Lessons from Oprah
The partnership between Healthy Living Made Simple and OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network was formed with the goal of helping our readers grasp the power of self-realization and tap into their inner strength. Oprah’s Lifeclass, a series on OWN, promotes these lessons through the exploration of insights she learns with her talented contributors.
One of the most powerful lessons Oprah has shared numerous times throughout her career is the realization that each of us has the power and the responsibility to change our lives and make them better. The courage to fulfill our dreams is the only courage we need, but first we must understand that we deserve the best that life has to offer. We deserve the best version of ourselves, and we can achieve that with inner belief.
What you believe is what you become.
This lesson you become what you believe became crystal clear with the story of Tererai Trent, one of Oprah’s all-time favorite Oprah Show guests. Growing up in a remote village in Zimbabwe, Tererai was raised in a hut with no running water or electricity and little hope for the future. Forced to marry at 11 rather than seek an education, Tererai wrote down her dreams, placed them in a scrap of tin and buried them under a rock. Her first dream was to live in the United States, and in 1998, Tererai moved to Oklahoma with her husband and five children. She achieved dream number two just three years later,earning her bachelors degree in agricultural education. This was an important achievement because of the discouragement around education she received starting as a young child. In 2003, Tererai’s husband, the principal critic of her efforts to achieve higher education, was deported, but she still achieved dream number three earning her master’s degree in just two years. And then came dream number four, as she was awarded her Ph.D.
It seems unbelievable that she was able to find that light or power inside herself when the entire world around her was telling her, You’re nothing. Youre nobody. You have no value. Youre not even worthy of an education. And for Tererai to be able to have the vision inside herself to persevere for an education and escape her situation to arrive in America is really profound. If this woman can do that, what dreams can you achieve in your own life?
This is what I want everybody to really get, Oprah says. Tererai’s story is the essence of every life lesson: It’s never too late. You can have nothing, come from nothing, and still become everything you dream. Stories like this show the energy of possibility the energy of survival, of struggle, of transcendence and what is achievable. Understand that your life is a reflection of the way you think. You are creating your own reality show every day in every experience, in every encounter. What you believe is what you become.
One person can make a difference in your life and that person is you. It is your real job in life to recognize the power you have, connect to it and use it. You’ve always had the power.