Oprah Winfrey, or also known as the “Queen of All Media”, was the richest African American in the 20th century. Her talk show, The Oprah Winfrey Show was the highest-rated television program of its kind in history. Plus, Oprah was North America’s first black multi-billionaire.
Well, Oprah is famous, successful and well-known, but she did not start as you thought. She was born into poverty in a rural area in Mississippi to a teenage single mother.
According to this article from Telegraph, until the age of six, Oprah lived with her grandmother. And because they were so poor that she was sent to school wearing dresses made of potato sacks. When she was 14, she was sexually abused and got pregnant.
However, her son was born prematurely and died shortly after birth. Although she lived in poverty and was raised in a harsh environment, Oprah did well in school, especially in speech and drama.
And due to her good results in school, she was offered a full scholarship to Tennessee State University. At age 17, she won the Miss Black Tennessee beauty pageant and was then hired to work by a local radio station.
Oprah discovered her calling when she was transferred to Chicago in 1984. She found that her emotional style of speaking as a chat-show host fitted perfectly with her passion.
The morning chat show, AM Chicago was then quickly changed to The Oprah Winfrey Show. And the rest, they say, is history.
Imagine if someone was born into poverty by a single teenage mother in a harsh environment, and was sexually abused and pregnant at age 14, do you think this person is going to have a bright future?
Most people will say no. Yet, Oprah showed us that life has so much more to offer and that your past does not equal your future.
And here’s one of the most meaningful quotes from Oprah that I love a lot:
“I trust that everything happens for a reason, even when we’re not wise enough to see it.”
She believed that everything happens for a reason, it is just that we fail to recognize the purpose.
It reminds me of what Steve Jobs said in his inspirational commencement speech at Stanford University. Jobs said that being fired from the company he started was one of the best experiences in his life.
It was because he was fired, he got the chance to learn more and start anew. These were the very words from Jobs:
“I didn’t see it then, but it turned out that getting fired from Apple was the best thing that could have ever happened to me. The heaviness of being successful was replaced by the lightness of being a beginner again, less sure about everything. It freed me to enter one of the most creative periods of my life.”
Thus, never be afraid of hardships, failures, adversities, and setbacks. They are there for a reason.
There are so much more we can learn from Oprah Winfrey. And let us start with her inspirational quotes and meaningful sayings…
1. “Turn your wounds into wisdom.”
After going through all the hardships and challenges in her life, Oprah has learned how to turn her wounds into wisdom.
If you want to be successful, you need to have the power and the ability to transform your bad days into your character-building days.
You have to understand that failure and setbacks are inevitable. They are not the opposite of success. In fact, failures are on the same side as success. They are the stepping stones to reaching your dreams.
Thus, do not be afraid of making mistakes or fail in life.
The process of overcoming obstacles may not be easy, but you have to always remember that for all the hardship you are going through, someone out there is facing the same tough situation or even worse, but they did not give up and succeed.
So learn from Oprah, turn your wounds into wisdom.
2. “Doing the best at this moment puts you in the best place for the next moment.”
Do you know that your future is determined by what you do at this moment? You definitely can’t change your past. The only moment you can control is now, the present moment.
And what you do right now will determine what you get in the future.
If you choose to watch TV and play games instead of working on your goals and dreams, guess what will happen a year or two? Nothing much.
Everything will still be the same. What if you continue doing the same and let your habits take control of your life? After ten years, you will live in regret that you should start earlier.
Therefore, take Oprah’s advice. Do your best at this moment to create the best place in the next moment.
If you have a goal or a dream, work on it and pursue it right now. Don’t wait, and don’t procrastinate.
3. “One of the hardest things in life to learn is which bridges to cross and which bridges to burn.”
Yes, one of the hardest things to do in life is to learn how to make the right decisions so that you can get to where you want to go.
Like what Tony Robbins says:
You are where you are right now because of your past decisions. Hence, if you want to change, you need to start by making different decisions.
4. “If you are still breathing, you have a second chance.”
Failure doesn’t matter as long as you are still alive, you can still stand a chance to make it all work.
You are not a failure if you don’t accept your own defeat. You should understand that you will have to fight a battle more than once to win it.
