Before reading the book, What I Know For Sure by Oprah Winfrey, I set out to answer that very question for myself. In the beginning, my answers were pretty cryptic. I know for sure that I’m going to die (as we all should know). I also know for sure that I believe in Jesus. But what else did I know for sure? I was stumped. If this book was anything like my answers, I was in for a rude awakening. So I decided to figure out what it was all about first and then try to answer the same question once I was done.
What I Know For Sure, made me fall in love with Oprah. It humanized her, as she talked candidly about her 20’s and 30’s, building a career, feeling worthless and even dealing with bad guys in relationships. There were a lot of things that I didn’t know about her life, that I was so happy she shared. For her 58th birthday, Oprah’s friends surprised her with one of her favorite singer’s Snatam Kaur. I know what you’re thinking, big deal, its Oprah, but the beauty of this story is that she didn’t think she was worthy enough to invite the singer to perform at her own birthday. She went to bed kind of disappointed in herself, only to find out a few hours later her friends had the singer come to her home and serenade her with her favorite songs. It was a beautiful story.
This book is filled with the advice only Oprah can give. She is transparent, infusing personal stories with life lessons. She talks about her relationship with Gayle and how supportive she’s always been as a best friend. She also talks about aging, how she chooses to celebrate growing older as opposed to begrudging it because it represents more opportunity to live. There are a couple of things that Oprah knows for sure, which now serve as life lessons for me which you can find below:
- Reading opens you up and exposes you to access anything your mind can hold.
- Love, a relationship built on real love should feel good most of the time, it should involve bringing who you are to the table and walking away with more.
- Encountering Obstacles, every experience is a valuable teacher. It’s a blessing to be able to survive them and make the climb up life’s mountain.
- Unworthiness, unconscious feelings of unworthiness show up in everything you do or don’t do.
- Combating Shame, when you know who you are and what you stand for, stand in wisdom.
- Haters, naysayers will always feel threatened because they don’t believe they are enough and will never feel satisfied.
- Fear, what would you do if you weren’t afraid of feeling rejected, making a mistake, looking foolish, or being alone? When you remove the fear, the answer you’ve been searching for comes into focus.
- The Journey, never lose faith in the path. Changing the way you think about your situation is the key to improving it. Learning to appreciate your lessons is a clear sign you are moving in the right direction.
- Prayer, if the only prayer you ever said in your entire life was thank you, it would be enough.
- Gratitude, sometimes we get so focused on the difficulty of our climb that we lose sight of being grateful for having a mountain to climb. When you focus on the goodness of your life you create more of it.
I would definitely recommend this book to anyone looking for some encouragement in their lives. Oprah’s outlook on life is simply magnificent. She finds beauty in everything around her and is willing to share with us, some of her mistakes and triumphs that made her the wise woman she is today. Make gratitude a priority.