Life Lessons from Oprah

by | Nov 4, 2019 | Leadership

Oprah Gail Winfrey was born in 1954 to unmarried parents that separated soon after her birth. She was left in the care of her maternal grandmother who lived on a Mississippi farm. For the next fifteen years she was shuffled between the care of her father in Tennessee and her mother who lived in a poor and dangerous neighborhood in Milwaukee.

As a child Oprah learnt to playact in front of farm animals. By the time she was two years old she gave her first address to her church congregation and at two and a half she could read. However her poor urban lifestyle had a negative effect on Winfrey as a young teenager. Her problems were compounded by repeated sexual abuse, starting at the age of nine, by men that others in her family trusted.

Winfrey says that it was her father that saved her life. He was very strict but provided her with guidance, structure, rules and books. He required his daughter to complete weekly book reports and she went without dinner until she learned five new words each day.

As they say the rest is history. Oprah went on to have a successful television show for 25 years, runs her own production company and her book club is the most popular in the world. She is now the wealthiest women in America and the highest paid entertainer in the world.

So what is her secret? I would guess that she has learnt how to make life happen for her, not to her.

Something we can all learn from.

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