"You know you’re on the road to success if you would do your job and not be paid for it. I would do The Oprah Winfrey Show and take on a second job to make ends meet if nobody paid me."
You know you’re on the road to success if you would do your job and not be paid for it. I would do this job [The Oprah Winfrey Show] and take on a second job to make ends meet if nobody paid me.
That’s how you know you’re doing the right thing—it doesn’t even feel like work.
To me, success is getting to the point where you are absolutely comfortable with yourself. It does not matter how many things you have acquired.
Material success gives you the ability to concentrate on other things that really matter.
I worked 14-16 hour days. A 12 hour day was a short day.
Education is what liberated me. The ability to read saved my life. I would have been an entirely different person had I not been taught to read at an early age. My entire life experience—my ability to believe in myself even in my darkest moments of people sexually abused and physically abused, I knew there was another way. I knew there was another kind of life; I knew there was a way out because I had read about it in books.
The ability to say, “No, I will not let you treat me this way. I demand only the best for myself” and not feel guilty about it is the greatest success I have achieved.
You know you are on the road to success if you would do your job and not be paid for it.
I think the reason people open up so much on my show is because I open up. They feel comfortable doing it because they know that I am not going to ridicule them. I want everyone on the show to maintain their dignity, even if I disagree with them.
Oprah’s best quote EVER: “I think that success is a process. I believe that my first Easter speech in Kosciusko Baptist church at the age of three and a half was the beginning. Every other speech I gave, every other book I read, and every other time I spoke in public, was a building block. By the time I first sat down to audition in front of a television camera, I was at ease because I had been doing it for a while. If I had never read a book or I had never spoken in public before, I would have been traumatized by it. We went on the air with The Oprah Winfrey Show in 1986. People say, “You’re so comfortable, you can naturally be yourself in front of a camera.” It’s because I’ve been being myself in front of a camera since I was 19. I would not have been so comfortable if I had not made mistakes on the air and realized that it doesn’t matter. There’s no such thing, to me, as an embarrassing moment. If I tripped and fell, if my bra strap showed, if my slip fell off, if I fell flat on my face, it’s not embarrassing because I know that someone in the past has done the same thing on air and nobody remembers it. It’s no big deal.”
Public speaking and reading are the ultimate skills. Oprah became a billionaire using just these.
When I first started out, I was pretending to be somebody else, I was pretending to be Barbara Walters. I was more interested in how I phrased the question and how eloquent it sounded, as opposed to listening to the answer. Which always happens when you’re more interested in impressing people that doing what you’re supposed to be doing.
Interviewer: What characteristics make for a successful life? Oprah: I think the most important thing to get ahead is the ability to seek truth. You have to be honest with yourself. You might be pursuing a profession because your parents say it’s the best thing; or because you’ll make a lot of money; or because you think you’ll get a lot of attention, but none of that will do you any good if you’re not being honest with yourself. Your natural born instincts will tell you what to pursue. You’ll feel a sense of accomplishment and worthiness.
I only came to co-host a talk show because I had failed at news.
I've talked to nearly 30,000 people on this show, and all 30,000 had one thing in common: They all wanted validation…I would tell you that every single person you will ever meet shares that common desire.
What I learned at a very early age was that I was responsible for my life. And as I became more spiritually conscious, I learned that we all are responsible for ourselves, that you create your own reality by the way you think and therefore act. You cannot blame apartheid, your parents, your circumstances, because you are not your circumstances. You are your possibilities. If you know that, you can do anything.
You are responsible for your life. Although there may be tragedy in your life, there’s always a possibility to triumph—it doesn’t matter who you are or where you come from. The ability to triumph begins with you, always.
Nothing about my life is lucky. Nothing. A lot of grace, a lot of blessings, a lot of divine order, but I don’t believe in luck. For me, luck is the moment of preparation meeting the moment of opportunity. There is no luck without you being prepared to handle that moment of opportunity. Every single thing that has ever happened in your life is preparing you for the moment that is to come.
What other people label or might try to call failure, I have learned is just God’s way of pointing you in a new direction.
This is what I know for sure: In order to be truly happy, you must live along with and you have to stand for something larger than yourself. Because life is a reciprocal exchange. To move forward, you have to give back.
Learn from every mistake because every experience, encounter, and particularly your mistakes are there to teach you and force you into being more who you are.
When you’re doing the work you’re meant to do, it feels right and every day is a bonus, regardless of what you’re getting paid.
Every right decision I’ve made—every right decision I’ve ever made—has come from my gut. And every wrong decision I’ve ever made was a result of me not listening to the greater voice of myself.
The whole point of being alive is to evolve into the complete person you were intended to be.
No matter what triumphs, defeats, sad times, painful times, whatever you have to go through in life—you are your own best thing.
You’re never going to run out of people who are looking for a more joyful life.
I’ve always known that life is better when you share it. I now realize it gets even sweeter when you expand the circle.
There is no greater gift you can give or receive than to honor your calling. It’s why you were born. And how you become most truly alive.
When you do well, do your best, people notice.
Everything passes in time. It doesn’t matter how much money you have, how much power you have, how high you sit on the Forbes list, how many times you make the ‘Most Influential’ list—all of that changes. But what is real, what is lasting, is who you are and what you were meant to bring.
You will find true success and happiness if you have only one goal. There really is only one, and that is this: to fulfill the highest, most truthful expression of yourself as a human being.
I really believe when you give to other people, you give to yourself.
When your to-do list has you coming undone, you have to step back and come back to center. Without a connection to something that is real, you will lose your way.
I don’t believe in failure. It’s not failure if you enjoyed the process.
Doing the best at this moment puts you in the best place for the next moment.