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Oprah’s Life Lessons for Grads and the Rest of Us

Posted Jun 27 2008 4:09pm

This year, Oprah gave the commencement address to Stanford graduates. Iwatched her speechand think her advice on success, failure and finding happiness is good enough for all of us to consider.

She stressed that success isn’t only about money (though she admits that’s part of it)–your work must be meaningful and rewarding in ways that reach beyond your bank account too. She says, “Follow your feelings, if it feels right, move for it. If it doesn’t feel right, don’t do it.” And that’s advice that I think you can follow every single day–you’ve got to learn to trust your intuition and not to rely on anyone else’s opinions in making decisions.

See what Oprah says about failure and finding happiness after the jump.

So what do you do when success doesn’t come? Oprah views every failure as a learning opportunity. When you’re faced with failure don’t go into panic mode asking ‘Why is this happening?’, instead turn it around and ask yourself ‘What does this teach me?’ She says, “Difficulties come when you don’t listen to life’s whisper.” So if you don’t pay attention to why one failure happens and understand that lesson, you’ll find failure in the same way again and again until you truly learn what you need to learn.Eckhart Tolleoffers this thought, “Don’t react against a bad situation, merge with that situation instead and the solution will arise from the challenge.”

And finally, how do you find happiness? Oprah says you have to give back. Life isn’t just about you, you need to be a part of something. “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,” she says. So don’t live only for yourself, live for something bigger and be a part of something bigger.


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