Wise Words: Three Lessons From Oprah


“Now I want to talk a little bit about failings, because nobody’s journey is seamless or smooth. We all stumble. We all have setbacks. If things go wrong, you hit a dead end—as you will—it’s just life’s way of saying time to change course. So, ask every failure—this is what I do with every failure, every crisis, every difficult time—I say, what is this here to teach me? And as soon as you get the lesson, you get to move on. If you really get the lesson, you pass and you don’t have to repeat the class. If you don’t get the lesson, it shows up wearing another pair of pants—or skirt—to give you some remedial work.”

~ Oprah Winfrey

The above quote comes from a commencement speech that Oprah gave at Stanford University in 2008.

I watched this video a lot last year, after we moved to China, and found these words to be so inspiring, especially after I was fired and fell ill. This video, and the above quote in particular, were key in my journey to turning my life around, reclaiming my power, and choosing happiness.

You can watch the video of Oprah’s speech here, or read the transcript here.

What have you been experiencing lately? What is it here to teach you?

Whatever happens, I hope you’re smiling 🙂

Jen ♥

8 responses to “Wise Words: Three Lessons From Oprah

  1. Hi, I just read your guest post at Positively Present. You mentioned a positivity playlist. I was just wondering what kind of songs you have on the playlist. I love songs with a positive vibe, but it’s hard for me to search for them without it getting too gushy.


    • Hi Dana! I totally get you, I always get a bit carried away when it comes to finding happy songs, then I end up with a playlist that lasts all day, haha! But I’ve narrowed it down to a two hour playlist, featuring beautiful singers like India Arie, Alanis Morissette, and Jack Johnson. I’ll write a post about it for you soon, and list all of the songs 😀

      Thanks so much for stopping by! You rock! 😀

  2. Hi Jen.
    I just read your guest post on Positively Present and went to email you but couldn’t find your email address anywhere? do you have one?
    If I dont hear back from you, thankyou for your post which led me to this blog! Going through a rough patch and your story resonated with me and has inspired me after a really awful day. Thankyou from Australia 🙂

    • Hi Shelly! I’m so glad my story inspired you, thank you so much for reading and stopping by. I will send you an email right now 🙂 Keep smiling 🙂

  3. Thanks Jen-
    Working on my journey in life has it’s ups and downs and right now I’m in one of the “downs”. Oprah’s speech was just what I needed for my situation right now! I’ve already listened to it 2 times this morning and will listen to it many more times I’m sure. Staying happy and positive has been difficult the past couple of weeks because my divorce is final and now I am leaving my home of 15 years and a marriage of 30 years. I thinks it’s fear of the unknown that has me in this funk. Your blog and others like it are so helpful! I thank you from the bottom of my heart for all the time and thought you put into your words. God bless you 🙂

    • Renee, I so admire your strength and determination! I’m so glad Oprah’s speech has helped you so much, just as it helped me. I just know that everything you are going through right now is going to make so much stronger, and you will be so proud of yourself for getting through it. I think difficult times are here to test us, to make us stronger and help us to appreciate the good times more. You are such an amazing woman, Renee. You are an inspiration 🙂

  4. Hi Jen,

    I was just thinking the other day how inspiring Oprah is. I’ve never been a huge fan of hers or really watched her show, but I happened to watch an episode the other day when I was home sick. It was an episode about a camping trip she took with a friend to Yosemite National Park ~ and it was hilarious. She seemed like such a normal person, which was awesome to see. I also think she puts a lot of positive things into the world (books, t.v., volunteer initiatives) and I love that.

    As far as what I’ve been experiencing, it’s been interesting. Physically I’ve been not so great with a camping injury and adjusting to a vegetarian diet…but it’s gotten me back into meditating and delving in deeper to spirituality and I know it’s gonna be a great journey ahead.

    Looking forward to viewing the video!

    • Hey Kristie! 😀

      I think I’ve seen that Oprah episode, she’s so funny 🙂 Yes, I think she is such a force of good in this world. I love anyone who empowers women and brings people together like she does. Plus, she doesn’t try to be perfect, she just does her best to be herself. I admire that.

      I hope your ok! Adjusting to a vegetarian diet can be challenging, it took me a couple of times to get it right, what with knowing the right foods to eat to get enough nutrients, especially iron. But it’s so worth it! And I love how you can see the gift in your camping injury and diet adjustments, how it has lead you to a more spiritual way of life. Everything happens for a reason 🙂

      Hope you enjoyed the video! 😀

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