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For the very few people on this planet that haven't seen or heard of Susan Boyle by now, she’s the 47-year-old, single, frumpy, unemployed, "never-been-kissed" Scot that blew the socks off an entire theatre full of Glaswegians (not to mention three cranky English judges) on "Britain's Got Talent" recently.....and now millions and millions people have watched the YouTube vid of her performance.  Go, please go NOW, to this link and watch her performance.  Prepare to be “gobsmacked.”

Susan gives a performance of “I Dreamed A Dream” from Les Mis that was every bit as good as the cast recording from the stage show.  However, it doesn't look promising at first; she walks onto the stage in Glasgow looking like a cross between Hyacinth Bucket and Benny Hill, receives hoots and snickers from the audience...and then the music starts.   Susan opens her mouth and out flows this incredible voice every bit as crystalline and commanding as Sarah Brightman’s.  Both the audience and the judges are on their feet, eyes wet and voices screaming their approval, for nearly the entire number.  And in the end, the COOL thing is how totally humble and non-plussed the woman is about this whole thing, waving kisses to judges and new fans alike.  She is now the odds-on favorite to win the competition, to sing for Her Majesty the Queen, and most likely to sign lucrative recording and singing contracts—but Susan says she plans to remain just "a simple woman from Scotland."

Miss Boyle's jaw-dropping performance and impending success takes my thoughts in several directions.  One, we have many amazingly talented folks working at Southwest Airlines—not only the Flight Attendants and Operations Agents that sing, rap, or joke their way through their announcements and capture the hearts (and attention!) of their Customers, but also those Employees working in behind-the-scenes jobs in Customer Service and Support, at Headquarters, and everywhere else that have hidden talents like world-class singing voices, incredible photographic eyes, gifted musical ability, and other non-work-related talents.  To all of y’all—you are *our* Susan Boyles.

Two, having a talent, as opposed to acting on that talent, are distinctly different  things.  Susan Boyle bears that out.  How could she be so incredibly talented for decades and not be featured in venues in London and New York?  When asked that very question on stage, she replies “the opportunity never presented itself….until now!”  I guess you can wait for opportunity to knock on your door, or you can go knock on opportunity’s door.  Susan waited for years for that knock at her door….and when it never came, she went and did some knocking of her own.  And the door opened for her!

And three…it now seems probable that Susan will, indeed, live her dream.  Having both talent and a dream, then using the former to fulfill the latter, is something that so few are able to do within their lifetimes.  For me, I’ve been able to utilize my talents to have a great career at Southwest Airlines—but all of us have other, more ambitious dreams and aspirations.  Watching Susan Boyle take an opportunity, a chance, to make that leap and then watch her realize her dream gives me renewed hope that all of us still have the opportunity...if we just persue it.

So congratulations, Susan Boyle, on a job well done.  Good luck and Godspeed.  And to all of you out there in the blogosphere (and to my own inner cynic), just remember:  it doesn't matter how old you are, or what you look like.....if you have talent and a dream, and you don't get a knock at your door, then go out and start doing some knocking for yourself.  You never know what may happen!