Taking these Oprah quotes to heart will help you make the most of the opportunity to learn from a truly successful master of life!
(If you’re in a hurry, you can skip the inspiring Oprah biography, and scroll down to Oprah Quotes.)
Oprah Winfrey (born 1954) role model for success won by hard work, integrity and service
What can you say about Oprah?!
Let’s start with: American media mogul and TV presenter, whose multiple Emmy Award-winning The Oprah Winfrey Show is the highest-rated talk show in the history of television.
Follow that with: Influential book critic. Academy Award nominated actress for her work in The Color Purple. Magazine publisher of O, The Oprah Magazine, the most successful new magazine ever in the industry. The most philanthropic African American of all time. The richest black person in the world. And probably the most influential woman in the world.
Wow. So it was easy for her, right? Wrong.
Oprah was born in rural Mississippi to a poor, unmarried, teenage mother. Her very strict grandmother raised Oprah for her first six years. They were so poor, Oprah often wore dresses made from potato sacks. But her grandmother also taught her to read by the age of three.
Oprah moved to an inner-city Milwaukee neighbourhood to live with her mother, who worked long hours as a maid. From the age of nine, Oprah was sexually molested by her cousin, her uncle and a family friend. At 13, she ran away from home. At 14, she gave birth to a baby boy. He died a week later.
Somehow Oprah still managed to work hard and do well in school, even winning scholarships. Her father, whom Oprah was sent to live with in Nashville, Tennessee, helped make that happen. He made sure she read books and memorized 20 new vocabulary words a week.
Queen of Talk
Oprah landed a job doing radio news part-time while still in high school. She began co-anchoring the local evening news at the age of 19. But her natural spontaneity and empathic nature didn’t jibe with the usual hard-nosed approach to news reporting.
Oprah’s emotional, human style eventually got her transferred to the talk-show arena, where she took a number three Chicago morning talk show to the number one spot in a matter of months. The show was renamed The Oprah Winfrey Show, expanded to a full hour, and broadcasted nationally, beginning September, 1986.
The rest, as they say, is history. Oprah launched her own production company and became internationally syndicated.
(See young Damon Weaver interviewing the talk-show Queen and get some Oprah quotes directly from the lady herself!)
Money, Money, Money…
OK, so Oprah’s the richest black person in the world. But what does she do with all that money?
Well… she’s generous.
Oprah donates more of her money to charity than any other show-biz celebrity in America—an estimated $303 million in 2005!
In the summer of 2006, she took her entire staff and their families (1,065 people in all!) on vacation to Hawaii to thank her employees for their hard work, and to celebrate two successful decades on national TV. Now that’s class!
Oprah poured $40 million into the Leadership Academy for Girls, keeping a promise she made to Nelson Mandela to give poor South African girls a quality education and prepare them for leadership.
Then of course there’s Oprah’s Angel Network, which has raised more than $51 million for charity for the underprivileged. Oprah personally covers all the administrative costs associated with the Angel Network, so every penny of the money raised goes to help people who need it.
So, as I said at the beginning, take these inspirational sayings from Oprah Winfrey to heart—the woman knows how to live a truly valuable life!
Oprah quotes on acting
- From the very first day I did my very first talk show, I knew it. I knew it was the right thing to do. I felt the same thing about acting too. Only I was so terrified, that it was a little bit more difficult for me.
- I always wanted to be an actress for most of my adolescent and adult life. My father didn't want me to be, because his idea of "an actress" was one of these "lewd women," and "How are you going to take care of your life?"
- I also want to act because I think that it's very important to create work that for one, puts the black cultural experience on screen. I've been black, I've been female all my life. That's the only thing I know. So I know that experience.
- The turn-on is the ability to express another person's life. If you can internalize, and then manifest externally the essence of another being, that is the ultimate in understanding—what it takes to take somebody else's life, make it your own, and put it out there. The ultimate. You understand things about people that you just could never imagine. It's almost like getting to live somebody else's life for a while, without having to experience all of the "experience" that comes with creating another life.
Oprah quotes on adversity
- Even when things are difficult, be grateful.
- Where there is no struggle, there is no strength.
- Excellence is the best deterrent to racism or sexism.
- Nobody's journey is seamless or smooth. We all stumble. We all have setbacks.
