My friends on Facebook have been taking quizzes about how they match up to the profiles of the major characters in that imported prime-time soap opera. The interesting thing about the results is that people tend to see themselves as they want to be seen, rather than who they really are and are perceived. So, of course, they provide the answers to the quiz that will fit them perfectly to being Lady Mary or the enteprising Mr. Bates (recall he looked into purchasing an inn and leaving service).
That is all in good fun. However, deluding yourself about who you are is one of the most common reasons for underachievement in careers. Suppose you fancied yourself loyal, selfless Anna when you are really a player with a quick eye for self-interest like Cora's American mom? You will be knocking on all the wrong doors. If you are unlucky enough to be admitted before you figure out who you are you are doomed to struggle in the wrong fit. That eats at energy and drive. When you retire, you might sadly reflect, "I coulda been a contender."
The diverse array of characters on "Downton Abbey" provides plenty of choices for us to pick from the bunch who we most mirror. This Sunday, it would do our career paths good to break open to reality. Are we really closest in personality and how we present ourselves to loser Lady Edith? Embracing that could be the first step in reinventing ourselves.