What Did Meryl Streep Want To Be When She Was Younger?

By James Mills, Associate Partner & Mentorship Coach, Lighthouse International

To make effective life and career decisions, we need to understand what's most important to us. 

With 20 Academy Award nominations, Meryl Streep has more nominations than any other actor or actress. However, it may surprise you to hear that her dream wasn't always to be a Hollywood star as she said in an interview. So what career did appeal to her??

"I didn’t always want to be an actor. I thought I wanted to be a translator at the UN and help people understand each other. Some young people come into acting because they see it as glossy and heightened and more sort of divine than their [current] existence; but what interests me is getting deep into someone else’s life, to understand what compelled them to move in one direction or the other. That other stuff, I’ve never liked."

What this reveals is that it was a desire to see people get along with each other and fascination in why people do what they do that brought Meryl Streep into acting. This passion has clearly served her well in her acting career, but it could also have been applied to other professions. When making decisions about our careers, many of us will focus on a specific job title, profession or industry, rather than being aware of what drives our decisions. What this means is that we can be swayed by the opinions of others rather than making a decision based on what's most important to us.

When we have taken the time to understand what's behind our decisions, not only can this help us to make better career choices, but it can also flow into other areas of our lives. Meryl Streep has also campaigned for gender equality and used her influence to increase awareness on other issues she feels passionate about. The more we see life holistically, the more we are able to enjoy all areas of our lives, rather than feel the need to be a different person depending on what we're doing or who we're with.

You can read more about the interview with Meryl Streep in this article featuring her and other inspiring female leaders.

How to Apply This!

Feel like you're stuck in a rut with your career? If so and you're keen to get your career back on track, then here's 5 questions you have to answer!!

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