In the case of Mick Mohan, though, you must take the man at his word.
The chief program engineer for the Jaguar XF sedan grew up less than a mile from Jaguar's former headquarters at Browns Lane in the English Midlands.
His childhood visions were filled with E-Type coupes and Series I saloons. As a kid, Mohan thought: How lucky would it be to work amidst all that?
The boyhood dream came true. Mohan is a Jaguar engineer. His latest assignment was to develop the replacement for the S-Type sedan - creating a vehicle that Jaguar is counting on to reverse its fading fortunes.
Name: Mick Mohan
Title: Chief program engineer, Jaguar XF sedan
Works: Coventry, England
Family: Married, three children
Education: Engineering apprenticeship, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars; MBA from University of Warwick, Coventry, England
Big break: Named chief program engineer for the XJ sedan
OK, so you've got a great job. What job would you least like to have?
What was your first job?
Technical apprentice at Rolls-Royce.
What's your favorite city?
Sandbanks, Poole Harbour, England. It's a little strip of land by Bournemouth. It's the third-most-expensive place to buy property in the world. It's where the megarich in England live.
What's your favorite restaurant?
Cafe Shore in Sandbanks.
Name three dream dinner companions from any time period?
Jools Holland, Winston Churchill, Helen Mirren circa 1981.
How about your favorite beverage?
Extra-cold Carling lager.
What's on your iPod?
Squeeze's greatest hits.
What trait do you least like about yourself?
I talk too quickly.
What word do you overuse?
What's in your garage?
Series III 1986 XJ6, plus a lot of kid stuff.
What is your dream car?
1962 E-Type in primrose yellow.
Who is your favorite character in the movies?
Bob Hoskins in The Long Good Friday.
What three movies would you take to a desert island?
The Long Good Friday, Goldfinger, Some Like It Hot.
If you could have one do-over in life, what would it be?
I sold a Triumph Vitesse to Neville Staple of (pop band) Fun Boy Three. I rue the day I ever sold it, but what makes it worse is that I sold it to him.