Why I want Susan Boyle to Succeed

Susan Boyle - Britain's Got TalentI think I know why the video of Susan Boyle tugs at my heartstrings when I watch it.

It is because Susan represents a little bit of me.  I know how it is to grow up wanting so much to be good – at something – anything really.  But the fact of the matter is that I was just average.  Average at school, average at sports, average in my relationships, average when compared to my brothers and sisters, just average.  I was even the middle kid in my family.

I wanted so bad to be good at basketball.  I played and played during my high school years.  I was right there playing with all the guys that made the team.  I wasn’t as good as some of the starters, but I felt I was better than several of the reserves that made the team.

I wanted to be good in school.  I got pretty good grades, but never quite good enough for my dad.  An A- resulted in the talk of what it would take to get an A.  I never really got in the groove of learning.  Instead, I did a lot of cramming – got pretty good grades, but feel like I missed out on a whole lot of learning – a real education.

I was a procrastinator and still am.  I seem to always do just good enough, but I can never seem to consistently perform at my best, even though I go through cycles of trying — and even achieving a small measure of success, I can never get over the hump to real lasting success.  Success takes consistent performance.  Success takes setting a goal and achieving that goal.  Success requires discipline.  Success requires confidence.

I have always struggled with friends.  My whole family struggles with it – I think because of me.  I am content to sit at home, but that is not fair to my wife and to my kids.  I am pretty selfish and that isn’t fair to my wife and kids either.

I see so many of the people that I work with who seem to just get it.  Everyone wants to be with them.  They drive the nice cars/trucks.  They have the complete package.  I think that I am recognized at work because I work hard, but when it comes time to have that reduction in force, working hard doesn’t necessarily meet the criteria for continued employment.  I don’t play the political games and that has hurt me in my performance management at work.  It shouldn’t, but it has.

That is why I relate to Susan Boyle.  She is 47 and has never been kissed.  She is frumpy and in her initial audition came out dressed in an outfit that looked like an oversized lace handkerchief.  Simple questions resulted in fumbled answers.  The audience rolled their eyes and snickered.  The judges gave each other knowing looks.  They gave her the instruction to go ahead and start – she started to sing — and it was beautiful!

I watch the video and it just tugs at my heart.  She worked so long and hard to get to where she did.  She is seeing the success that she wanted to have.  Millions and millions of people have watched her performance on YouTube, Yahoo! Video, and other places.  She has achieved.  She has realized success.  People believe in her.

Perhaps there is hope for me.  Perhaps someday if I keep working and trying, I will get my chance.  Perhaps someday I will open my mouth and open my heart, and despite the rolled eyes and knowing looks, I will achieve success and have peace.