Loved around the world – American television host, producer and philanthropist Oprah Winfrey has most certainly left her mark on the face of history. Once the world’s only black billionaire, arguably the single greatest black philanthropist in American history and often considered to be the most influential woman in the world – there is so much that Oprah’s life can teach us all.
Having overcome unspeakable hardships during her early life, Oprah went on to become the inspirational person that she is today, reaching out to millions from around the world with the generosity and transparency that she is famous for. Not surprisingly, many people look to Oprah for inspiration and guidance on how they too can become their very best and turn their lives around for the better.
Here, then, are some lessons from the final episode of The Oprah Winfrey Show, as expressed by Oprah herself, in the hope that they may find you when you need them most and that you may share them with those who might need them as well.
1. We are each other’s best teachers.
“Something in me connected with each of you in a way that allowed me to see myself in you and you in me. I became your surrogate — to ask the questions, deliver the answers, learn, grow, expand my thinking, challenge my beliefs and the way I looked at the world. I listened and grew, and I know you grew along with me.”
2. Each of us has to find our own calling.
“Everybody has a calling, and your real job in life is to figure out what that is and get about the business of doing it. Every time we have seen a person on this stage who is a success in their life, they spoke of the job and they spoke of the juice that they receive from doing what they knew they were meant to be doing.”
3. Your calling will let you “live from the heart of yourself.”
“It lights you up and it lets you know that you are exactly where you’re supposed to be, doing exactly what you’re supposed to be doing. And that is what I want for all of you and hope that you will take from this show. To live from the heart of yourself. You have to make a living; I understand that. But you also have to know what sparks the light in you so that you, in your own way, can illuminate the world.”
4. You are responsible for your life.
“Nobody but you is responsible for your life. It doesn’t matter what your mama did; it doesn’t matter what your daddy didn’t do. You are responsible for your life. … You are responsible for the energy that you create for yourself and you’re responsible for the energy that you bring to others.”
5. You alone are enough.
“… we often block our own blessings because we don’t feel inherently good enough or smart enough or pretty enough or worthy enough. … The show has taught me you’re worthy because you are born and because you are here. Your being here, your being alive makes worthiness your birthright. You alone are enough.”
6. Everyone needs validation.
“I’ve talked to nearly 30,000 people on this show and all 30,000 had one thing in common: They all wanted validation. … They want to know: ‘Do you see me? Do you hear me? Does what I say mean anything to you?’ ”
“Try it with your children, your husband, your wife, your boss, your friends. Validate them. ‘I see you. I hear you. And what you say matters to me.’ ”
7. Practice Gratitude.
“Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough.”
Our reality is what we make it; Oprah knows this and it is with this knowledge that she has been able to take the negatives from her earlier life and transform them into such dazzling positives.
Oprah knows that what we give most of our attention and thoughts to, is what we attract the most of in our life. So, use gratitude to focus your thoughts on the positives that are already in your life. Do this and they should continue to multiply and multiply, until there is no longer room in your life for the negatives.
8. “We can’t become what we need to be by remaining what we are.”
Have you ever considered the saying – ‘You can’t make an omelette without breaking a few eggs’? Well, the same can be said of life and happiness. Without change you can never grow any greater than what you are now, so what small changes can you begin to make to become the person that you want to be?
You cannot expect to change your life by continuing on the same path that you are on now; your life can only change to the extent of the changes that you make in yourself.
9. We can all be someone’s safe place to fall.
“And what I hope is that you all will be that safe harbor for somebody else — their safe place to fall. Do for them what you all are telling me the show has done for you. Connect. Embrace. Liberate. Love somebody. Just one person. And then spread that to two. And as many as you can. You’ll see the difference it makes.”