In Oola, Field is one of the seven key areas in life we work on balancing. Field is defined as our job, career or what we spend up to one-third of of time doing.
Many studies have shown that 50% of people, or more, hate their job. That’s a sad statistic. If one third of our most valuable asset, time, is spent doing something we hate, surely dissatisfaction spills over into every other area of our lives.
Job is defined as working for a paycheck; career, as an occupation or profession requiring special training. But wherever passion and purpose unite that becomes a Field of Dreams.
May 12th is International Nurses Day. It honors Florence Nightingale. Today is her 200th birthday. From a young age, she recognized her purpose, followed her passion, and changed the world.
She was born in Florence, Italy. Named after the city, Florence was the second child of William and Frances Nightingale. They were well off and well connected. A year after her birth the family moved back home to England.
Florence was a slight, comely child with brown eyes, a precocious spirit, and a heart for healing. She would often find injured animals to bring home and nurse back to health. She also regularly visited the poor and sick living in the village close to the family estate.
Usually girls of her status learned how to run a household, play the pianoforte, and do fancy needlework. But William Nightingale gifted Florence with a classical education. She excelled in languages and mathematics. She particularly loved to read the great philosophers and had little time, or patience, for social functions.
At seventeen she refused the proposal of a gentleman suitor. Her mother was furious. Then she told her parents about feeling a divine call to nursing. They adamantly refused. Nursing was not the place for a young woman of her social standing.
Florence dug her heels in and refused to conform to her parents, or society’s expectations.
“Why have women passion, intellect, moral activity - these 3 - and a place in society where no one of the 3 can be exercised?” *
Despite her parents misgivings, Florence entered nursing school in Germany at age twenty-four. Along with her studies, she cared for the sick and poor, participated in social services, taught, and did mission work.
Six years later she accepted a nursing position in England. Her passion, care, intellect and organizational skills, propelled her into Superintendent after just one year.
As the Crimean War raged, the government called on Florence to organize a corps of nurses. When they arrived in Constantinople Florence found that six-hundred out of every one-thousand English soldiers were dying from communicable and infectious disease. Immediately she implemented strict cleaning measures. All medical equipment, food, and water was sanitized. Under her supervision, the death rate plummeted from 60% to as low as 2.2%
After the war she returned to England a legend and hero. Her wisdom, leadership, dedication and success was acknowledged by the English government and Queen Victoria.
Florence was awarded $250,000. She used the money to fund the Nightingale Training School for Nurses. She never quit developing nursing or hospital practices. She was a prolific writer and statistician, even inventing one of the first pie charts. Her book, Notes on Nursing, is still relevant today.
There were many things blocking Florence’s path to her Field of Dreams. There were no nursing schools in England. Women had no rights. Parental expectations were commands. Society dictated how, and with whom, single women could interact.
So how did Florence Nightingale do it?
She plugged into her passion, personal integrity, and vision.
She took steps everyday that overcame the stones of opposition as she cultivated her Field of Dreams.
Are you working in your Field of Dreams? Or has someone else’s expectations steered you?
Do you bring passion and integrity to your place of employment? Or is that relegated only for a hobby you hope someday will pay?
Is there opportunity for you to develop skills for your Field of Dreams? Or is it challenging to pursue where you currently live?
One of my favorite Oola sayings is: Where you are is not who you are.
Let that sink in for a minute. Maybe say it out loud a few times.
Can you dream again?
But don’t quit your job without a plan to transition.
What is your Field of Dreams? What would you do if money were no object?
Identify your passion, list your skills, and the ones you need to develop.
Make goals that move your Field of Dreams closer.
Take small intentional steps everyday toward your goals.
As you plant the seeds of intention everyday, your Field of Dreams will become a reality.