- Difficulties come when you don't pay attention to life's whisper, because life always whispers to you first. And if you ignore the whisper, sooner or later you'll get a scream. Whatever you resist persists. But, if you ask the right question—not why is this happening, but what is this here to teach me?—it puts you in the place and space to get the lesson you need.
Oprah quotes on attitude
- Free speech not only lives. It rocks!
- I believe that worthiness is our birthright.
- We are defined by the way we treat ourselves and the way we treat other people.
- It is easier to go with the river than to try to swim upstream. Anything negative that happens to me is because I've been fighting against the stream.
- The moment you start thinking that you are better than somebody else, you've lost sight of who you are. Because the truth of the matter is, we are all the same.
Oprah quotes on books
- I loved books so much as a child. They were my outlet to the world.
- I read mostly female literature because I just find that I'm drawn to it. If I'm in a book store, I'm drawn to the women writers because that's what I know.
- I think the book that moved me most when I was growing up was A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. I had a tree in my backyard, too, so I identified with her. I just thought, "Well, this is my life." And then I discovered Maya Angelou's I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings. Well, first of all, it was the first time I had ever encountered another woman who had been sexually abused. I could not imagine. I felt that way, too, when I read The Color Purple. I read the first page of The Color Purple, put the book down, and wept. I could not believe it, that someone had put this in writing. It was unbelievable.
Oprah quotes on business
- You have a responsibility to yourself to learn as much about your business as you can.
- I have people that I trust. I also try to surround myself with people who are smarter than I am.
- When I first started being a "business woman," I worried about: "How do you do this?" And I realized that you do this the same way as you do anything else. You be fair. You try to be honest with other people, and be fair.
Short Oprah quotes on her early career
- I decided, this Barbara (Walters) thing's not going too well. I should try being myself.
- I was the only television anchor person that had an 11 o'clock curfew doing the 10 o'clock news.
- I'd go home at night and fill up my journals about how miserable I was and frustrated. Then I'd eat my anxiety. That's where I learned that habit.
- I'd cover a fire and then I'd go back and I'd try to give the victims blankets. And I wouldn't be able to sleep at night because of all the things I was covering during the day.
Longer Oprah quotes on her early career
- I was trying to sit gracefully like Barbara and make myself talk like Barbara. And I thought, well, I could make a pretty goofy Barbara. And if I could figure out how to be myself, I could be a pretty good Oprah.
- Getting the 6 o'clock news co-anchor job at 22 was such a big deal. It felt like the biggest deal in the world at the time. And I was so proud, because I was finally going to have my chance to be like Barbara Walters.
- I really hated, hated, hated being sent to report on other people's tragedies as a part of my daily duty, knowing that I was just expected to observe, when everything in my instinct told me that I should be doing something, I should be lending a hand.
- I spent eight years in Baltimore. I knew in those years in Baltimore that I was unhappy being a television news reporter. But the voice of my father, who thought he knew what I was supposed to do, was in my head. He said: don't you give up that job, girl.
Long Oprah quotes on her early career
- The television executives told me when I was in Baltimore that I was just—it was too much—I was too big, and I was too black. They told me that I was too engaged, that I was too emotional, I was too—too much for the news. And so they put me on a talk show one day just to run out my contract. And that was the beginning of my story.
- I was pretending to be Barbara Walters. So I'd go to a news conference, and I was more interested in how I phrased the question and how eloquent the question sounded, as opposed to listening to the answer. Which always happens when you are interested in impressing people instead of doing what you are supposed to be doing.
Really long Oprah quotes on her early career!
- My openness is the reason why I did not do so well as a news reporter. Because I used to go on assignment and be so open that I would say to people at fires (and they've lost their children), "That's OK. You don't have to talk to me." Well, then you go back to the newsroom, and the news director says, "What do you mean they didn't have to talk to you?" I'd say, "But she just lost her child, and you know I just felt so bad." So, I didn't do very well. I was too involved.
- It was very uncomfortable for me at first because when I first started as a broadcaster, I was 19. Very insecure. Thrown into television, pretending to be Barbara Walters, looking nothing like her. And still going to college. So I'd do all my classes in the morning, from eight o'clock to one o'clock, and in the afternoon, I'd work from two o'clock to ten o'clock and did the six o'clock news. And I would stay up and study and all that until one, two, three o'clock in the morning, and then just start the routine all over again.
