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Oprah's Three Lessons That Impacted Her Life

Oprah's Three Lessons That Impacted Her Life

How memorable would it be to have Oprah as a commencement speaker at your graduation ceremony? She spoke for about 30 minutes to Stanford's class of 2008 and shared these three lessons that have greatly impacted her life, having to do "with feelings, with failure and with finding happiness."

She may have given each graduate two books, but we can all take something away from the three lessons. You can view the entire video on YouTube.

  1. On feelings: "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. The trick is to learn to check your ego at the door and start checking your gut instead."

There are two more lessons so just


  1. On failure: "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."
  2. On happiness: "Don't live for yourself alone. This is what I know for sure: 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. And to me, that is the greatest lesson of life. To be happy, you have to give something back."
Join The Conversation
ranksubjugation ranksubjugation 9 years
pretty vague and unhelpful, if you ask me (a recent grad).
outofhere outofhere 9 years
The three lessons are good but not unique. Oprah has become a stranger to me, I just can't listen to her anymore.
utopia6384 utopia6384 9 years
i just started watching celeb circus, and i just think it would be amazing/hilarious if oprah was on it. they should do a segment with her! its on tonite! such a fun show!
prestopink prestopink 9 years
Ummm...she gave the same EXACT speech at Howard University last year in May 2007....hmmm....when I graduated...
Le-Luxe Le-Luxe 9 years
Good talk!
bellaressa bellaressa 9 years
I really identify with # 3 - I have feel that since I have started to volunteer more especially helping and teaching people who never had the attention to do good has really helped me. It is the best feeling in the world to help someone learn to read who might have only had a 8th grade education and their reading level is at a second grade level. I also know from my failures, it is when I focused on what I learned and what I could have done better to actually look upon it as a stepping stone instead of a failure it has enabled me to let go of hurt, pain, and self conscience and move forward. As far as checking your ego, yea I was one who read the New Earth. Interesting concept. I like to read while on the bus. I just think ego hurts a lot of people. Everyone has ego whether you think you do or not, depending on the situation everyone does, it is those who know themselves and that can check themselves and realize they may be setting themselves up for failure that move past that which is holding them back. As I reread this, I have no idea where this came from but I guess it was in me somewhere.
Liss1 Liss1 9 years
I am not a big Oprah fan and would have been bored during her 30 minute speech.
dcfashionista dcfashionista 9 years
Great lessons, I need to copy those down for future reference.
Shopaholichunny Shopaholichunny 9 years
:zzz: :barf:
Brendelwoman Brendelwoman 9 years
Was one of the books A New Earth? I am so over her.
citizenkane citizenkane 9 years
I bet she is expensive to book at a graduation....
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