A few weeks ago I attended ‘An Evening with Oprah’ in Melbourne and wow, what an incredible experience! What I love about Oprah is that she encourages people to honour their spirit and to be the very best version of themselves. It’s taken me a long time to get where I am now, and today I thought I would share some of these Oprah-inspired life lessons with you all because in Oprah’s own words, “everything gets better when you share it”. Thanks also to my dear friend Simone for noting Oprah’s pearls of wisdom on the night and sharing them with me.
1. What does happiness look like to you?
This is a question that a lot of people struggle to answer, me included. To answer this, we need to look ‘inward’. We all have a calling in our life- this doesn’t necessarily have to be the type of calling that creates spiritual gurus, prodigies or gifted artists. Oprah suggests that your calling stems from whatever you are constantly feeling curious about.
Our true calling is something that resonates deep within each of us. Finding our calling begins through stilling our minds. When you don’t know what to do Oprah recommends you ‘get still, until you do’. Our challenge is to look deeply within, discover what our calling is and honour it. One of my favourite quotes from the night was… “If you are authentic and always follow what truly aligns with your basic values, the no one can touch you.”
Image courtesy of Oprah.com
2. Making a difference- even the smallest gesture can make a significant impact
Ever since I was twelve years old, I felt that I could somehow ‘make a difference’. It was not until my early forties that I combined my passion for science and beauty and launched ‘Synergie Skin’. I truly believe that I have now found my calling. What makes my heart sing is to make people feel better about themselves through producing my skincare and makeup. One small but significant change on the outside can have a massive impact on the inside!
Being a cosmetic chemist gives me the fuel to follow my personal calling. I may not be a spiritual guru but I am making a positive difference to my client’s lives. If I, through my calling, have improved the self-confidence of a young person with severe acne or a mother who looks after everyone but herself, then I know I am on the right path.
3. Create your legacy and leaving a ‘heartprint’
Oprah also discussed the true meaning of leaving a lasting, positive legacy. She describes our legacy as ‘whoever we leave our heartprint on’. There are times when we make a significant impression on a person and really touch their spirit. Sometimes we may not even realise we have done it…but chances are it will come back to us. Remember, every action has a reaction.
A big moment happened to me when I was at a Christmas party last night. I met the lovely Maria, a lady my age who has just been accepted into law school. She was inspired by a passionate female lawyer, Susie, who she had met at a dinner and encouraged Maria to enrol and pursue her life dream. Maria stepped out of her comfort zone and took her advice. Lo and behold, Susie (the woman who had inspired Maria to go to law school) turned up at the party later that night. Maria squealed with joy when she saw her and told her she was her inspiration! Little did Susie know the impact she had made on Maria’s life. Now that’s a life legacy!
4. Mistakes can be a gift
When things appear to be going wrong or we feel we have made a massive mistake, this can often be the greatest life gift. A painful experience pushing us in a different direction can feel uncomfortable so we naturally resist the change. Life often ‘speaks’ to us in our darkest moments and that’s exactly when we must listen. Facing discomfort, embracing change and accepting mistakes as messages to learn from, will move you in a new and exciting direction. If nothing changes then nothing changes! Sometimes we need to value the negative moments that life throws at us as these testing times only serve to make us stronger.
5. Be grateful and take the time to give thanks everyday
Finally, the pathway to creating a significant shift in your life is to be grateful every day. Oprah recommends taking daily notes in a ‘gratitude journal’. If writing’s not for you, you can always find a way to show someone you care. Every day I am grateful… it can be for that text message from a friend to make sure I’m ok, for all the genuine smiles from my team at work or for the thankyou messages from satisfied clients who are enjoying my products. I am also grateful for that extra-long hug from my children. Thank you, thank you, thank you!
…and thank you Oprah for focusing me on what really matters- love, integrity, honouring my calling and being grateful.