Short Oprah quotes on her childhood
- We weren't a family with lots of hugs and touching. Nobody ever said, ”I love you.”
- For a while, I wanted to be a schoolteacher. In the fourth grade, Mrs. Duncan was my greatest inspiration.
Longer Oprah quotes on her childhood
- When I was 12 and on welfare with my mother, I was told we weren't going to have a Christmas. Some nuns showed up at the last minute and brought food and presents. And I never forgot that.
- In the fourth grade was when I first, I think, began to believe in myself. For the first time believed I could do almost anything. I felt I was the queen bee. I felt I could control the world. I was going to be a missionary. I was going to Costa Rica.
Long Oprah quotes on her childhood
- I remember my father saying to me "You can't bring Cs in this house because you are not a C student. If you were a C student you could, because I'm not trying to make you do or be anything that you can't be. But you are not a C student; you are an A student. So that's what we expect in this house." It was so matter of fact.
- My grandmother gave me the foundation for success that I was allowed to continue to build upon. My grandmother taught me to read, and that opened the door to all kinds of possibilities for me. And had I not been with my grandmother and been with my mother struggling in the North, moving from apartment to apartment, I probably would not have had the foundation that I had.
Really long Oprah quotes on her childhood!
- By the time I was three, I was reciting speeches in the church. And they'd put me up on the program, and they would say, "And Little Mistress Winfrey will render a recitation," and I would do, "Jesus rose on Easter Day, Hallelujah, Hallelujah, all the angels did proclaim." And all the sisters sitting in the front row would fan themselves and turn to my grandmother and say, "Hattie Mae, this child is gifted." And I heard that enough that I started to believe it.
- I used to collect money on the playground to take to church on Sundays from all the other kids. At the time, in school we had devotions, and I would sit and I would listen to everything the preacher said on Sunday and go back to school on Monday morning and beg Mrs. Duncan to please let me do devotions, just sort of repeat the sermon. So in the fourth grade, I was called "preacher." The kids used to poke fun at me all the time. It didn't bother me because I was so inspired.
Short Oprah quotes on choices
- I believe that every single event in life that happens is an opportunity to choose love over fear.
- Not only do you have the right to do whatever you want, you have the right to change your mind.
- You are one choice away from a new beginning—one that leads you toward becoming the fullest human being you can be.
Longer Oprah quotes on choices
- There are many times when you don't know what to do. When you don't know what to do, get still, get very still, until you do know what to do. And when you do get still and let your internal motivation be the driver, not only will your personal life improve, but you will gain a competitive edge in the working world as well.
- Honesty comes from your natural instinct, telling you when you are doing something whether or not this feels right. You feel a sense of accomplishment and fulfillment and worthiness to the world, in such a way that you know that you are doing the right thing. You don't have to ask anybody.
Long Oprah quotes on choices
- When you are doing the right thing, you don't have to say, "Do you think this is OK?" It works on every level. Whether or not you are going to a party, or choosing a dress, or choosing a friend, if you ever have to say, "Do you think this is OK?" chances are it is not, because that's your instinct trying to get you to ask yourself that question: "Maybe this isn't OK?"
- Most all the mistakes I've made in my life, I've made because I was trying to please other people. Every one of them. There is not one that I've made because I did something because I really wanted to do this for myself. Every mistake I've ever made was because I went outside of myself to do something for somebody else that I should not have. Not good.
- When you're supposed to do something or not supposed to do something, your emotional guidance system lets you know. The trick is to learn to check your ego at the door and start checking your gut instead. Every right decision I've made—every right decision I've ever made—has come from my gut. And every wrong decision I've ever made was a result of me not listening to the greater voice of myself.
Really long Oprah quotes on choices!
- When you don't know what to do, you should do nothing until you figure out what to do, because a lot of times you feel like you are pressed against the wall, and you've got to make a decision. You never have to do anything. Don't know what to do? Do nothing. I wait. And that has been a big lesson. To be willing, to be still with myself, and trust myself and my higher power to help me make the right decision. And to not feel pressured. We create stress for ourselves because you feel like you “have to” do it.
- The one thing that has allowed me to certainly achieve both material success and spiritual success, is the ability to listen to my instinct. I call it my inner voice. It doesn't matter what you call it—nature, instinct, higher power. It's the ability to understand the difference between what your heart is saying and what your head is saying. I now always go with the heart. Even when my head is saying, “Oh, but this is the rational thing; this is really what you should do.” I always go with that little... feeling. The feeling. I am where I am today because I have allowed myself to listen to my feelings.
