7 Life Lessons
from Oprah

7 Life Lessons  from Oprah

O prah Gail Winfrey [born January 29, 1954] is an American talk show host, actress, producer, and philanthropist. Best known for her award-winning talk show ‘The Oprah Winfrey Show’, the highest-rated program of its kind in history.

Oprah has been ranked the richest African-American of the 20th century, the greatest black philanthropist in American history, and was for a time the world’s only black billionaire. She is also, according to some assessments, the most influential woman in the world.

And we all know that Oprah didn’t have a head start. She was born into poverty in rural Mississippi to a teenage single mother. She experienced many hardships during her childhood. Nevertheless she has become very successful.

What can we learn from her? How you can we adopt Oprah’s mindset?
Here are seven amazing life lessons from Oprah!

Be true to yourself

Although Oprah began her career imitating Barbara Walters and she admired talk show icon Phil Donahue, deciding to be herself – her best self – made her more successful than she ever imagined.

Do you ever pretend to be someone you’re not? What would happen if you stepped away from that image and were yourself instead?

‘Anybody pretending to be anything other than who you really are,
you will never, ever reach your personal potential.’

Intention is everything

Oprah in the November 2001 issue of ‘O, The Oprah Magazine’:
‘I had recognized for a long time that I was responsible for my life, that every choice produced a consequence. But often the consequences seemed out of line with my expectations. That’s because I was thinking one thing but intending another. So I decided to become aware of my every intention in order to create a different outcome.

Beneath each of your thoughts and choices lies your deepest intention. If you are feeling stuck in your life and want to move forward, start by examining your past motivations.’

When something doesn’t turn out the way you had hoped, can you examine your intention from the beginning? Were the choices you made always in alignment with your initial goal? Despite what you had planned, does how you feel about the outcome indicate that you might have wanted something different?

‘Your intention rules your life and determines the outcome.’

If you haven’t fallen, you haven’t walked
[click to tweet]
Oprah, like most insanely successful people, doesn’t believe in failure. What most people think of as failure, she considers to be a new perspective, a new lesson, another stepping stone to her destination. Her advice for those afraid to fail: ‘Do the one thing you think you cannot do. Fail at it. Try again. Do better.’

In life you will fail, you will make mistakes, you will get discouraged, but you must not quit. Every failure is a step in the right direction. Dare to fail until you succeed.

‘Go ahead. Fall down.
The world looks different from the ground.’

Focus on the good

Oprah’s past is full of struggle. She grew up poor, was sexually abused as a child, and had a son at the age of 14 who died in infancy. She credits these events for giving her more capacity to relate to the pain of others. As Oprah puts it: ‘Every single event in life happens in an opportunity to choose love over fear.’

What you focus on expands! If you focus on the good, you will get more of it. If you focus on lack and poverty, you will get more of that as well. Learn to recognize the good in your life. Give thanks for it everyday. If your focus changes, so will your life.

‘Turn your wounds into wisdom.’

Think big

Oprah’s path that led from her grandmother’s farm in Mississippi to becoming the first African-American woman billionaire is a story of unwavering focus and the ability to think beyond her circumstances. When education may have not happened without the hard work of earning a scholarship, she thought big. When others may have been limited by a painful past, she chose to think big. Seeing the needs of children and families, she established programs that would make a difference because she decided to think big.

So many people live beneath their capabilities because they are riddled with guilt by the thought of living a lavish life. You are here to have the best, and to become your very best. The best was made for you! If not you, then who?

‘What God intended for you goes far beyond anything you can imagine.’

Help yourself by helping others

By helping others [especially as an entrepreneur], you demonstrate your value, you build networks and create good karma. Doing good for others is doing good for yourself.

Not only Oprah started her own charity [Oprah’s Angel Network], she’s also given more of her own money to philanthropic causes than any other performer in America. The main reason that Oprah does this is so that she can make a positive impact in the lives of others, but she also has somewhat of a selfish reason:

‘The surest way to bring goodness to yourself
is to make it your intention to do good for somebody else.’

The power of passion

Passion is experienced when you do what you love. Passion is power! Discover your passion, and dedicate your life to fulfilling that passion, no matter how long it takes.

When you’re doing what you love, then you’re probably going to do a better job. According to Oprah ‘You know you are on the road to success if you would do your job, and not be paid for it.’

‘Passion is energy.
Feel the power that comes from focusing on what excites you.’

Sharing is caring!
What is your biggest life lesson from the seven above? Or what is your biggest life lesson?
Please share your insights of experiences in the comment box below!
Thank you!

Mirjam Stoffels

Founder of seven2success, guest blogger at TEDx, Project Eve and 365 dagen succesvol. In my mission to make seven2success the biggest platform of knowledge and inspiration for women, by women, I want to inspire you with our content! Check us out on Facebook and Twitter! I’d love to connect!
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  1. Rozelinde

    Prachtig dat je dit artikel wijdt aan Oprah. Haar levenslessen zijn geweldig, en wat het belangrijkste is voor mij is gewoon haar voorbeeld. Ze helpt anderen via openheid en communicatie. Ze maakt moeilijke onderwerpen bespreekbaar, zodat velen daarvan kunnen leren. De waarde die ze daardoor levert wordt misschien soms onderschat. Ze leert ook dat het voor iedereen mogelijk is om succesvol te zijn of jouw dromen na te streven. Inderdaad één van de belangrijkste punten voor mij is dat fouten en moeilijkheden jouw successen en kracht worden. Al haar levenslessen raken mij en deze in het bijzonder.

    Warme groet,

    • Mirjam Stoffels

      Dank je voor jouw reactie, Rozelinde!
      Oprah is ook altijd een inspiratiebron voor mij [vandaar deze post, natuurlijk!].
      Haar leven, mindset en carrière zijn natuurlijk hét voorbeeld van ‘Turn your wounds into wisdom’.

      Voor mij is op dit moment #3 ‘Als je nog nooit gevallen bent, heb je nog nooit gelopen’ heel belangrijk. Te vaak vind ik het moeilijk om actie te ondernemen als ik het hele plaatje nog niet duidelijk heb. Bang voor mislukking. Maar er zijn geen mislukkingen. Iedere mislukking is een stap in de goede richting. Oprah zegt ook: ‘I do not believe in failure. It is not failure if you enjoyed the process.’ Wise words again…

  2. Dank je voor dit mooie artikel, Mirjam!
    Tijdens de netwerktrainingsdag in Nieuwegein afgelopen zaterdag had ik Oprah opgeschreven als persoon die ik graag wilde ontmoeten. Nu heb jij dat verrassenderwijs gerealiseerd door haar belangrijkste inzichten mij op deze manier voor te schotelen. Ik kan me dus een vliegticket naar US besparen, thanks :) !

    • Mirjam Stoffels

      Dank je voor jouw reactie, Joyce!
      Wat goed dat je Oprah hebt opgeschreven afgelopen zaterdag! Een ontmoeting met Oprah staat ook op mijn verlanglijstje. Dit is zo ‘groot’ dat ik het niet eens op durf te schrijven… Zegt iets over mijn mindset en groter denken. Ik ga me haar levensles #5 maar eens goed ter harte nemen!

  3. Giselle Burge

    What’s up? I wish for to subscribe for this page to get newest updates. Where can I do
    that please?

    • Mirjam Stoffels

      Thank you for stopping by Giselle!
      At the top of this blog, on the right hand side [under the 'search' section] you can subscribe to our community. You’ll get a free copy of my ebook ‘Seven Little Secrets to Success’ on the go and we will send you a weekly newsflash with the latest updates!


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