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Life lessons with Oprah

Sarah Cox
Life lessons with Oprah

This week I was lucky enough to be invited along to ‘An Evening with Oprah.’ This successful entrepreneur and philanthropist is so famous and well recognised around the world, she doesn’t even need a last name!

I must admit, I was a late entrant to the ‘Oprah Fan Club’ with my love for her only blossoming in my mid-twenties. Up until then, I, like many here in Australia, only saw Oprah on Prime Time TV interviewing the world’s most famous (or infamous) celebrities.

Over the last five years I have watched her clips and interviews and have read many novels from her book club. I have come to realise that she is one of the most inspiring women in the world and at Rod Laver Arena she exceeded my expectations.

For two hours Oprah shared her rags to riches story, drawing on public and very personal experiences, with both humility and confidence and an endearing sense of humor. She highlighted many of her ‘a-ha’ moments and the lessons she has learnt from her own teachers (Marianne Williamson, Gary Zukav) which facilitated great changes in her mindset and subsequent actions resulting in the great successes she has created in her life.

My biggest take outs were:

Meditation is “the most valuable thing you can do for yourself”

This was one of her first ‘big tips.’ She recommended to “find out what works for you” whether it be prayer, meditation or simply finding five minutes of stillness throughout your day. This will help you discover that ‘little voice’ within and reconnect with your higher self and your purpose. Often when she is unsure of what the next step should be, she meditates and her ‘gut’ soon guides her to what is the right path to take. This is particularly important within a corporate environment when we are so often rushing from one meeting to another and ‘racing’ through our day. Try to find time to slow down and be still and suddenly time expands and you can fit more in!

“If you were born there was a reason for you to be here”

Oprah was very firm that every single being is put on this earth for a reason. It might not to become rich or famous, however your purpose is as equally important as Oprah’s, particularly to those people in your life. She was advised by the great Maya Angelou that legacy is not what you leave behind but the lives you touch. This resonated greatly with me, particularly in recruitment, when we do come in contact with so many people on a daily basis. To treat everyone with respect and let them know that you hear them (another great Oprah tip) is the most important thing we can do in this career. Confused about what your purpose is? It’s your passion… Confused about what your passion is? It’s what you enjoy doing and what lights up your soul (or feel free to give a consultant at SDE a call to help out in this space!)

“You co-create your life based on the energy of your intention"

This is so big. I don’t do anything that I don’t intend to do.” Are you saying yes to something but thinking no internally? The universe and people can pick up on the subtle energies behind your intention. Have the right intention in everything that you do, otherwise don’t do it! She also highlighted the importance of saying no. Many people have the “disease to please” which can bring about stress and resentment and affect other people’s experience.

“Luck is preparation meeting the moment of opportunity”

Oprah got to where she is today through A LOT of hard work and a little bit of luck. Whilst she is a big promoter of positive thinking and spirituality she also is a realist. You can’t “affirm” her way to your dreams, you also need to develop a plan and throw in drive and determination. To be able to identify the moment of opportunity also means to be present in THAT moment.

Gratitude

LOVED this one – Oprah spoke about what she is grateful for… not her private jet or her multi-million mansion! She spoke about that morning seeing the beautiful sunrise over Melbourne and watching the rowers on the Yarra River. She encouraged people to have a gratitude journal and write in it every day. It’s a great reminder of those small moments of happiness throughout your day and focusing on what you have rather than what you don’t have.

"I am the master of my fate, I am the captain of my soul”

This is a line from the famous poem that has stuck with Oprah through her life and she closed by encouraging us all that everything in our life has happened for a reason; to create strength. We are the masters of our own destiny and have the power to achieve what we desire.

If you missed the show and want to see a couple of her “gems” this is a great clip!