What I have Learned About Life and Careers: Be Willing to Fly

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Learn to Fly

Making Wise Choices

A couple years ago, I made the mistake of watching Amelia with Hilary Swank before I crossed the South Pacific in a little twin prop plane.   You are probably familiar with the story of Amelia Earhart and how she disappeared flying an airplane somewhere over the Western Pacific Ocean.  Not the best movie to watch prior to taking off for a nine + hour flight over a vast ocean and then a fifty-five minute hop in a noisy and rickety plane.   I was, somehow, able to dismiss some of my worries and try to sleep.  “Try” being the operative word…

It has been rumored or hypothesized that Amelia Earhart and her navigator crashed / landed on Nikumaroro Island in 1937.  Or they were lost at sea.  Or they went somewhere completely different and started a new life – out of the spotlight.  Perhaps she is hanging with Elvis somewhere.

Admirable Determination

Her remarkable determination and “before-her-time” approach to life brought Ms. Earhart much fame and notoriety.  She worked hard at something she was deeply passionate about.  She wrote books and endorsed products she didn’t use or even like in order to pay for her love of flying which was her life’s work.  It is not always easy to have such ardent approach to our work, nor do we all have such an exciting or death-defying career as flying.  But I believe it is possible to stay enthused and provide the best possible work, be that service or product.

What I have Learned About Life and Careers

In the thirty-seven years in which I have been working, I have had multiple careers and have tried to love each with the same type of fervor and zeal that Amelia exhibited.  It was not always easy and it was most certainly not always accomplished.  And there have been many crash landings, as well as places where I have hidden and/or tried to heal.  But what I have learned about life and careers, during my trek, has brought me to my passionate place, a place where I am willing to fly beyond where I thought possible and achieve far more than I have ever dreamed.

A Little Advice

Keeping the crazies away is no easy task when work is merely work.  If you can’t love all of what you do, learn to love a part of it.  Or you can fly over a different ocean.  It’s risky, yes.  But the view and destination just might be worth the risk.

And sometimes, I need to take my own advice…


 by Rayanne Thorn


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  1. Rayanne-

    Your posts always serve as a good dose of much needed inspiration, and they’re so thoughtful and beautifully worded. Thank you for always sharing openly.

    Hope to catch you and Jessica around Chicago during SHRM!


    Autumn M. |
    • Hi Autumn–
      Thank you so much for commenting here – your words mean quite a bit…
      I sometimes wish I could share less – unfortunately, it is not in my nature!
      Will definitely see you at SHRM!

  2. Enjoyed that post Rayanne. Your statement, “Or you can fly over a different ocean” (and the risk involved with that action), is increasingly relevant. With our ever-changing world, many of us face this dilemma: Which road to take? Each has its own risk / reward… with nothing promised.

    Thank you for such a thoughtful post.

    • Thanks William–
      Typically, as we age, we become more adverse to risk — but I find it to the opposite for me. I am love risk with the change and reward it brings…
      Appreciate the comment, more than you know…

  3. Ray-Ann, I am a happy Twitter follower and reader of your blog. Love, love, love this post. I agree, you need to love what you do… otherwise where’s the fun in life?


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