Lessons from Oprah
The lovely winner of the Oprah tickets, Jo, has kindly popped in to let me know all the best bits she learned from Oprah. Thanks Jo!
So with Chantelle otherwise occupied cruising the high seas, I gratefully took her tickets to An Evening with Oprah off her hands… With a promise that I would soak it all in and report back for all of you.
The excitement was palpable as an entire arena full of Oprah fans waited patiently and danced their collective butts-off for her-royal-O to grace the stage… and grace it she did in an amazing pink-on-pink two piece – the box pleat full skirt, short and the front with a train at the back – it swooshed and swirled as she paced the stage recounting memories from her childhood and seminal moments in her career. There’s no doubt that Oprah believes that her life philosophies are at the core of her success – and in just over two hours she shared her most important life lessons and mantras.
There’s no way that I can do justice to hours and hours worth of advice from one of the most inspirational women in the world – but if I had to boil it all down to the big walk-away lessons for me… It would be these…
If there’s one thing that Oprah has done over her career, its talk. Talk to people of all walks of life, from movie stars and Presidents; to criminals on death row; to people in their darkest hours of loss. She shared that each and every one –after the interview – looked to her for validation, asking “was that OK?”. After many many many years of this question, Oprah realised that what they were actually asking was whether their message was understood. And that, she explained, is the basis of all human interactions – Validation. “Did you hear me, and does what I say mean anything to you?” Most arguments, she explained, also come down to this issue, people not feeling heard, not feeling appreciated by the other. The greatest gift you can give someone is letting them know they matter, hearing what they have to say.
Be responsible for you and your happiness and understand what makes you happy.
Cut the crap and really ask yourself – what makes me happy? What makes me curious? What gives me energy and makes me excited? What makes me feel fulfilled?
You co-create your life with every choice that you make. So think about what makes you happy – and make choices that step you towards those things. She explains that in her life, she has taken control of her choices by understanding her intention behind every action. “Your intention is the driving force that determines outcome” she explained. Without understanding the intention, you drive around recklessly in your own life, not controlling any of the outcomes. Step, with intent towards a life that makes you happy.
The only real power that any of us have is within our own sphere, the choices we make, the people we listen to, the steps we take, the things we tell ourselves, and the energy we bring. You harness the power of your own sphere by paying attention to it. Make active choices. Don’t be a passenger in your own life – get in that driver’s seat, and take the street that will lead you towards happiness.
You know that little voice that says something isn’t right… that feeling in your gut… that uneasiness – Oprah says that your life speaking to you, trying to move you in a different direction. She believes that her success due to the fact that she listens to her life. She listens to those feelings of uneasiness, and reflects on the situation and the choices she is making. She tries not to let things snowball into problems because she pays attention to those whispers. When you don’t listen, the situation crops us as problems, which become crises, which ends up in disaster mode. And – if you did ignore it, and were tested by problems, or crises, or disasters – don’t let those mistakes be worthless. Make them matter. Every test, every mistake has the ability to make us stronger. Learn. Remember. Think about the choices that lead you to that mistake. Think about your intentions. Pay attention to the journey
When you are looking for things to be grateful for in your life – they reveal themselves. Oprah says this takes practice and discipline. Every day, she writes down five things that she is grateful for (almost everyday this includes watching the sunset with her dog). They don’t have to be be big, or life changing, just things that make you thankful. Practicing this will help reveal your true happiness. It comes back to her point about energy, she explains that the easiest way to shift your personal space and energy, is to move to a place of gratitude. It takes discipline and practice – but Oprah explains this is one of her most spiritual practices – and one of her most rewarding – looking, each day, for the things that have made her happy… looking, each day, at her mistakes and being grateful to learn from them… looking, each day, for the joy and fulfilment in her life… looking, each day, for the good. When you actively seek out the good in your life, more will follow.
It’s the same road, it’s the same journey, and we are all just doing our best to rise to our best selves. If you tell those in your life they matter, if you take control of your energy and your actions by making choices on purpose and with intent, if you listen to the messages that your life is trying to send you and you learn from your mistakes, and if you are grateful for just being on the road, on the journey – you will be moving towards your best self and moving towards whatever a successful and happy life looks like for you.
Were you at an Evening With Oprah? What is one thing that you took away from the night? Or if you didn’t go, did any of the above resonate with you?