Oprah Winfrey is an American talk show host, television producer, actress, author, and philanthropist. She is best known for her talk show, The Oprah Winfrey Show, broadcast from Chicago, which was the highest-rated television program of its kind in history and ran in national syndication for 25 years, from 1986 to 2011.
Oprah Winfrey gives extraordinary advice on how to live your life. Follow this wisdom and you will be a better person. Absolutely fascinating motivational speech by one of the most influencing woman, Oprah Winfrey.
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[Music] I will be honest with you I felt a lot Of pressure over the past few weeks to Come up with something that I could Share with you that you hadn't heard Before because after all y'all went to Harvard I did not but then I realized That you don't have to necessarily go to Harvard to have a driven obsessive type A personality But it helps and while I may not have Graduated from here I admit that my Personality is about as Harvard as they Come you know my my television career Began unexpectedly Uh as you heard this morning I was in The misfire prevention contest That was when I was 16 years old in Nashville Tennessee and you had the Requirement of having to have red hair In order to win up until the year that I Entered so they were doing the question And answer period because I knew I Wasn't going to win in the swimsuit Competition so during the question and Answer period the question came why Young lady what would you like to be When you grow up And by the time they got to me all the Good answers were gone So I had seen Barbara Walters on The Today Show that morning so I answered I would like to be a journalist I would Like to tell other people's stories in a
Way that makes a difference in their Lives and the world and as those words Were coming out of my mouth I went whoa This is pretty good Well I was on television by the time I Was 19 years old and in 1986 I launched My own television show with a Relentless Determination to succeed at first I was Nervous about the competition and then I Became my own competition racing the bar Every year pushing pushing pushing Myself as hard as I knew sound familiar To anybody here Eventually we did make it to the top and We stayed there for 25 years [Music] Was number one in our time slot for 21 Years and I have to tell you I became Pretty comfortable with that level of Success but a few years ago I decided as You will at some point that it was time To recalculate Find new territory break new ground so I Ended the show and launched own the Oprah Winfrey Network so One year later After launching on nearly every media Outlet had proclaimed that my new Venture was a flop not just a flop but a Big bold flock they call it I can still Remember the day I opened up USA Today And read the headline Oprah not quite Standing on her own It really was this time last year the
Worst period in my professional life I Was stressed and I was frustrated and Quite frankly I was I was actually I was Embarrassed It was right around that time that President Faust called and asked me to Speak here and I thought you want me to Speak to Harvard graduates what I what Could I possibly say to Harvard Graduates some of the most successful Graduates in the world in the very Moment when I had stopped succeeding When the morning might come because at The time I thought I was stuck in a hole And the words came to me trouble trouble Don't last always from that hymn This too shall pass and I thought as I Got out of the shower I am going to turn This thing around And I will be better for it [Music] It doesn't matter how far you might rise At some point you are bound to stumble Because if you're constantly doing what We do Raising the bar if you're constantly Pushing yourself higher higher the law Of averages not to mention the myth of Icarus uh predicts that you will at some Point fall And when you do I want you to know this Remember this There is no such thing as failure Failure is just life trying to move us
In another Direction now when you're Down there in a hole it looks like Failure So this past year I had to spoon feed Those words to myself And when you're down in the hole when That moment comes it's really okay to Feel bad for a little while give Yourself time to mourn what you think You may have lost But then here's the key learn from every Mistake Because every experience encounter and Particularly Mistakes are there to cheat you and Force you into being more of Who You Are And then figure out what is the next Right move And the key to life is to develop an Internal moral emotional GPS that can Tell you which way to go [Music] But the challenge of life I have found is to build a resume that Doesn't simply tell a story about what You want to be but it's a story about Who you want to be it's a resume that Doesn't just tell a story about what you Want to accomplish but why a story That's not just a collection of titles And and positions but a story that's Really about your purpose because when You inevitably stumble and find yourself Stuck in a hole that is the story that
Will get you out what is your true Calling what is your Dharma what is your Purpose for me that Discovery came in 1994 when I interviewed a little girl Who who had decided to collect Pocket Change in order to help other people in Need she raised a thousand dollars all By herself and I thought well that Little nine-year-old girl with a bucket And a big heart to do that I wonder what I could do So I asked for our viewers to take up Their own change collection and in one Month just from pennies and nickels and Dimes we raised more than three million Dollars that we used to send one student From every state in the United States to College [Music] I simply asked our viewers do what you Can wherever you are from wherever you Sit in life Give me your time or your talent your Money if you have it and they did Extend yourself in kindness to other Human beings wherever you can and Together we built 55 schools in 12 Different countries and restored nearly 300 homes that were devastated by Hurricanes Rita and Katrina so The Angel Network I've been on the air for a long Time but it was The Angel Network that Actually focused my internal GPS it Helped me to decide that I wasn't just
