My evening with Oprah: believing
— Maree Ferguson, Director, Dietitian Connection
I used to visit Chicago often when I lived in the USA, but somehow never managed to see the city’s most famous resident: Oprah Winfrey. At the time, her, long-running daytime show was still on the air, but I never made it into the studio audience [nor did I run across her on the city’s streets, much to my chagrin!].
At the end of 2015, however, I was able to tick off this long-standing bucket list item: Oprah came to me. Well, me and a few thousand of my closest friends.
As part of her “An Evening with Oprah” tour of Australia, the motivational marvel spoke on 10 December in Brisvegas – and it was worth the wait.
Here are highlights from Oprah’s messages that evening – all of which can readily be applied to our lives, both professionally and personally:
1. “I am the master of my fate, and captain of my soul”. Know your passion, vision and purpose. Then, align yourself — and your personality — with that purpose. Figure out why you are here and how you can share that purpose with the world. Importantly, don’t let anyone else prevent you from living your purpose.
2. “Luck is preparation meeting opportunity”. I love this quote! Put in the hours (and hours) of preparation, and one day this will pay off with a great opportunity knocking at your door.
3. “Be yourself”. Even Oprah admitted she yearned to be someone else – the renowned American journalist Barbara Walters – until she finally realised she “could be a better Oprah than a pretend Barbara.”
4. Avoid the “Disease to please”. Today we are in an epidemic of desiring to please others. Instead, utilise the principle of intention and learn to say no. Practice saying it without feeling guilty. Most times, the person you’re saying “no” to actually won’t mind at all.
5. “Believe anything is possible”. Dare to dream! Oprah always knew from a young age that she would live a better life than her poor childhood upbringing seemingly limited her to; she always believed in herself.
6. The Power of Validation. Oprah started to notice all of her famous guests, including USA Presidents, millionaires, actors and everyday people, when the cameras stopped rolling they would ask her the same question: “Was that okay?” What people were really asking was, “Did you hear me, did what I say mean anything to you and do I matter?” When you can really listen and see people, that’s the power of validation.
7. “You have no power to control what others think and feel”. Stop worrying about what others are thinking, and focus on yourself and your reactions. “The energy you put out is what you will get back”, says Oprah, so project positive energy and you will get positive results.
8. “Let go of your attachment to the outcome. Surrender”. Oprah wanted to play the role of Sofia in the movie “The Colour Purple”. She heard rumours that another actress was chosen for the role. At first she was envious, and then she decided she would have positive thoughts and wish the other actress well. And at that very moment, she received a call from Steven Spielberg to offer her the role.
9. Use a gratitude journal. On a personal level, I started doing this for 2016, and am really enjoying looking for the positives in the day — and being grateful for these moments.
Take a moment today and consider: how can you apply Oprah’s messages to become master of your fate, captain of your soul?
Edited by Laura Byrne