Sadly, many people don’t have the persistence to overcome all the obstacles and to get back up again. They fall and they choose to stay there.
My friend, when you make a mistake, fail and fall, choose to get back up. You always have a chance as long as you do not give up.
5. “Everybody has a story. And there is something to be learned from every experience.”
Do you know that success comes from good judgment? And that good judgment comes from experience? And experience usually comes from bad judgment?
It doesn’t matter where you come from, the key is where you want to go. And for whatever problems you face in life, treat them as the stepping stones to getting where you want to go.
If you study and read the success stories of extraordinary people, you will discover that their journey may not be as smooth as you think.
And they learn how to progress forward despite all the hardships. And you have to do the same if you want to be successful.
Learn to turn your failure into success, my friend.
6. “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.”
What you focus on will expand. If you always focus and think about having not enough, guess what, that is what you will receive.
Oprah also says:
“The more you praise and celebrate your life, the more there is in life to celebrate.”
Hence, put your thoughts and focus on what you want, not what you don’t want. You become what you think about most of the time.
There is no way you can become successful and achieve greatness in life if you constantly thinking about shrinking and focus on the problems.
7. “You are responsible for your life. You can’t keep blaming somebody else for your dysfunction. Life is really about moving on.”
The key to living a successful life is to take full control of your life. And to do so, you must take full responsibility for it.
The problem with most people is that they don’t take full responsibility for what has happened in their lives. They blame, they make lousy excuses, and they complain about everything that has happened.
The moment you blame and make excuse, you are giving away the power to control and to change.
Think about it, if something is not your fault, can you change the situation? No, you can’t, because it is always someone or some else’s fault, not yours. Thus, you can’t change.
You can only make a change when you are in control. And this is why you must learn to take full responsibility for your life.
8. “The biggest adventure you can take is to live the life of your dreams.”
Do you have a dream? If you do, pursue it. Never succumb to live life as it is. Never settle for anything less than what you can accomplish.
Life is short and we should all live this life with greatness. Like what Vincent Van Gogh said:
“I would rather die of passion than of boredom.”
If you have a dream, go for it. You don’t have to let someone tells you what to do or talk you out of your dreams.
What is the point of living on this earth if you are going to be like everybody? Be bold, be extraordinary.
If you have a dream but you don’t dare to pursue it, you’d guarantee to regret it in the later years. As what Mark Twain wisely put it:
“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”
9. “Surround yourself only with people who are going to take you higher.”
This is one of the most vital recipes to success. Highly successful people surround themselves with other successful people.
They understand that they become who they mix around most of the time. So if you want to be successful, join other successful people. Make them your friends.
You can’t swim with the ducks if you want to fly like an eagle. If you always mix with losers, you will end up becoming one.
Hence, make friends and join those who can elevate you to a higher ground.
10. “You don’t become what you want, you become what you believe.”
Yes, you don’t get what you want, you get what you become and believe.
A lot of people thought that in order to achieve their goals, all they need to do is to think about them. No, thinking about what you want is just the beginning. What truly attracts your goals to you is when you become the right person.
And to become the right person, you need to believe and act like it. You can’t say that you want to be rich but deep inside you don’t believe you can do it.
Oprah gets it right when she said that we become what we believe. It is true that our thoughts shape our actions and our actions get us the results.
But what creates our thoughts? It is our beliefs.
When you believe in what you want and you believe that you can achieve it, you will attract it to you.
These inspirational quotes from Oprah Winfrey are definitely powerful. But sometimes, they can be difficult to relate to you because what you and Oprah have gone through may be totally different.
Therefore, I suggest you a few other ways to get motivated, and they are:
- Get a cup of coffee – Caffeine can make you alert and driven to get to work.
- Try a nootropic pill – This can sure give you the jumpstart you require for a well-motivated life.
- Visualize your success – When you imagine yourself living your dream life, it makes you feel good.
- Move your body – Do you know that your motion can create your emotion? When you are feeling tired, lazy, and lack of motivation, just move your body.
- Read inspirational books – This is no doubt one of the easiest ways to get motivated. Read success stories and you will be pumped up in no time.
With these two additions, and the wonderful quotes by Oprah to guide you, you sure have yourself a recipe to a life full of passion.