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Career and Vocationfor Sir Peter Ustinov, 16 April 1921
by LIZ GREENE
Use your relationship skills to help and heal others
You have rare and subtle gifts of the heart and imagination, and can easily enter into the inner world of others. You feel what they feel, and have access to deep levels of the unconscious. These special abilities make you ideally suited to working with others, nurturing their gifts and helping to heal their wounds. Equally, you might excel in those areas of the creative arts where you can express your feelings and imagination freely, or in areas of science where a powerful intuition is required. Although security is important to you, your sensitivity and refinement demand a working environment where human beings matter more than material gain. You also need flexibility and fluidity in your work, rather than a rigid schedule with a tight list of rules. You may be very capable of academic achievement and intellectual challenge. Yet you need to feel emotionally committed and engaged in what you do, even if you work in the sciences or in the academic world. You also need to believe that your work is of benefit to others in some way. Whether you work directly with other people, or make your contribution more subtly through artistic work, in the end it is your sense of empathy and your intuitive feeling of the unity of things which need to form the cornerstone of your direction in life.
Infusing the mundane world with a romantic vision
Whatever your skills and talents, you are fundamentally a romantic, in the literary rather than the colloquial sense of the term. In other words, you need to know that you are connected to a higher or deeper level of life, and that the work you do is in some way a contribution to that alternative reality. Even if your mind has a strongly scientific bent, you have an inclusive world- view in which mere facts must be embedded, and a devotional nature which requires both science and art to serve something greater. The material world could never be a goal in itself for you; and although you might enjoy the things money can buy, money alone could never give you what is known as "job satisfaction". Your work needs to fire your imagination, satisfy your intellectual curiosity, allow you a sense of contact with life's mysteries, and, most importantly, give you a feeling that you are here for a good purpose. These requirements are not impossible to meet. But they do preclude many spheres of endeavour, particularly those where the chief motivation is material success. You want to feel you are helping the world in some way, or contributing something fine and beautiful to it. Your ideals are extremely important to you, and your work has to fulfil at least a part of those ideals. Without this, even if you are receiving a large pay cheque, you are likely to feel discontented.
A gentle spirit needs gentleness in the working environment
You have clear, definite ideas about how things should be done, how people should treat each other, and how the world could be made a better place. But you do not possess the kind of aggressive nature which would suit you to work in spheres where such changes are made forcibly, or where you have to elbow others out of the way in order to get your own way. You prefer the path of gentleness and conciliation. Only after a long time, if you feel you have been exploited, are you likely to realise just how angry you have become. Although you can fight for a cause, it is harder for you to fight on your own behalf. And sometimes you can use anger as a kind of shield to hide just how bruised and saddened you feel when your ideals have been disregarded or trivialised by others. Earlier in your life, spheres such as law or psychology might have attracted you, and may still do so. But in such spheres, you will always have conflicts with those whose methods and ethics are questionable. And conflict is something which, despite your clarity of thinking, you deeply abhor. Too much conflict in your working life can make you feel very depressed if not actually physically ill; and because you are not terribly well equipped to deal with primitive emotions such as deep anger, you are more likely to stifle your own unhappiness, forcing it to emerge in indirect ways.
Needing to shine
Your imaginative, idealistic nature seeks a sense that life is full of vigour, colour, brightness, and nobility. This sense of drama equips you to do well in many areas of the arts, whether as an artist yourself or as a promoter or educator of others' talents. The theatre might be a fascinating world in which to work, and you might also be drawn to fields such as literature, publishing and the creation of your own consultancy or advisory service. The key to fulfilment in all these spheres is your ability to match your own high standards and code of honour with the external working environment in which you find yourself. But you also need to shine. You will not be happy hiding your light under a bushel or acting as a minister to others' needs, unless you get sufficient acknowledgement for your own efforts and creative ideas. If you work as a mere small cog in a huge institutional or corporate system, you are likely to wind up feeling angry, depressed, bored, and frustrated. You need to feel you can eventually, if not immediately, receive recognition for what you do and, more importantly, for the individual you are. The expression of your individuality is vital for you to work at your best, and you need to aim for a position where this can be encouraged rather than stifled in the name of corporate uniformity. You will never take kindly to others robbing you of the credit you feel you deserve.