Oprah quotes on criticism
- I really don't care what you print about me if it's true.
- If you are telling me the truth, I accept it and will move on it.
- The thing that has caused me the greatest dismay or disappointment in this life has been the fact that people can write things about you that are not true. It's astounding to me.
- If the criticism is valid and comes from a point of view of being well thought out, and not just to attack, I accept it. I accept it and I usually get better as a result of it. Critics have actually helped me to get better.
Oprah quotes on education
- Education is what liberated me.
- The ability to read saved my life. I would have been an entirely different person had I not been taught to read when I was at an early age. My entire life experience, my ability to believe in myself, and even in my darkest moments of sexual abuse and being physically abused and so forth, I knew there was another way. I knew there was a way out. I knew there was another kind of life because I'd read about it. I'd read about it. I knew there were other places and there was another way of being. And so, it saved my life, so that's why I now focus my attention on trying to do the same thing for other people—education.
Oprah quotes on failure
- Turn your wounds into wisdom.
- I don't believe in failure. It is not failure if you enjoyed the process.
- If you make a mistake, you make a mistake. It's OK to make a mistake.
- Think like a queen. A queen is not afraid to fail. Failure is another steppingstone to greatness.
- What other people label or might try to call failure, I have learned is just God's way of pointing you in a new direction.
- Don't be afraid. All you have to know is who you are. Because there is no such thing as failure. There is no such thing as failure.
- 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 quotes on fame
- Adoration is unhealthy.
- Fame is a trip. People follow you to the bathroom, listen to you pee.
- It is very difficult for me to see myself as other people see me. Very difficult.
- I think I'm probably one of the most balanced people I know, to live under such a microscope like this. And I think that you have to put it all in perspective and understand who you really are. And who I really am is not some person who is just on television everyday. That is something that I do.
- I don't know what being Oprah Winfrey means to other people, from the outside. Because I still feel the same. I really do. I feel the same as I did when I was 22 and struggling. Because the struggle has taken on a different form for me. The struggle is more of an inner-self struggle, trying to find the truth for myself, than it is trying to get enough money to pay my light bill. Actually, it was easier trying to find enough money to pay my light bill than discovering what the truth of your life is all about.
Oprah quotes on feelings
- If it doesn't feel right, don't do it.
- Feelings are really your GPS system for life.
- Follow your feelings. If it feels right, move forward. If it doesn't feel right, don't do it.
- How do you know when you're doing something right? How do you know that? It feels so.
Oprah quote on generosity
- I think that for every act of generosity in the world, regardless of where it is given—in Mississippi, Montana or Mozambique—it's O.K., because it's spreading that kind of energy out into the world in a way that can make a difference.
Oprah quote on hate
- I know that you cannot hate other people without hating yourself.
Short Oprah quotes about herself
- I keep growing into myself.
- I love being a woman, and I love being a black woman.
- I've always believed that everything is better when you share it.
- Become the change you want to see—those are words I live by.
- I would say I'm a truth-seeker. I believe that, "The truth shall make you free."
- There really is nothing more important to me than striving to be a good human being.
- I said to myself, “This is what I should be doing. It's like breathing.” (Of her first talk-show)
- One of my greatest struggles in life has been to recognize that I'm as worthy as the next guy.
- God could dream a bigger dream than you can dream for yourself. And so I tried to live in the space of God's dream.
- I am guided by a higher calling. It's not so much a voice as it is a feeling. If it doesn't feel right to me, I don't do it.
- I am drawn to South Africa because of Nelson Mandela, who has become a personal friend, and my love of the country.
- All my stuff is out there. People think I'd be so ashamed of being gay that I wouldn't admit it? Oh, please. (Of her lifelong friendship with Gayle King)
Longer Oprah quotes about herself
- I don't think of myself as a poor, deprived ghetto girl who made good. I think of myself as somebody who from an early age knew I was responsible for myself, and I had to make good.
- I am where I am because of the bridges that I crossed. Sojourner Truth was a bridge. Harriet Tubman was a bridge. Ida B. Wells was a bridge. Madame C. J. Walker was a bridge. Fannie Lou Hamer was a bridge.
