I recently had the opportunity to fulfill one of my life's dreams: to see Oprah live. Her 2020 Vision: Your Life in Focus tour was making a stop in my backyard. So, once again, I said "yes" to myself and bought the ticket ($90 on Craigslist in a suite, pretty "sweet" deal...pun intended). And here were my biggest take-aways.
The life principles that Oprah talked about are universally applicable. They follow the same patterns, and when you understand them and stick with them, they yield results. She opened with this:
Wellness = All Things in Balance AND we can have everything we're supposed to have, just not all at the same time. When we have the intention of balance as our starting point, then we make sure to give energy and attention to each segment of our life over time.
Those who teach personal fulfillment and development (Oprah, Deepak, Tony Robbins, Danielle Laporte, Vishen Lakhiani, Brendon Burchard, Rachel Hollis) all teach the same thing and the sequence goes likes this:
--Set Your Intention
--Surround Yourself By Peeps Who Get It
Let's break this down....
You must make time for retreat/quiet. This allows you to tune into yourself and tune out the noise from the rest of the world, including the subconscious beliefs that have been conditioned into you.
Oprah's grandmothers' dream for her was that she would "work for nice white folk who treated her like a human." At a young age, she heard the quiet whisper inside of her that knew she was meant for more. We've all had beliefs for our lives put upon us. The only way to get at what your true purpose is, is to go internal.
From that place of quiet, listen to the whispers deep inside yourself about what you really want from your life. Only you can do this. No one else can. And it is certain....if you can dream it, imagine it, feel it from that place deep down inside you....then it's meant for you. And not only is it meant for you, but the world also NEEDS it.
We are all here on purpose, so when you get clear on your purpose and you LIVE your purpose, you are offering a huge contribution to the whole. Oprah shared that on set, she will often pause and take 1 minute or 3 minutes just to tune into her inner self and replenish. She joked that anyone who walked on set and didn't know what she was up to would think there is something wrong, but with all the people who pull at her energy (can anyone relate?), she understands that taking a few minutes to "do you" is not selfish. It's selfless because then you can serve from a more energized and aligned place.
Once you're clear on where you're going, identify your BIG WHY and set your intention. For example, my career intention is to Inspire and Empower Educators in 20 School Districts in 2020. My BIG WHY is because I stand for a world where human potential is the most valuable resource we have. Write this down and repeat it every day to yourself in your head and out loud.
This intention may feel lofty or presumptuous at first. It's challenging to make a bold declaration because your "small self voice" will immediately start chiming in about not reaching it. It's vitally important to ignore that voice. By repeating your intention daily, it will start to feel like less and less of a stretch. Plus if in the end you do not meet your intention, THAT'S OK! I would always much rather reach for something great and "fail" than settle for the comfortable goal I know I can reach.
Once you are clear on what you want for yourself and you have set your intention, focus on it like crazy....and try to tune out the noise from the rest of the world.
Where focus goes, energy flows.
Focus on what you want, no matter how silly, big/small, dreamy, or ridiculous other people may find it to be. Focus, focus, focus your thoughts on what you want.
This one can be tough because your goal or purpose may scare other people or make them feel uncomfortable. Despite good intentions, many of the people who know you well will create doubt and fear because change is often unsettling and they want to protect you from experiencing failure. As a recovering people-pleaser, I say this as lovingly as possible...that's their problem, not yours. Also this is why it's vital that you......
While this may be "their problem not yours", it doesn't mean it's easy to make lifestyle changes and disrupt relationship patterns. That's why this part of the process is essential! One MUST connect with like-minded, like-spirited humans who are willing to take a bit of risk and mix things up when going for a bold goal or living from your "big self" place.
These people will be what sustains you and hold you accountable when you want to give up. And trust me, there will be times, no matter how big or small the changes that you want to make are....you'll want to give up. Being surrounded by these people will help you create a new normal. Who is your Gayle? Your Tina Fey? Your Julianne Hough? It wasn't just Oprah on tour because it takes a team! A pack! A tribe!
Each of these people offer different gifts, but have a common understanding of what it takes to commit to a life of living from their true purpose place.
Let yourself be vulnerable and ask for help from people you trust. We all make mistakes. We all have crises of one kind or another. Oprah shared a story about a recent health setback and referred to a number of other "crises" in her life...which built up over time because she had ignored those whispers from within. The aspirational aspects of ourselves are here for a reason and the human part of us will always be trying to learn and keep up, grow, evolve, and deal with challenge. It's being on the path and making progress toward that ultimate aspect of ourself that is where the true fulfillment and joy lies.
Oprah's story is powerful and impactful because she transformed her life from an unwanted black girl living in backwoods Mississippi to the icon she is today. If she could go from where she was to where she is now using these principles, where could you take your life?
Live Your Light,
PS: Oprah said that if she wouldn't have become "Oprah" she would have been a teacher. :)