Oprah Winfrey on Pursuing Passion
Oprah Winfrey is a television personality, actors, entrepreneur, and talk show host who became one of the richest and most influential women in the United States. However, Oprah did not have the easy path to success. She was the victim of many harsh realities including child abuse. She did not come from any high-end means as she was born a small farm in Mississippi where she was passed back-and-forth between her mother and grandmother for the majority of her childhood with much more dark history behind her.
She wasn’t able to have a positive influence in her life until the age of 14 when she went to live with her father. Still, she uses her years spent in struggle as a learning experience and even attributes her success to aspects of her character that she developed in those difficult years of childhood.
Now Oprah is one of, if not the, most impressive women in this century. Today we aim to take a few bits of wisdom from Oprah in an effort to help guide us in our own pursuit of passion in our lives.
“You get in life what you have the courage to ask for.”
While this may seem obvious, this idea is very often overlooked. When it becomes difficult to see the vision of the future that you truly want, it is easy to start settling for futures that may seem more credible and easy to grasp. Of course, when we lower our dreams they become easier to obtain. The problem is that you are reaching the dreams that you never truly wanted in the first place. You reached what you settled for. If you want something, you must ask for it. You can I have to go in with the mentality that it is too far out of your reach. If you do so, then it will be. You can’t expect an answer at the door for a door that you never knocked on. Whether it is asking someone in a position to give it to you or just asking life itself, you must ask for what you truly want. You must keep asking. There is one sure fire way to not get what you want, and that is to stop asking for it.
“When you undervalue what you do, the world will undervalue who you are.”
We all have unique talents and skills, but many of us don’t know that. Some talents are more visible than others, and some are harder to detect at first glance. Some can be put on display very often in every day situations for people to see. Some are much more specific and only become prevalent in certain situations. No matter what your talent may be, you must learn to appreciate the value of what you do.
Some people have super glamorous talents that are wild and entertaining when displayed. Cheers to them! Others have talents that might not be so extravagant but do prove to be extremely useful. For example, let’s look at a plumber. People aren’t lining up to buy tickets to watch a plumber fix the pipes within your wall. However, when a pipe bursts within your home, odds are you will pay almost any price to get it fixed. Wouldn’t it be so easy for the plumber to get down on himself about his job? Today’s media portrays plumbers in a not so glamorous way, but their jobs are one of the most important jobs there is.
We get down on ourselves about our jobs, talents, hobbies, etc.. we compare it to those who seemingly do more and do better than us. That is a losing battle. Every single one of our talents and abilities has tremendous value even when we can’t see it. One must develop an eye for understanding the value in the things that we are able do that can back and help others. There is always tremendous value in that.
“So go ahead. Fall down. The world looks different from the ground.”
Nowadays especially, the fear of failure has become extremely prevalent. People live their whole lives doing the exact same thing because they are afraid to step out of their boundaries and try something that might not work. They settle for doing something that might not be their highest potential but is consistent and safe. No one wants to be known as the failure, so many of us don’t try.
Especially with media being so prevalent in the world today, it becomes easy to feel like every single move of ours is documented for the rest of our lives. It might feel like everything we do will be hung over us till the day that we die. A concept that we really need to understand is to not just fail but to fail greatly. Failure can be a huge tragedy, and often times it does feel that way. However, when we learned to fail correctly, it can actually be used as a strength to our “life’s resume”. If we fail and get nothing out of it then give up to pursue something safer, it is true that we failed. If we fail and learn one single thing that helps us take another step in the direction of where we want to go, then we are succeeding.
That is what so many people don’t understand. We can fall. We can fall a lot. Just make sure that you fall forward when you do. You will still have to get back up, but you have gained ground nonetheless. Don’t think that you need to start walking backwards just because you fell down again and again. Fall forward, readjust, get up, and start moving forward again.
“You can have it all. Just not all at once.”
Sacrifices necessary for success. It is easy to want to something without wanting to give something else up. However, we need to pick. We can have anything that we want, we just can’t have everything that we want. One of the biggest problems that comes up when making and achieving Goals is a lack of focus. A dog that chases two rabbits will catch neither, but if he focuses on one then he can at least have that one.
“Opportunity may knock only once but temptation leans on the doorbell.”
The path to success will be littered with distraction, so you need to stay focused. There may only be a few, if not just one, times where the opportunity that you have been waiting for arises. You need to be ready and vigilant to take the opportunity when it comes and not notice it when it passes. Do not get distracted with what does not matter in the long run.
If you wanted to be an easy ride then don’t worry, the easy way out will always be there. The easy path will not get you to what you truly want, but it will relieve some of that stress that aches you at this very moment. The problem with this is that while you are immediate stress is gone, there is a lasting regret and sorrow for what may have been. The easy way out will always be very tempting. Just remember that discipline weighs ounces and regret weighs tons.
“The key to realizing a dream is to focus not on success but on significance — and then even the small steps and little victories along your path will take on greater meaning.”
Remember that success is not just obtaining more for yourself, it is giving the most that you possibly can. Think about it. Anyone who is successful got there because they were able to give people something that they truly wanted, and they were awarded for doing so. Do not be a taker, be a giver. When you get behind something that gives you true meaning and significance in your life and the lives of those around you, your wealth will be boundless. This is not just talking about money. It is also about relationships, contribution, impact, legacy, family, and lasting memories. Grow your wealth to more than just money. Grow your wealth of life, and you will live happy.