- If other people perceive me to be representative of black people in this country, it is a false perception. The fact that I sit where I sit today, you can't deny there have been some major advances, but I'm still just one black woman.
Long Oprah quotes about herself
- I've always had to live with the notion of other black people saying—for any amount of success that you achieve—they say, "Oh, you are trying to be white. You are trying to talk white. You are trying to be white," and so forth. Which is such a ridiculous notion to me, since you look in the mirror every morning, and you are black; there is a black face in your reflection.
- My inability as an adult female to say "no"—I call it my disease to please as a female—is the same thing that caused me to be victimized as a child. Because many times, I would get myself into situations as an adult where I didn't want to say "no" because I didn't want to hurt anybody's feelings. I didn't want to say "no" because I didn't want anybody angry with me. I didn't want to say "no" because I didn't want people to think I'm not nice.
- My sophomore year in college, someone heard me on the radio, and said, "We heard you on the radio, would you be interested in working in television?" I turned them down three times. The third time, I had a college professor. I said, "They keep calling me to be on television. And I know if I do television, I'll never finish school." So he said, "Don't you know that's why people go to school? So that somebody can keep calling them, you nit-wit!"
Really long Oprah quote about herself!
- In 1987, Tennessee State University invited me back to speak at their commencement. By then, I had my own show, was nationally syndicated. I'd made a movie, had been nominated for an Oscar and founded my company, Harpo. But I told them, I cannot come and give a speech unless I can earn one more credit, because my dad's still saying I'm not going to get anywhere without that degree. So, I finished my coursework, I turned in my final paper and I got the degree. And my dad was very proud.
Oprah quotes on integrity
- What matters most is what's inside. What matters most is the sense of integrity, of quality and beauty.
- Real integrity is doing the right thing, knowing that nobody's going to know whether you did it or not.
- Always take a stand for yourself, your values. You are defined by what you stand for. Your integrity is not for sale.
- It's OK if you say "no," and then people don't like you. That's really OK. The important thing is how you feel about what you are doing, how you feel about yourself.
- You have to be willing to stand up for what you believe in. If I could count the number of times I have been asked to compromise and sell out myself for one reason or another, I would be a billionaire 10 times over. My integrity is not for sale and neither is yours.
- You have to be honest with yourself. You can be pursuing a profession because your parents say it's the best thing. You can be pursuing a profession because you think you will make a lot of money. You can be pursuing a profession because you think you are going to get a lot of attention. None of that will do you any good if you are not being honest with yourself.
Oprah quotes on learning
(If you're interested in Oprah quotes on learning, you'll love this video!)
Short Oprah quotes on learning
- The world has so many lessons to teach you.
- I feel best in surroundings where other people are smarter than I am because I feel like I can always learn something from it.
Longer Oprah quote on learning
- I believe that there's a lesson in almost everything that you do and every experience, and getting the lesson is how you move forward. It's how you enrich your spirit.
Long Oprah quotes on learning
- Walk through life eager and open to self-improvement and that which is going to best help you evolve, because that's really why we're here—to evolve as human beings; to grow into more of ourselves, always moving to the next level of understanding, the next level of compassion and growth.
- I consider the world, this Earth, to be like a school, and our life the classrooms. And sometimes here in this Planet Earth school the lessons often come dressed up as detours or roadblocks. And sometimes as full-blown crises. And the secret I've learned to getting ahead is being open to the lessons, lessons from the grandest university of all, that is, the universe itself.
Really long Oprah quote on learning!
- I went to my first city council meeting, I wasn't quite sure of what to do, but I had told the news director that I did. So then what you have to do is, be willing to admit that you know nothing. So I walked into the city council meeting and announced to everybody there, "This is my first day on the job, and I don't know anything. Please help me because I have told the news director at Channel 5 that I know what I'm doing. Pleeeeze help me." And they did. And from that point on all those councilmen became my friends, and I'd come in the council meeting, and they helped me out. And I realize now it was because of my willingness to say, "I don't know it, but if you will just help me." So that's how I learned.
Oprah quotes on life
- We all just want to know that we matter.
- I don't believe that anything happens without a reason.
- Everybody needs somebody in their life to say, "Yes, you can do it!"
- Life's responsibilities don't lessen just because you aren't feeling your best.
- The more you praise and celebrate your life, the more there is in life to celebrate.
