first time, I tried to take in the words and felt I had to take in the words as they had sprung from the lips of the lady who is one of the richest, most successful and as a result, uncharacteristically; one of the most likeable and admired person on the planet. Consequently, I felt that anything she had to say which could help me in my career, where try as I might- I have not got to where I want to be.
However, I wasn’t sure that I could abide by her words and ‘surrender‘ and let my main ambition go. Even though I could find similarities in how our all-consuming passions for our respective desires had led us to do anything we could to express that feeling; for instance Oprah decided to go against her father’s wishes and took a leap of faith and auditioned for a role in, ‘The Colour Purple’; and I went against my father’s wishes and gave up law (and turned down a full-time legal job) and decided to embark on a career in the fashion industry. Despite these similarities and upon coming to the same end, i.e. not getting what we ultimately wanted, I couldn’t and still can’t sing the ‘I Surrender’ hymn.
Recently, I was sent a clip which featured the late Steve Jobs, and I found myself drawn much more to the motivational words he had to say to the graduates of Stanford University.
Whereas, Oprah Winfrey seems to say that when one fails repeatedly to get what they truly want, they should let go and surrender to a higher power. Steve Jobs seems to be saying that life is too short ‘to let go’ of what you truly want. He insists that ‘believing that the dots will connect down the road will give you the confidence to follow your heart even when it leads you off the well-worn path and that will make all the difference’. That belief is what has continuously pushed me in my quest to get where I need to be in my career and what ultimately took me from the financial security of a legal profession to the unpredictable world of fashion. Furthermore, my quest to (in Steve Job’s words) ‘keep looking’ and ‘not settle’ made me move from one of the fashion capital’s of the world-London to one of the most well-known creative hubs in the world- Berlin.
On a side note, watching both clips from beginning to end makes me cry unfailingly- I guess I am a sucker for motivational words after all. Watch out Facebook, my inspirational ‘Status Update’ is coming soon.