I love love Oprah for no reason in particular; I grew up loving her and how successful she was. The irony of this was that I never stalked her as much as I stalked the likes Steve Jobs (RIP). So let’s just say my love for her was from a distance.
I came across this video of an interview she had at the Stanford Business School and respect for her grew. It moved from planet Earth to Pluto. I’ve had this video for the longest time and after watching it, it inspired a lot of action. Here are a few lessons I learnt from the video and I hope it inspires you too.
The interview split into three sections and each began with a quote. The first was:
“You have to know what sparks the light in you so that you, in your own way, can illuminate the world’
I took time to think about how this applied to me. From the conversation I had with my friends, we concluded that each one of us is unique and we need to find, understand, develop, and share this uniqueness with the world. I mean if we’re all ‘copycats’ or shadows of who we’re meant to be, the world would be a boring place. There won’t be a need for creativity or innovation.
Late Dr. Myles Munroe’s book, Maximizing your Potential, had one sentence that still resonates within me to this day: “Make sure you die empty”. I was perplexed but the explanation that ensued calmed me. Every human is born with 100% potential. It’s sad to note that many people die without using 0.1% of it. To die empty, one has to exhaust that unique potential possessed. Looks like Late Dr. Myles and Oprah think alike just in different words.
It shocked me to find out that she never knew she’d end up in media. I always thought someone like Oprah must have had her life all figured out. We feel like we need to have our life all figured out; from birth to death or at least birth to midlife. Sometimes it’s hard to know what sparks the light in you when you’re swarmed with thoughts of “what if’s” and the likes. These days I like to say “it’s never that serious” because we take life too serious and we forget to live.
As a youngster, it’s okay to try new things till you find your fort. We beat ourselves too hard when we fail at something we thought we’d succeed at. It might be a failure to some or an experience that provided a learning point but to each his own. In the words of Kerry Washington’s character (Olivia Pope) in the TV series, Scandal: “Trust your gut”
As at 1971, Oprah was earning $10,000 and then she got a better offer to Atlanta which she declined. I definitely would have taken that offer. I’m thinking more money but then again I realized it’s not always about the money. It’s more about your skill and what you can bring to the table. Remember: “To whom much is given, much is expected”.
Most times, we are torn between What the world is saying to us and what feels likes the truth to ourselves. Certain things in our lives feel glamorous to the world and feel very unnatural to us. For example, earning $40,000 was amazing to everyone around Oprah but she knew reporting was not for her. According to her, ” Knowing what you don’t want to do is the best possible place to be when you don’t know what to do”. This is because knowing what you don’t want to do leads you to figure out what you really want do.Also, “Know when it’s time to go” . This is key. Don’t get drunk with power; be guided by a force bigger than yourself.
There is an innate supreme moment of destiny for everyone; to feel this, you have to own a level of self-awareness. Her words again: “There is no real doing in the world without being first” You have to develop some sort of connection with yourself and that which is higher than self. These are very deep statements. We all need to learn how to live from the inside-out not the other way round. That way, we make sure that our inner being is intact. Let everything you have, do, and become be fueled by your inner being because overriding instincts get you in trouble. I know we all have that moment of regret where we wished we had listened to our instincts.
It’s very important we find and understand our purpose-what our contribution to the world is. Oprah’s is to help people connect to themselves. She used TV as a platform to speak to the world. In everything you do, ask yourself “What is my intention of doing it?” Remember the third law of motion, “For every action, there’s an equal and opposite reaction”. What you think and act on will definitely come back to you because what propels the action is the intention. This determines the reactions, results, and consequences.
Who are you? What do you want to do with yourself? What do you do to take care of yourself? How are you going to use who you are to help the world? What is your Spirituality like? This certainly has nothing to do with Religion as many people mistake it to be in some situations. This is the highest and truest expression of yourself. Your life is your greatest teacher.
The best way to end is with the wise words of the Renaissance woman:
“Align your personality with your purpose and no one can touch you; figure out your purpose in life. You don’t have anything to give/offer the world that you don’t already have; you have to keep yourself full. Your real work is to figure out where your power base is and to work on the alignment of your personality, gifts, and the reason you’re on earth”
Click here for the video ——>Oprah on Career, Life, and Leadership