11 Must Read Life Lessons From Oprah

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Oprah Winfrey has certainly stamped her influence on this generation. The transparency of her life, her desire to extend a hand up to help, and her generosity, all played out in the media and delivered in a spirit of humility, are refreshing expressions in a world that is so often on the take.

Her brand is global. Her mission is noble, and there is a wisdom that flows from this life that is being lived to the full.

So here are just 11 must read life lessons that we can draw from this 21st Century icon.

1. Real integrity is doing the right thing, knowing that nobody’s going to know whether you did it or not.

I often say that it’s as you are in the light that you should be in the dark that defines an integrous life. It’s what is performed in secret rather than what which is broadcast from the mountaintop that defines the true quality of any life. Practice, practice, practice in a state of solitude, long before you ever step out into the light of day is so imperative if your influence will be long and lasting – for it is your integrity that will sustain you.

2. As you become more clear about who you really are, you’ll be better able to decide what is best for you – the first time around.

Life is an unveiling  – a discovery – and even at times a surprise. I personally have spent five decades discovering who I am. So for many of us it takes years – and for me, who has set a goal to live for more than ten decades, it has been worth every bit of effort expended to this point. Now I have another lifetime to decide what is best for me – ‘the first time around’.

3. Every one of us gets through the tough times because somebody is there standing in the gap to close it for us.

None of us can do it alone. Apart from my creator I can’t do a thing. And then there is my wife, my children, family and friends. Thank God for those who make up the ‘gap’ when we fall short. As the turtle sitting on top of the fence post we are unable to get where we’re going without a little help from our friends.

4. I define joy as a sustained sense of well-being and internal peace – a connection to what matters.

Living in line with my purpose has definitely created a sustained sense of well-being and internal peace, because I am connected and engaged in, on a daily basis, with what really matters to me. I don’t try to live up to another’s dream for my life. I love my dream. I use the unique gifts endowed upon my life. I utilize my personal strengths, and because of this alignment, guided by my inner compass, I bound into each day with a renewed enthusiasm and a skip in my step – joy encapsulated.

5. I know for sure that what we dwell on is who we become.

To think is to be. So this is why I must dwell on the dream, ponder on the positives, consider the possibilities, and seek the solution – for they are all life giving.

I have seen the results of lives spent dwelling upon the negative – and many of those have departed this life prematurely or have lived a living death all of their days.

6. If you want your life to be more rewarding, you have to change the way you think.

The greatest battles I have ever fought have been in my mind. It has taken decades of consistent study to take a mind that was embroiled in a state of low self-esteem and impossibility thinking and transform it into the beautiful mind that it is today – full of possibility, positivity and profitability.

I had to change the way I thought if I was ever to live my life to its fullest potential.

7. With every experience you alone are painting your own canvas, thought by thought, choice by choice.

We are the artist. Our life is the canvas. We choose the colours that we will paint with each thought and with every choice. Some cover their canvas with dark colours, whereas I choose to take the brightest colours on the planet and splash them on my canvas. As I stand back to survey my creation I know that I have created but one thing – ‘magnificence’.

8. We are each responsible for our own life – no other person is or even can be.

Responsibility? Many would rather live in the realm of blame for the state of their life. But to do that is to live a life below possibility. It is when we finally stand up as a mature adult and take full responsibility for the good, the bad and the ugly in our life, and decide to move forward – reconciled and forgiven – that we will begin to hit our stride – all the way to success.

9. Understand that the right to choose your own path is a sacred privilege. Use it. Dwell in possibility.

Immersed in holiness. What a picture that paints – to dwell in possibility. Choice allows us to experience this. To choose life, to choose our life, to use the passions we have, and position them to be distributed passionately is a privilege. You and I have been handed all that we need to live a life beyond mediocrity, and towards excellence. So the question is simple. What are you going to do with what you have?

10. The whole point of being alive is to evolve into the complete person you were intended to be.

To become complete requires an evolutionary process. Our gifts, in our early years, are often raw and rough requiring shaping and molding. Mine began in the solitude of a motel room and then in the basement of a university library as little by little I began to unmask the me that was waiting to be unveiled. It took years of study, pain and experimentation – and yet as I passed through the fire and the flood of life – each time I passed through to the other side transformed – for the caterpillar had become the butterfly, and that is when I learnt to fly.

11. Before you agree to do anything that might add even the smallest amount of stress to your life, ask yourself: What is my truest intention? Give yourself time to let a yes resound within you. When it’s right, I guarantee that your entire body will feel it.

As you grow responsibility increases – and that at times creates stress. But if your intention is true to who you are, your passion, your dream, your path – then when you say ‘yes’ it is amazing to watch how you suddenly find that you have the capacity to rise to the occasion and surround yourself with a team who can assist you in the execution of your expanded self.

With that expansion your influence, your wisdom, your light, your substance flows out and over to the multitude – refreshing and revitalizing the hungry and the thirsty – for that is the purpose for which you were born – not to contain – but rather to expand.

So what life lessons have you learnt of late that have helped you to help others in their journey?

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