I chose to watch the Stanford Graduate School of Business View from the Top interview with Oprah Winfrey because I wanted to write about a woman; and Oprah talked about becoming a successful human being, not just a successful business person.
What impacted me most was Oprah’s assertion that every failure leads you closer to your true purpose. “Failure is there to point you in the right direction,” she said. Early in her television career as a news anchor, Oprah felt that reporting was an “unnatural act” for her. She was on TV. She made good money. Her family and friends told her that she’d arrived. But it just felt wrong.
“They were going to fire me,” Oprah said. “ But I was on a contract. So they put me on a talk show to finish out the contract and I found my niche.” Oprah felt that she was finally on the path to meeting her “supreme moment with destiny.”
Early on, she and her producers jumped on the confrontational talk show bandwagon. She recounted a show in which she interviewed an adulterer along with his wife and girlfriend. On the show, he announced to his wife that his girlfriend was pregnant. Oprah looked at the shame and humiliation in the wife’s face and vowed “never again.” From that moment on, she examined the intention behind every program and only did shows that aligned with her calling – to help raise consciousness.
“I help connect people to themselves and their higher ideal of consciousness,” Oprah said. “I am here to help raise consciousness through TV.”
Oprah advised dealing with failure in this way, ”Get still and ask yourself, ‘What is the next right move?’ And then make it.” Using the creation of her network as an example, she said that you can become overwhelmed by grand plans, but you can always take one step.
“You get as much from your failures as you do from your successes,” Oprah said. She also warned against allowing failure to define – or paralyze – you.
“Your life is bigger than that one moment.” Amen to that.
(“Oprah Winfrey on Career, Life and Leadership.” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6DlrqeWrczs&index=26&list=PL5C14B375A7F2FEA8. Accessed 1 April 2017.)