Follow Oprah’s lead by staying positive, not reacting and putting others first
What would Oprah do?
With the upcoming release of the Ava DuVernay-directed film “A Wrinkle in Time,” based on Madeline L’Engle’s 1962 novel, Oprah’s been making the rounds to discuss the relevance our current political climate has on a book from a half century ago. DuVernay’s addition of the line “Be a warrior!” to the script has been said to incite hope and light in a time of darkness. With her mug on multiple magazine covers for the month of March alone, Oprah, who has an estimated net worth of $2.7 billion, is having yet another defining moment. Coming off the heels of her wildly popular Golden Globes speech, the talk show queen is continuing to spread her gospel in interviews with InStyle, WSJ Magazine, People, Ellen and Jimmy Kimmel.
Here are 10 life lessons from Oprah’s most recent interviews.
Don’t take any sh**.
Now that she’s in her 60s, Oprah says she has no time for any BS. “You take no sh**. None. Not a bit. In your 40s you want to say you take no sh**, but you still do. In your 60s you take none. There’s both a quickening and a calming—there’s a sense that you don’t have as much time on earth as you once did. For me, there’s also a sense of calming about that,” she told InStyle’s Laura Brown.
Don’t just listen, hear.
Oprah told WSJ Magazine that instead of reading into the tension emanating from one of her tablemates during a 60 Minutes roundtable interview that she was moderating, she decided to listen to him. “People become hysterical because you try and meet their energy, but you have to be bigger than that. You have to try and transcend—you can’t go toe-to-toe. I’m leaning in on this guy, I can feel that he is uncomfortable as hell, and I just stay on him. Every time I feel him bristle, I turn and say, “Tell me what you think, what do you say about that?” That’s how you hear people,”” she said.
Though she admits that unkind and untrue rumors about her are hurtful, Oprah remains steadfast in her positivity. She recently told Vanity Fair, “Some people try to fix the situation head-on and say something back, but it only escalates. I believe if you put our negativity into the world, it comes back, so I don’t respond to anybody saying something that is negative.
Take a step back.
InStyle magazine’s March cover star might make headlines for her weight and her potential White House run, but that doesn’t mean she’s always tuned in to the news. “I have taken a step back and a couple notches down. I don’t get up and turn on the TV first thing in the morning. I spend quiet time. I try to center myself, and I’m conscious of what I allow in because there’s so much all day long,” she said.
Don’t react — respond.
In true Oprah fashion, her subdued response to a hate tweet by Donald Trump is an example of how to graciously brush off criticism. “I don’t like giving negativity power, so I just thought, ‘What?’” she said when recounting the sequence of events that led Trump to slam an interview she conducted on 60 Minutes. The media maven also told DeGeneres that upon reading Trump’s tweet, she went back to review the footage to see if there was any truth to his claims — she’s convinced there isn’t.
Put others first.
If there’s one thing Oprah’s got that her other talents tend to overshadow, it’s a good heart. In a recent cover story for People magazine, she admitted that relishing in other people’s happiness is what tickles her fancy. “Nothing makes me happier than to see other people in their purest moments of joy. Sometimes, honest to goodness, I’m just sitting around thinking, “What could I do to make somebody feel really good today?””
Grieving is natural.
The rich and famous aren’t immune to loss or tragedy — Oprah says she still feels a connection to Maya Angelou. “I always tell people when somebody who’s loved you on earth is gone, it’s natural to grieve. But you can also leave just a little clearing for the spirit of them to abide with the spirit of you, to give you strength,” Oprah told InStyle magazine.
Amid swirling rumors that she’s devising a plan to run for president, Oprah told People magazine that she turns to prayer when seeking guidance. “I went into prayer. God, if you think I’m supposed to run, you gotta tell me, and it has to be so clear that not even I can miss it,” she said.
Find humor, even if it’s at your own expense.
While talking to Jimmy Kimmel last week, Oprah lightheartedly referenced the Vanity Fair photo that was improperly photoshopped, leaving her with what appeared to be three hands. “I’ve been trying to keep it a secret all these years, and I’m hoping you can accept me as the three-handed woman I am,” she joked.
In her speech at the Golden Globe awards, Winfrey relayed the importance of being gracious while accepting the Cecile B. DeMille award. She commended Recy Taylor and Quincy Jones for their activism — something she feels has helped usher her to her current pedestal. “It is not lost on me that at this moment, there are some little girls watching as I become the first black woman to be given this same award,” she said. By paying homage to those who made waves before her, Winfrey intimates that she’s grateful to everyone that has played a role in the advancement of her career.
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