- The greatest pain in life is to be invisible. What I've learned is that we all just want to be heard.
- There is a commonality in human experience. If it's happened to one person, it has happened to thousands of others.
- We are all responsible for our lives, but nobody gets through this life alone. Everybody needs somebody to show them a way out, or a way up. Everybody does.
- You have to live for the present. You have to be in the moment. Whatever has happened to you in your past has no power over this present moment, because life is now.
- I believe that everyone is the keeper of a dream—and by tuning into one another's secret hopes, we can become better friends, better partners, better parents and better lovers.
Oprah quote on luck
- I think luck is preparation meeting opportunity.
Oprah quotes on money
- Let me tell you, money's pretty nice.
- I like money. It's good for buying things.
- Having a lot of money does not automatically make you a successful person. What you want is money and meaning. You want your work to be meaningful. Because meaning is what brings the real richness to your life. What you really want is to be surrounded by people you trust and treasure and by people who cherish you. That's when you're really rich.
- I've been very poor in my life, and so the idea of having money and not being responsible and knowing how much money you have and keeping control of it, is not something that I personally can accept. I know that there are other people who can, but it's just not a possibility for me. I need to know where it is. There are times when I think I want to go to the bank and say, "Show it to me." Because just seeing it on a piece of paper—anybody can print out a piece of paper. So I watch it very carefully and try to maintain responsibility for it.
Oprah quote about her name
- I was born at home. There were not a lot of educated people around and my name had been chosen from the Bible. My Aunt Ida had chosen the name, but nobody really knew how to spell it. So it went down as "Orpah" on my birth certificate, but people didn't know how to pronounce it, so they put the "p" before the "r" in every place else other than the birth certificate. On the birth certificate it is Orpah, but then it got translated to Oprah, so here we are.
Oprah quote about O magazine
- There are many times in my magazine when I have not agreed with the editor, and we just talk it out. Sometimes I let it go. And there are other times where I feel strongly enough about it, and I say that absolutely cannot happen. Because it's an O on the magazine.
Oprah quotes about The Oprah Winfrey Show
(Before you check out the Oprah quotes on her show, I think you'll love this video of really early Oprah!)
Short Oprah quotes about The Oprah Winfrey Show
- Our shows are hour-long life lessons.
- As long as I can be an influence and make a difference, that's what I want to do.
Longer Oprah quotes about The Oprah Winfrey Show
- The show is very important to me because it is a platform for being able to make a difference in people's lives, to influence them to change for the better. I don't want to give that up—until it's time.
- My ability to get people to open up is only attributed, I think, to the fact that there is a common bond in the human spirit. We all want the same things. And I know that. I really do know that I am no different than anybody else.
- The greatest thing about what I do, for me, is that I'm in a position to change people's lives. It is the most incredible platform for influence that you could imagine, and it's something that I hold in great esteem and take full responsibility for.
Long Oprah quotes about The Oprah Winfrey Show
- The reason people open up so much on the show is because I open up. I feel comfortable doing it. And they know that I am not going to ridicule them. I want everybody on the show, even if I disagree with them, to leave with a sense of dignity, to maintain their own dignity.
- I have to read a lot for the show. Most of the questions come from my own natural curiosity about a particular subject. And I find I'm best in situations where I just go right off the top of my head. Right off. I ask what I want to know. And that's what being in television for a long time—and also getting comfortable with yourself—allows you to do.
Really long Oprah quotes about The Oprah Winfrey Show!
- As a kid, when I was growing up, especially in the third and fourth grade, I always wanted to be a minister and preach and be a missionary. And then for a while, after Mrs. Duncan's fourth grade class, I wanted to be a fourth grade teacher. And I think, in many ways, that I have been able to fulfill all of that. I feel that my show is a ministry—we just don't take up a collection. And I feel that it is a teaching tool, without preaching to people about it. I really do. That is my intent.
- There is no such thing to me as an embarrassing moment. If I tripped and fell, if my bra strap showed, if my slip fell off, if I fell flat on my face. I know that there is nothing I could possibly experience on the air that someone hasn't already experienced. I was on TV the other day, and somebody says, "Oh Oprah, you have a run!" Have you not seen a run before in your life? Well, I get them too. Let me tell you. So I can't be embarrassed. When I first started out, that was not true because I was pretending to be somebody I was not.
