6 Lessons I Learned From Oprah’s ‘The Life You Want’ Tour
by: Paige Smith
When I attended Oprah’s “The Life You Want” tour in Seattle, Washington, I sat mesmerized as I listened to speeches from Oprah, Mark Nepo, Elizabeth Gilbert, Rob Bell and Iyanla Vanzant. Oprah and her team created an equally intimate and fun space to discuss “the things that matter in life…things like joy, resilience, awe, connection and gratitude.”
I left feeling empowered and excited to author my own story.
Below are a few of my takeaways and interpretations from the seminar. May you be as inspired as I was to begin living the life you’ve imagined for yourself.
4. You are meant to share your calling
Have you ever felt that your passion doesn’t have a place outside your own life? That your talent exists only in the room where you paint or dance or write stories? That it would be vain or self-important of you to invite others to experience your gifts?
Oprah stood on stage to tell us otherwise. She said that the joy we feel for the things we love is an indication of our life’s purpose. And that our purpose is our spirit’s way of seeking expression. Your life’s work — whether it’s hair styling, motocross racing, sculpting, reporting, teaching or whatever else — is valuable. Each of us possesses a unique gift that has the potential to spread light and love when we share it with others.
Deepak Chopra says that anything worth having only increases when it is given. So don’t withhold your passions from others, for when you do you withhold the beauty inherent in these passions. I wouldn’t be inspired to write this piece if so many remarkable men and women hadn’t shared their purpose with me this past weekend.
Next time you feel inclined to keep your gift to yourself, remember this: if you give your talent and your enthusiasm to those around you with the simple intention of increasing love in the world, you always will.
5. You become what you believe
Since we are products of our thought patterns, we manifest the circumstances and events in our lives that reflect what we think at any given time. If we feel fulfilled, we manifest fulfillment. If we feel peaceful, we manifest peace. If we feel miserable, we manifest misery. If we feel confident, we manifest confidence.
Whatever we give our energy to — good, bad, or otherwise — we strengthen.
There’s a two-step process to mindful thinking. The first is learning to recognize when we are devoting our energy to the things that no longer serve us. Ask yourself the necessary questions: does it serve me to perpetuate my sadness over job rejections? Does it serve me to carry resentment for things people have said to me in the past?
The answer is always no.
Once we’re cognizant of this habit, the second step is learning to let go of whatever we clung to so that we might transfer our energy toward the people, ideas and events that enrich our lives. And in times of challenge and loss, it is all the more crucial to devote effort to switching our mental language from a self-defeating vocabulary to a self-affirming one—whether or not we initially feel positive.
Today and every day, let’s choose to focus our energy where it will best produce love, to embrace our roles as the sole authorities over our emotions, and to consciously determine how we are going view every situation.
Our energy is powerful — let’s not waste it on what does not deserve to wield its power.
6. Have the courage to ask for what you need, but practice the ability to accept what you’re given
Mark Nepo – gave the above response when asked the question, “How do we find balance between continuing to strive for what we want and achieving contentedness?”
I’ve often felt that if I’m not striving for something greater than what I have that I will become complacent. But I’ve also worried that looking forward to circumstances that don’t yet exist will undermine or invalidate the happiness I currently have.
In fact, neither extreme scenario needs to occur. We can be both ambitious and satisfied, simultaneously yearning and at peace. Iyanla Vanzant said, “Give yourself permission to dream without obsessing about the outcome.” That is, trust that the process alone of dreaming and creating will lead to your success and fulfillment, rather than relying on the far away result of these dreams and creations to cultivate your happiness.”
2018 is your Season to Thrive, be fully Alive in a Life well lived.
Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t do this. I’m here to tell you that YOU CAN. Believe it and you WILL achieve it. Most of all, don’t let a bad day stop you. Pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and keep on keepin’ on. Time passes. This time next year, you’ll be so glad you did. “ Shandra Lee