Oprah Winfrey’s Top 10 Rules for Success
Oprah Gail Winfrey is an incredibly successful and well-loved American media personality, producer, host, philanthropist and actress. She is best remembered for her own talk show, the Oprah Winfrey Show. While Oprah remains a highly successful public figure, she often discusses the more painful and personal details of her growing up years, her struggles as a young adult and a grown woman. She has dedicated herself to speaking up about issues many of us face throughout life and providing advice and guidance. We can all learn something from Oprah and her life’s work. Here are Oprah Winfrey’s Top 10 Rules for Success:
- Spend time contemplating the next big move: In stressful or confusing times, many people resort to quick and hasty decision making when it seems necessary. Instead of ‘reacting’ to a situation, take time to distance yourself from that situation and make the right choice. It is important to ‘sit still,’ remain calm and perhaps even meditate of necessary. Through taking the time to step back from a situation and carefully contemplate the next step, we can all make better decisions that are healthier and more well thought out. It is easy to become overwhelmed by challenges, questions or problems. The fear of failure may force us into hasty movements forward. Oprah reminds us that the only time we truly fail is when we stop trying. For this reason, the best thing to do when faced with a challenge is calm our mind, put the moment aside, distance ourselves from the everyday stress and monotony of such challenges and make better decisions.
- Reach for every opportunity: People often hope for a patch of good luck or wait for opportunities to come to them. Oprah reminds us that the best way to find opportunities is to keep working hard and seeking them out. Opportunities seldom fall into our laps. We must prepare ourselves. We must work. In Oprah’s worldview, there is no such concept as ‘luck.’ Luck falls upon the effort put in by each individual. We all must make our own luck.
- Realize we all make mistakes: It is a common mistake to bury the past as opposed to learning from our mistakes. Admitting errors is an important first step to healing. Think back to negative or influential turning points in your own life. Learn from them. Think about them. Don’t try to forget them. Oprah has often made light of her prior mistakes in an effort to educate others and grow personally. We all must try to never hold grudges or sour places in our heart for errors or prior mistakes in judgment. Everybody makes mistakes. The best way to move forward is to truly analyze those mistakes and let go of any animosity we have towards others or ourselves. It is important to be gracious in life. Being graceful doesn’t mean not making mistakes. It means admitting mistakes.
- Work on ourselves: Oprah reiterates the much-needed point that before we can help others, we must help ourselves. It is important to focus on our most positive traits and strong points. Capitalize on our skills, our passions and our strengths. Through dissecting what we do best and finding things that fall in line with our best qualities whether those activities are within our personal or professional lives, we can better ourselves. Then, once we have more to give to ourselves, we in turn have more to give to others. As Oprah puts it, we must ‘fill our cups.’ If our cups are empty, we will not be able to serve others.
- Put our best foot forward in every race: It is essential to focus our energy forwards during any race. By focusing backwards or allowing for distraction through worry or negative input, we will lose momentum. Keep moving forward in the most optimistic way possible and preserve energy for what lies ahead. Oprah often states that life is about giving everything we have and putting it towards winning our own personal races. Whatever the struggle, whatever the goal, keep moving towards it with passion and perseverance.
- Believe: Oprah reminds us that we are not defined by our current circumstances. It is up to us not only to better our lives and ourselves but to feel a sense of profound self worth deep down. We are not all born into dignity, but through having hope and acting with dignity, we may brighten our futures. Do not feel restrained or confined by current circumstance when it comes to actively pursuing long-term dreams and goals whether they are personal or professional. The idea of what is ‘realistic’ and ‘unrealistic’ for any given life is socially constructed and it is most certainly not impossible to rise above such constructs. It may be difficult but by believing in yourself and not losing sight of what the world will have to offer to those who try, we stand a better shot at realizing our dreams.
- Remember that we all want the same things: Oprah often discusses the negative impact that comparisons have. People often compare themselves to each other and wonder about their self worth and value as a person in contrast with others. No two people are the same. We all have different goals, values, dreams and beliefs. However, we also have a lot in common. We all seek love, fulfillment and truth. Such hopes and aspirations are what carries us all forward. By realizing that, we may let go of self-nagging and comparisons.
- Work to find a purpose: We are not all pulled towards a single passion or career path. We must find ourselves in the world. Don’t let yourself drift through life. Always keep an open mind and actively seek out potential purposes and ideas for your path.
- Stay steadfast: We all have our ups and downs but by focusing less on ourselves and more on others, we will be a better person, friend, family member and professional. Stay calm through swimming, meditation, relaxation, exercise, hobbies or whatever helps us. Remember who we are. Find ways to stay grounded no matter what the current stresses or triggers to our ups and downs may be. People will always appreciate a person who remains grounded and steadfast. Stay compassionate, understanding and remain connected to every day life.
- Relax and find comfort: We must trust ourselves and remember that things will be okay.