If there’s someone who can tell you how to change your life from zero to hero, it’s Oprah Winfrey.
From growing up in poverty with a teenage single mom, she made it to being the host of the highest-rated television program of its kind in history and North America’s first multi-billionaire black person.
So no one is better placed to teach us how to overcome obstacles and reach our goals.
1. Find out what you love
Oprah’s first lesson is the ultimate kick-off towards success:
“I’ve come to believe that each of us has a personal calling that’s as unique as a fingerprint – and that the best way to succeed is to discover what you love and then find a way to offer it to others in the form of service, working hard, and also allowing the energy of the universe to lead you.”
Finding your true calling is your first step to success. When you’ve found your true purpose, you’ll be driven and inspired every day.
2. What would you work on for free?
A good question to ask yourself and see if you’ve found your true calling, is: would you do it for free?
As Oprah puts it: “You know you are on the road to success if you would do your job, and not be paid for it.”
It’s the perfect way to test if your project sparks your passion to the extent needed to be truly successful.
3. Passion creates energy
This leads to Oprah’s third lesson: “Passion is energy. Feel the power that comes from focusing on what excites you.”
When you find your true calling, your passion will naturally create the energy you need to make it a success. You’ll only have to tap into this energy and use it to propel yourself to the next level.
4. Be prepared in order to benefit from luck
It’s easy to say others are always lucky. Don’t be fooled, you can grab your luck just as easily!
According to Oprah, “luck is preparation meeting opportunity.” People who seem lucky are just better prepared and able to grab opportunities from the moment they come along.
So be prepared, set out your goals and work towards them — it will enable you to spot and seize your lucky shots.
5. Success is not a goal in itself
“What I know for sure is that if you want success, you can’t make success your goal. The key is not to worry about being successful, but to instead work towards being significant, and the success will naturally follow”, according to Oprah.
Focus on significance instead of success. Aiming for fame and fortune is not the right mindset. If you’re truly committed to your project and do it with passion, it will naturally lead to success.
6. Aim for excellence
Be prepared to go all the way. If you really want to be successful, you need to push yourself to give your best at all times. Don’t think you can get the job done with only half the effort.
In Oprah’s words: “The choice to be excellent begins with aligning your thoughts and words with the intention to require more from yourself.”
7. Work hard
This might not be your favourite step, but it’s unavoidable to become truly successful in life.
Keep in mind Oprah’s wise words: “What I know is, is that if you do work that you love, and the work fulfills you, the rest will come.”
Luckily, if you’ve found your true passion, it won’t feel like work…right?
8. The Big Secret
Oops, sorry: “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.”
We all love to believe that the people we look up to have a secret recipe for success. But the truth is that they just worked their butt off to get there — and so do you if you want to follow in their footsteps.
9. Learn from failure
You can only be successful if you’re not afraid to fail. Failure will provide you with new lessons that you can use to move forward.
Keep in mind that the key difference between successful people and unsuccessful people is simply that the first group learns from their failures, while the latter dwell on them and give up.
To go even further, you need to fail — check out Ideapod’s motivational article on Will Smith’s approach to failure.
Oprah puts it like this: “I don’t believe in failure. It is not failure if you enjoyed the process.”
Enjoy the journey towards reaching your goals — regardless of the outcome, you’ll learn valuable lessons along the way.
10. Never underestimate yourself
Last but not least, believe in your self-worth.
“When you undervalue what you do, the world will undervalue who you are”, says Oprah.