Going to be on TV every day but that the Goal of my shows my interviews my Business my philanthropy all of it Whatever Ventures I might pursue would Be to make clear that what unites us Is ultimately far more redeeming and Compelling than anything that separates Me because what had become clear to me And I want you to know it isn't always Clear in the beginning because as I said I've been on television since I was 19 Years old But around 94 I got really clear so Don't expect the clarity to come all at Once to know your purpose right away but What became clear to me was that I Was here on Earth to use television and Not be used by it to use television to Illuminate the Transcendent power of our Better angels So this Angel Network it didn't just Change the lives of those who were Helped but the lives of those who also Did the helping It reminded us that no matter who we are Or what we look like or what we may Believe it is both possible and more Importantly it becomes powerful to come Together in common perspice and common Effort I saw something on the bill Moore Show Recently that so reminded me of this Point it was an interview with David and Francine wheeler
They lost their seven-year-old son Ben In the Sandy Hook tragedy And even though gun safety legislation To strengthen background checks had just Been voted down in Congress at the time That they were doing this interview They talked about How they refused to be discouraged Francine said this she said Our hearts are broken But our Spirits are not I'm going to tell them what it's like To find a conversation about change that Is love and I'm going to do that without Fighting them and then her husband David Added this You simply cannot demonize or vilify Someone who doesn't agree with you Because the minute you do that your Discussion is over And we cannot do that any longer The problem is too enormous there has to Be some way that this Darkness can be Banished with light Foreign Teach When you get give that my friends is What gives your story purpose and Meaning So you all have the power in your own Way to develop your own Angel Network And in doing so Your class More tools of influence and empowerment
Than any other generation in history [Music] So whether you call it Soul or Spirit or Higher self intelligence there is I know This there is a light inside each of you All of us That illuminates your very human Beingness if you let it and as a young Girl from rural Mississippi I learned Long ago that being myself was much Easier than pretending to be Barbara Walters Although when I first started because I Had Barbara in my head I would try to Sit like Barbara talk like Barbara move Like Barbara and then one night I was on The news reading the news and I called Canada Kanata And uh that was the end of me being Barbara I cracked myself up on TV Couldn't stop laughing and my real Personality came through and I figured Out oh gee I can be a much better Oprah Than I could be a pretend Barbara I know that you all might have a little Anxiety now and hesitation about leaving The comfort of college and putting those Harvard credentials to the test But no matter what challenges or Setbacks or disappointments you may Encounter along the way 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 You want to max out your Humanity By using your energy to lift yourself up Your family and the people around you Theologian Howard Thurman said it best He said don't ask yourself what the World needs Ask yourself what makes you come alive And then go do that Because what the world needs is Who have come alive [Music] People like Michael stalzenberg from Fort Lauderdale when Michael was just Eight years old Michael nearly died from A bacterial infection that caused him Both of his hands and both of his feet And in an instant this vibrant little Boy became a quadruple amputee and his Life was changed forever But in losing who he once was Michael discovered who he wanted to be He refused to sit in that wheelchair all Day and feel sorry for himself so with Prosthetics he learned to walk and run And play again He joined his Middle School lacrosse Team and last month when he learned that So many victims of the Boston Marathon Bombing would become new amputees Michael decided to banish that Darkness With light
Michael and his brother Harris created Mikeyserun.com to raise one million Dollars for other amputees by the time Harris runs the 2014 Boston Marathon More than a thousand miles away from Here these two young brothers are Bringing people together to support this Boston Community the way their Community Came together to support Michael and When this 13 year old man was asked About his fellow amputees he said this First They will be sad They're losing something they will never Get back And that's scary I was scared But they'll be okay They just don't know that yet We might not always know it we might not Always see it or hear it on the news or Even feel it in our daily lives but I Have faith That no matter what You will be okay And you will make sure our country is Okay I have faith because of that Nine-year-old girl who went out and Collected the change I have faith because of David and Francine wheeler I have faith because of Michael and Harry stolzenberg and I have Faith Because Of You the network of Angels sitting here today one of them
Khadijah Williams who came to Harvard Four years ago Khadijah had attended 12 schools in 12 Years Living out of garbage bags amongst pimps And prostitutes and drug dealers Homeless Going into department stores Walmart in The morning to bathe herself so that she Wouldn't smell in front of her Classmates [Music] From time to time you may stumble fall You will for sure count on this no doubt You will have questions and you will Have doubts about your path But I know this if you're willing to Listen To be guided by that still Small Voice That is the GPS within yourself To find out what makes you come alive You will be more than okay You will be happy You will be successful And you will make a difference in the World