A compassionate nature needs to help or heal others
Although your gaze is often directed upwards toward a search for the higher meaning in life, you are also extremely sensitive to the emotional undercurrents in your immediate environment, and you respond quickly and openly to others' pain and suffering. You are a compassionate person and are easily affected by the needs and feelings of those around you. This may attract you to the helping professions, because you cannot ignore the distress of others, however restless you yourself feel. Certain areas of the helping professions may indeed suit you. But you need to be careful not to overestimate your capacity to tolerate an endless litany of misery without respite. You need light, beauty, and grace in your working environment; and it may be wise to ensure that, if you are involved in helping or healing work, you work with those who are willing and able to form a co-operative working relationship with you. For example, if psychology attracts you, you might be more fulfilled working in the field of transpersonal psychology than in clinical treatment of the severely disturbed. This does not mean you lack strength, or that you are not sufficiently compassionate. But your eyes are so focused on what is good and beautiful that too much exposure to what cannot be redeemed can drag you down into a depressed state. You need to strike a balance between your compassion and your craving for harmony, beauty, and meaning.
When people speak of "success", they generally mean a position of importance in the world's eyes, or a job that yields lots of money and all the material pleasures and comforts that implies. But success, in terms of the deeper issue of vocation, is a highly individual thing that means different things to different people. Success in this more profound sense is linked with an individual's capacity to express in the outer world the values and ideals which matter most in the inner world. Seen in this way, success may not involve money or position at all; for it depends on a quality of inner loyalty and integrity, and reflects the real essence of individuality rather than a common consensus based on superficial social or material concerns.
Success, for you, means making a definite mark on the world. You need to know that your special gifts have made an impact, and that your individuality is seen and recognised. And you want to feel that your life is useful in some way, through a lasting contribution to the world around you. This is a big requirement, and you might not feel, at the moment, that it will ever be possible for you to achieve the kind of prominence you desire. But if you are willing to put your heart and soul into something you love, and can maintain your commitment with integrity and constancy, you will find that you achieve the influence you seek, even if on a small scale. It is not material gain which motivates this deep ambition, nor simple vanity or desire for superficial status. It is a deep impulse to define yourself through your ability to make some kind of real and valuable change in the outer world through the exercise of your talents and abilities. Don't try to hide from this impulse because you think it is "selfish", or avoid its call because you are afraid of failure. You might be materially advantaged in a well-paying job, but you will not feel your life has purpose or meaning unless you know you have the power to make some small change in the world into which you were born. Whether you pursue recognition in the arts or the sciences, through working alone or through involvement with others, you need to shine - not because you are egocentric, but because it makes you feel alive when you know you have brought a bit more light to the outer world.
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Photo: Screenshot of Peter Ustinov from the trailer for the film The Sundowners, Wikimedia Commons
Sir Peter Ustinov, 16 April 1921, 11.00 AM, London (UK)
Sir Peter Ustinov is known worldwide for his outstanding accomplishments as an actor, producer, novelist, playwright and movie star. He has written 23 plays, nine books, starred in more than 35 films and fourteen plays, and has directed eight movies, eight plays and ten operas. He has won two Oscars, both for Best Supporting Actor.
Sir Peter has been a major supporter of UNICEF for more than 30 years. Several of his missions to visit UNICEF projects, such as his 1986 visit to child health and education projects in China, have been filmed for television. A two-week filmed mission to the Russian Federation in 1993 gave him the opportunity to help build awareness of the situation facing children in that country. In schools, hospitals, shelters and care facilities in Moscow, Saint Petersburg and other cities, he met with children who had been abused, children with disabilities, children living on the streets and children whose lives had been blighted by environmental degradation.
He was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in recognition of his artistic and humanitarian achievements in June 1990.
source: Unicef http://www.unicef.org.uk