- I do every show in prayer, not down on my knees praying, but I do it before every show—a mental meditation in order to get the correct message across. Because you're dealing with millions of people every day, and it's very easy for something to be misinterpreted. So my intention is always, regardless of what the show is—whether it's about sibling rivalry or wife battering or children of divorce—for people to see within each show that you are responsible for your life. That although there may be tragedy in your life, there's always a possibility to triumph. It doesn't matter who you are, where you come from. The ability to triumph begins with you. Always, always.
Short Oprah quotes on being overweight
- Falling off the wagon isn't a weight issue; it's a love issue.
- I started eating whatever I wanted—and that's never good.
- Believe me, no part of me was prepared to embrace hunger.
- I look at my thinner self and think, "How did I let this happen again?"
- I don't have a weight problem—I have a self-care problem that manifests through weight.
- I thought I was finished with the weight battle. I was done. I'd conquered it. I was so sure, I was even cocky.
- When I stop and ask myself, "What am I really hungry for?" the answer is always, "I'm hungry for balance."
- My drug of choice is food. I use food for the same reasons an addict uses drugs: to comfort, to soothe, to ease stress.
Longer Oprah quotes on being overweight
- I'm mad at myself. I'm embarrassed. I can't believe that after all these years, all the things I know how to do, I'm still talking about my weight.
- It seemed as if the struggle I'd had with weight my entire adult life was now officially over. I felt completely defeated. I thought, "I give up. I give up. Fat wins."
- My goal isn't to be thin. My goal is for my body to be the weight it can hold—to be strong and healthy and fit, to be itself. My goal is to learn to embrace this body and to be grateful every day for what it has given me.
- In order not to abuse food, I have to stay fully conscious and aware of every bite, of taking time and chewing slowly. I have to focus on being fully alive, awake, present, and engaged, connected in every area of my life. Right now.
- My weight issue isn't about eating less or working out harder, or even about a malfunctioning thyroid. It's about my life being out of balance, with too much work and not enough play, not enough time to calm down. I let the well run dry.
Oprah quote about power
- I think education is power. I think that being able to communicate with people is power. One of my main goals on this planet is to encourage people to empower themselves.
Oprah quotes about living on purpose
- My mission is to use this position, power and money to create opportunities for other people.
- When you're doing the work you're meant to do, it feels right and every day is a bonus, regardless of what you're getting paid.
- I understand what it means to be poor and not have your possibilities revealed to you. So I feel like if I can do that for as many young girls as I can reach, I would have served part of my purpose here.
- Empathy and joyfulness and purpose, inner traits that have transcendent worth. These qualities bloom when we're doing what we love, when we're involving the wholeness of ourselves in our work—both our expertise and our emotion.
- Your calling isn't something that somebody can tell you about. It's what you feel. It's a part of your life force. It is the thing that gives you juice. The thing that you are supposed to do. And nobody can tell you what that is. You know it inside yourself.
Oprah quotes on responsibility
- You are responsible for your life.
- Surrendering yourself doesn't mean giving up—it means acting with responsibility.
- My philosophy is that not only are you responsible for your life, but doing the best at this moment puts you in the best place for the next moment.
- What I learned at a very early age was that I was responsible for my life. And as I became more spiritually conscious, I learned that we all are responsible for ourselves, that you create your own reality by the way you think and therefore act. You cannot blame apartheid, your parents, your circumstances—because you are not your circumstances. You are your possibilities. If you know that, you can do anything.
Short Oprah quotes on service
- Doing good actually makes you better.
- Helping others is the way we help ourselves.
- To be happy, you have to give something back.
- Be a part of something. Don't live for yourself alone.
- My constant prayer for myself is to be used in service for the greater good.
- This is the defining question in my life: How do you use your life to best serve yourself and extend it to the world?
- Unless you choose to do great things with it, it makes no difference how much you are rewarded, or how much power you have.
- There's actually a helper's high, a spiritual surge you gain from serving others. So, if you want to feel good, you have to go out and do some good.
Longer Oprah quotes on service
- If you choose to offer your skills and talent in service, when you choose the paradigm of service, looking at life through that paradigm, it turns everything you do from a job into a gift.
- In order to be truly happy, you must live along with, and you have to stand for, something larger than yourself. Because life is a reciprocal exchange. To move forward you have to give back.
