Lessons from Oprah Winfrey to Live the Life of Your Dreams!

7 minute read
Oprah Winfrey

The queen of all media whose journey to the top is incredible, Oprah Winfrey is a talk show icon, author, television producer, actress, and philanthropist. Winfrey was brought up amidst extreme poverty, struggled to find a home, and was even sexually molested. She is now the first North-American billionaire who is also ranked as the greatest black philanthropist in American history. She is also an Honorary Doctorate. She completed her schooling at Nicolet High School and further went on to study at Tennessee State University through a full scholarship. An influential life that truly deserves to be honoured, let’s go through 10 of the many inspiring lessons from the life of Oprah Winfrey.

The Legendary Oprah Winfrey

Courtesy: AARP

Winfrey’s journey began as the TV show host of ‘People Are Talking’ and then she started her own ‘The Oprah Winfrey Show’. She also launched her TV network- The Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN). Winfrey is an exemplary example of ‘rags to riches’ and has been inspiring many people through her powerful journey. The messages she puts across through all her shows are not only encouraging but can make you feel better on the lowest of days.

Must Read: 10 Inspiring Success Stories

10 Ultimate Life Lessons by Oprah Winfrey

Ready to learn from Queen Oprah? Here are the top life lessons that Oprah Winfrey and her inspirational life story that can help you actualise your dreams and become a kinder and compassionate human:

Practice Empathy And Genuinity

“Leadership is about empathy. It is about having the ability to relate to and connect with people for the purpose of inspiring and empowering their lives.”

Coming from a humble background, Oprah Winfrey knows how important it is to empathize with people who are struggling. Empathy is getting into someone’s shoes and understanding how their struggles. Winfrey empathized with the guests on her talk show by sharing her own life stories. Her program “rapport-talk” still moves people to tears when Winfrey shares intimate conversations with the audience to create an honest connection. Her guests feel comfortable around her because of this true connection that she establishes. Winfrey has always emphasised the importance of empathy and how it can help us understand the people around us and their lives.

Credits – Stanford Graduate School of Business (YouTube)

Reinvent Yourself Everyday

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

Oprah Winfrey - Reinvent Yourself
Picture Courtesy: quotefancy.com

Another key lesson to learn from the great Oprah Winfrey is that self-love is a life-long journey and you must reinvent and work on yourself every day. Each one of us possesses hidden talents and gifts waiting to be realised. It is important that we explore our interests and love ourselves without holding back for the fear of failure or rejection. Oprah still remembers her grandmother who worked as a maid stating, “The only real expectation my grandmother had from me was that I will one day become a maid.” She was passionate to follow her dreams even though she was born in poverty, she worked on becoming royal all on her own!

Avoid Negativity

“If there are a lot of negative people in your life, don’t look at them, look at the energy you are creating to attract them “

Despite being lived most of her life surrounded by tragedies, Oprah Winfrey focused on her own inner light. She never let the people who criticized and demotivated her, get the better of her journey. We can also learn from Oprah’s struggles that it is essential to avoid negativity and what people are talking about you. What others say is merely a reflection of what their small minds can possess and perceive. Winfrey also strongly condemns letting anyone mistreat you.

Let Go And Live In The Moment

“Living in the moment brings you a sense of reverence for all of life’s blessings.”

Having a difficult childhood, Oprah was sexually abused and had a complex relationship with her mother. Her grandmother taught her to read and nurtured her self-confidence and self-esteem while she never received the same attention from her own mother. This lead to Oprah becoming a rebellious teenager who learned the hard lessons of life way early before becoming an adult. But holding her head high, Oprah decided to focus on her career as it blossomed with her entry into the media. Later, she even reconciled her mother as she made an appearance in the Oprah Winfrey Show.

Thus, Oprah has always believed that “To heal a wound you need to stop touching it.” She preaches forgiveness and mindfulness. Don’t stress about what you can’t change. Be aware of what is happening now. Enjoy the present moment, and live each day to your potential.

Credits – Mulligan Brothers Interviews (YouTube)


In my 40s, I got wiser. I started using journals to express my gratitude—and watched my blessings multiply. What you focus on expands.”

Another beautiful lesson from Oprah Winfrey’s life is journaling. She started journaling when she entered her 40s and it helped her focus on gratitude. Amidst the great achievements and people Oprah met, there was less time for herself. Journaling helped her get in touch with her priorities which enhanced her happiness and also improved her journey. Journaling not only helps you spend time with your thoughts but also helps you record how far you’ve come. 

Practice Gratitude And Learn to Give Back

“Gratitude can transform any situation. It alters your vibration, moving you from negative energy to positive. It’s the quickest, easiest most powerful way to effect change in your life — this I know for sure.”

Quotes - Oprah Winfrey
Picture Courtesy: Pinterest

Being one of the wealthiest African Americans, Oprah Winfrey never forgot her roots. She practices gratitude and values her struggles and their role in bringing her success. Being grateful during every hardship isn’t easy but it surely changes your perspective. Winfrey also strongly believes in giving back to the people. Many people dream of having similar journeys and Oprah makes sure she helps them with what she can.

Work Hard, Learn More

“Go ahead. Fall down. The world looks different from the ground.”

Pursuing a career that is a dream for many, Oprah Winfrey didn’t get it served on a silver platter. She pushed herself through every hardship, experienced many sleepless nights, and had days filled with pressure. She always had the talent of actually grabbing people’s attention when she talked but she used that and made the most of it. She constantly struggles to improvise herself and use that talent to help others. Every struggle taught her something and she always acknowledges the role of hard-work and difficult days in her success story! 

Have Courage And Never Fear Failure

“Courage is feeling the fear and doing it anyway.”

Having courage isn’t doing something out of the ordinary. It is merely doing what you believe in. Many people fear speaking the truth, beginning something new, changing things, etc. Oprah Winfrey knows what fear is. Coming from a community where people of ‘colour’ weren’t given equal respect and importance, it surely took a lot of bravery for her to defy the odds. Her courage caused many to achieve their dreams, and helped others through the ‘Oprah Effect’.

Credits – Business Basics

Surround Yourself With The Best

 “Lots of people want to ride with you in the limo, but what you want is someone who will take the bus with you when the limo breaks down.”

The core lessons of all is the people you choose to surround yourself with. Our minds certainly absorb the energy around us. We adopt habits and attitudes from our peers. This surely reflects in our journey and hence, you must carefully choose the people you are around. Surround yourself with the ones who motivate you and are there for you during vicissitudes of your life and career.

Follow Your Dream With Every Ounce Of Strength 

“The big secret in life is that there is no big secret. Whatever your goal is, you can get there—as long as you’re willing, to be honest with yourself about the preparation and work involved. There are no back doors, no free rides. There’s just you, this moment, and a choice.”

This lesson is, to sum up, all the above-mentioned lessons by the powerful lady Oprah Winfrey. Once you dream of something, prepare yourself for a journey where you will need the aforementioned lessons. There is a reason why you dream of a career or a goal. Don’t let your vices or struggles stop you from wanting what you aspire. Many people have given up after years of struggle. Like Winfrey’s journey, the path won’t be easy, but it’s better to board the train than stand waiting for an empty one.

Credits – Motivation Ark (YouTube)

Also Read: 10 Life Lessons by Michelle Obama

These were 10 Inspiring Lessons from the exceptional life of Oprah Winfrey, a self-made billionaire and an inspirational queen all of us look up to! It is important to read and share about such eloquent and genuine personalities who have created a global impact. For more awesome content, stay tuned to Leverage Edu!

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