Work in progress.
You know Oprah Winfrey as one of the most influential people in the world. Her talk show, her empire, and all that she achieved within the past 30 or so years. She is recognized by countless awards, accolades from world leaders and celebrities, and so on.
But do you know Orpah?
Orpah Winfrey is who came first. She grew up in poverty, was molested during her childhood, gave birth and lost her child at 14 years old, experienced the death of her sister due to cocaine addiction, the list goes on.
Not many people wanted to know about Orpah’s story early on. Orpah seemed broken. Her life was messy.
We tend to enjoy hearing people’s backstories when they’ve already overcome challenges, beaten the odds, and have found success. Of course, Oprah (who changed her name from Orpah due to so many people mispronouncing it) is a prime example of this. We’ve been conditioned to be attracted to stories of triumph, and shy away from those that remain unfinished or don’t end in a favorable way. While success deserves celebration, there is something to be said about those who are in the thick of their journey. They are a work in progress.
You don’t know their names yet, and perhaps they’re nowhere near their primetime television interview, but the world is full of those with an undiscovered richness in potential. They come in all shapes, from all walks of life, and their story is being written with every breath they take. Look for these people, talk with them, watch what they do and who they become. Honor and celebrate where they are now, and also recognize that this could just as easily be you (I mean, why the hell not, right?). You could be an Orpah who hasn’t found her life-shifting news anchor opportunity yet. When you think about what successful individuals share, it really boils down to: passion, resilience, and diligence. What does this mean for you? Do what you love, overcome all the bullshit, and keep yourself focused on whatever that next milestone is. That doesn’t mean things won’t get ugly. Coming from someone who dances in the rain a lot, you’re going to have to get comfortable in “the suck” if you plan on having any sort of success story.
For now, check yourself out. Whether you are more of an Orpah or Oprah at the moment, you are infinitely unfinished business–an ever-evolving story that holds power and potential beyond your gaze. And while having goals is important, being aware of and grateful for the gifts hidden within the here and now are even more so. You are not broken and never a failure, you are a constant work in progress. Cheers to all of you work in progress (WIP) peeps out there, because you deserve to be celebrated at every stage of your story.