I think we have it figured out that Oprah is one of my favorite people. I just love her (cues soft music). I adore her spirit, her tenacity and her hustle. She is the epitome of living the American Dream as she has risen from nothing into something. And not just a person with money, she has become a person of significance. She accomplished this by not only making herself valuable to others, but by her philanthropic efforts as well. Many people have waited for the day to see her fall, but she wipes away the hate and finds other ways to succeed. On my way to becoming my better self, her teachings have taught me immensely. Here are a few that have gotten me along the way.
"Think like a queen. A queen is not afraid to fail. Failure is another steppingstone to greatness." Ms. Winfrey decided it was time to start her OWN cable channel. And while it was a great idea, the channel did not do so well in the beginning. The critics loved it! They were happy to see the woman with the midas touch possibly fail at something. Well unfortunate for them, she has been able to bring the channel around and find her market. Possible failure did not detour her. So often we as women view our failures as setbacks. If a relationship failed, we automatically takes the sole blame, had a child out of wedlock and are raising the child on our own--sole blame, failed to negotiate a salary, etc. So we don't even try or aim high. We don't grasp the teachable moments in these lessons. I can point to many times in my life where I thought I was a failure because something didn't work out as planned. But seeing where I am now, the failures truly connect.
"What God intended for you goes far beyond anything you can imagine." Oh, when you tell God your plans, He laughs. "I got it God. I can handle this situation on my own." Ms. Winfrey's grandmother had plans for her to be a house helper/nanny for "good white people." God said differently. We can't even fathom the blessings that He has for us, but sometimes we have to let go. Let go of hurt, our own direction, people or places that no longer serve us. It's ok, that is the one (person) who has your back.
"Surround yourself with only people who are going to lift you higher." Clearly Ms. Winfrey has a gift. She has a great speaking voice and has been cultivating it from a young age. She has had people to realize this and help her along the way. But no one is solely responsible for her success. However, she does know the importance of cultivating solid relationships with people that can help lift you. If you are still in the same place you were 5 years ago, look around you. You have a desire to climb higher, but your dear friends and family could be unintentionally or intentionally holding you back. Not that they are bad people, it's just that you are on the same level. You (and your net worth) are a sum total of the 5 people you have around most. In order to grow, you must look to those who are further than you are. Don't be afraid to reach out to them and ask if they would like to mentor you. If you want to reach higher, put yourself in places where the higher ups mingle.
"So go ahead. Fall down. The world looks different from the ground." Ms. Winfrey was pregnant at 14 years old and the baby passed away a few weeks later. No one knew about this until a family member leaked this information to the press. Oprah, understandably was devastated that someone would do this. She said she stayed in bed for days, but afterwards, she felt free. Many of us are afraid to fall because we associate it with pain and avoid it at all costs. We also avoid stepping out on our dreams because of this. What we don't realize is that to succeed, many times you will fall. It is here that you learn a lot, unfortunately lol. The good thing about being down is that there is no where else to go but up.
I hope these teachings help you along the way as they have helped me.
Picture of Ms. Oprah Winfrey courtesy of www.atlantablackstar.com