I have had a lot of great things happen in my life. I’ve had a lot of dreams, goals, mentors, and supporters. I truly believe that God has great plans for me. Even some of the biggest desires of my heart, He has allowed to come true. Including being able to meet and learn from Oprah Winfrey on several occasions. Today, is Oprah’s 66th Birthday. In her honor, I thought I would share some of the lessons I’ve learned from her example. There are so many! I probably could fittingly come up with 66, but that would just be too long. So, I’ll just share a few, and save the rest for another time. 😊
1. Success takes time and sacrifice.
In these days with viral sensations, it’s easy to believe being an ‘over-night success’ is a norm. Although she is one of the most successful women in the world, now, Oprah did not achieve this overnight. For starters, Oprah did not even move to Chicago to start what would become The Oprah Winfrey show until she was almost 30 years old. Then, it took 25 years of 19-hour days for Oprah to produce 4,561 episodes of The Oprah Winfrey Show. The amount of sacrifices Oprah had to make to maintain this work ethic, I’m sure, are innumerable.
2. Success is not guaranteed.
Even with the success of The Oprah Winfrey Show, Oprah still experienced challenges when starting the Oprah Winfrey Network. She was open about her struggles. If you were an entrepreneur and watching closely some of the lessons her life demonstrated included: How difficult it can be to run several businesses at the same time. The importance of having a great leadership team. The difficulty others can have understanding your vision – without you. The role you play in the branding of your business. How hard it can be to build your customer base. How to use technology/social media to engage and grow your audience. (I was one of the OWN Ambassadors tweeting live and engaging with Oprah during shows in the early years of OWN.) And how a shift in your mindset can change your reality. Oprah has openly talked about the moment she realized she needed to change her negative self-talk to a conversation of gratitude.
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3. Spirituality is a Key to Success
When I was younger, I loved traveling on airplanes. Not because I liked to watch airplanes take off, or for the snacks. My favorite part about flying was being able to listen to Oprah on the airline’s Sirius XM Radio. My favorite show on Oprah’s XM radio station was “Oprah Winfrey’s Soul Series”. This show featured thought-provoking stories about living and loving soulfully. Lessons from Dr. Wayne Dyer, Byron Katie, Eckhart Tolle, and Jill Bolte Taylor motivated me to go deeper into my own spiritual studies. I believe in God, and Oprah has openly talked about her belief in God, too. I know what God has done for others, He has the power to do for me. I know every day in life will not be sunshine. But, I have confidence in God and his word… And that is enough to get me through any challenge, and it is the reason for any success. “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” – Jeremiah 29:11
-Brandon L. Griffin
Brandon L. Griffin is a digital native, Millennial, and success coach for students. Learn more about Brandon at www.GenZLifeCoach.com