Long Oprah quote on service
- If you're hurting, you need to help somebody ease their hurt. If you're in pain, help somebody else's pain. And when you're in a mess, you get yourself out of the mess helping somebody out of theirs. And in the process, you get to become a member of what I call the greatest fellowship of all, the sorority of compassion and the fraternity of service.
Oprah quotes on sexual abuse
- There was a lesson in it. It teaches you not to let people abuse you.
- I was the kind of child who was always searching for love and affection and attention, and somebody to look at me and say: "Yes, you are worthy." Unfortunately, there are adults who will take advantage of that and misread your intentions.
- I certainly wish that I had been the kind of child who told the first time, and so, because I wasn't the kind of child who did that, a part of my mission in life now is to encourage every other child who is abused: you tell. You tell, and if they don't believe you, you keep telling. You tell everybody until somebody listens to you. If nothing else, that's part of something good that came out of that experience for me, because I don't want it to happen to another child. I don't want another child to be afraid of saying, "This is what happened to me."
Short Oprah quotes on success
- Whatever you do a lot of, you get good at doing it.
- You get in life what you have the courage to ask for.
- If you do work that you love and work that fulfills you, the rest will come.
- The ability to learn to say "no" and not feel guilty about it is the greatest success I have achieved.
- The big secret in life is that there is no big secret. Whatever your goal, you can get there if you're willing to work.
Longer Oprah quotes on success
- For me to have the kind of internal strength and internal courage it takes to say, "No, I will not let you treat me this way," is what success is all about.
- To me, "successful" is getting to the point where you are absolutely comfortable with yourself. And it does not matter how many things you have acquired.
- The key to realizing a dream is to focus not on success but on significance—and then even the small steps and little victories along your path will take on greater meaning.
- Honour your calling; don't worry about how successful you will be. Don't worry about it. Focus on how significant you can be in service and the success will take care of itself.
- Forget about the fast lane. If you really want to fly, just harness your power to your passion. Honour your calling. Everybody has one. Trust your heart and success will come to you.
- What material success does is provide you with the ability to concentrate on other things that really matter. And that is being able to make a difference, not only in your own life, but in other people's lives.
Long Oprah quotes on success
- The ability to be as good as you can be comes from understanding who you are, and what you can and cannot do. And what you can't do is far more important than what you can do, if what you can't do is going to keep you from flying as high as you can.
- You know you are on the road to success if you would do your job, and not be paid for it. And I would do this job, and take on a second job to make ends meet if nobody paid me. Just for the opportunity to do it. That's how you know you are doing the right thing.
- I truly believe that the reason I've been able to be so financially successful is because my focus has never, ever for one minute been money. And the fact that the money has come has really surprised me. I've been just really surprised and delighted and very pleased, and at many times overwhelmed by it. But the money has never been the focus.
Really long Oprah quote on success!
- I don't know if anybody really skyrockets to success. I think that success is a process. And I believe that my first Easter speech, at Kosciusko Baptist Church, at the age of three-and-a-half, was the beginning. And that every other speech, every other book I read, every other time I spoke in public, was a building block. So that by the time I first sat down to audition in front of a television camera, and somebody said, "Read this," what allowed me to read it so comfortably and be so at ease with myself at that time, was the fact that I had been doing it a while. If I'd never read a book, or never spoken in public before, I would have been traumatized by it.
Oprah quotes about thoughts
- Everything begins with thoughts.
- It is very true that the way you think creates reality for yourself. There are other factors going on, so it’s not everything, but you really can change your own reality based on the way that you think.
Oprah quotes about TV
- I realized that TV could be more than just a playground, but a platform for service, for helping other people lift their lives.
- I stopped just being on TV and looking at TV as a job, and decided to use television. To use it and not have it use me. To use it as a platform to serve my viewers. That alone changed the trajectory of my success.
Oprah quotes on wisdom
- Follow your instincts. That's where true wisdom manifests itself.
- Inner wisdom is more precious than wealth. The more you spend it, the more you gain.
Oprah quotes on work
- I want to be able to do work that encourages, enlightens, uplifts and entertains people.
- A 12-hour day is a short day for me. I feel like, after a 12-hour day, "What am I going to do with the rest of my day?" I get home, and I don't know what to do with myself because I have all of this time left over. I don't know what to do. So I really feel most comfortable working 14 to 16 hours because then, at least, I can go home.