If you asked me that "who would you have dinner with, dead or alive" question, Oprah is definitely at the top of my list.
When she accepted her Cecile B DeMille Award at the Golden Globes, not only did I watch it at least three times, I marveled at the way she was able to express the thoughts and feelings of so many while spreading an impactful and important message all in 8 minutes or less. And when Twitter erupted with #Oprah2020, I was ready to sign up for her campaign squad.
To me, Oprah is that motherlike figure that the world needs, whether or not we deserve her. Some of us want to be like her, and even more of us want to learn from her. The media mogul dropped some gems in her an interview with InStyle Magazine that will help us along this journey we call life, whether we are just getting started out in life or we're looking for more clarity, discernment, and ways to continue to flourish.
We all know how overwhelming the current news cycle can be. Here is what Oprah does to manage the real stress of keeping up with the news.
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. I have the app that has all the news stories, so I scroll through the 5 Things You Need to Know Today and then choose which of those things I want to explore more. I try not to lean into the hysteria. I've heard a lot of Twitter chatter where people have said, "Where are you? You should be speaking up on these things!" But it makes no sense to speak when you cannot be heard. One hundred and forty characters—that is not how you want to make your mark in the world.
Many of us want to know how Oprah got to where she is in life. Obviously a lot of vision, hard work, and determination were a part of the equation, but she says that finding the lesson in each moment, good or bad, is one of the ways she approaches everything that shows up in her life.
She also finds ways to just be thankful for the little things and not just the material ones. It reminds us that when we have a dream, it takes time a patience to finally see it come to fruition.
I think back to the time in 1985 when I was away shooting The Color Purple and my dream was to have a beautiful home and be surrounded by things that matter to me. So I'm really thrilled that I've been able to create that life, the one I was dreaming of in 1985. I get a lot of comfort from that.
One of the major takeaways from this interview that we all can begin to apply in our daily lives is now my new favorite Oprah quote: "Take no sh*t."
She reveals that the older you get, the more truth and authenticity become what's important. We may not realize how much sh*t we actually take on a daily basis, and maybe if we all learn to take a little less and instead focus on what is truly authentic, we can get on a better trajectory towards our goals and dreams.
You take no sh*t. None. Not a bit. In your 40s you want to say you take no shit, 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. People coming with anything less than what is the truth or authentic? Don't even try.
What I loved most about these gems is that we can all take them in and apply them to our own lives.
Here's to taking less sh*t, focusing on the good and learning how to speak so you will actually be heard.
Read her full feature with InStyle here.
Featured image by Phil Poynter/InStyle