Oprah farewell speech:
Oprah’s lesson 1: We are all called
“Everybody has a calling, and your real job in life is to figure out what that is and get about the business of doing it. Every time we have seen a person on this stage who is a success in their life„ they spoke of the
juice that they receive from doing what they knew they were meant to be doing. [A calling] lights you up and it lets you know that you are exactly where you’re supposed to be, doing exactly what you’re supposed to be
to live from the heart of yourself. You have to make a living; doing —
I understand that. But you also have to know what sparks the light in you so that you, in your own way, can illuminate the world„.
“Each one of you has your own platform. Wherever you are, that is your platform, your stage, your circle of influence. That is your talk show, and that is where your power lies. In every way, in every day, you are showing people exactly who you are. You’re letting your life speak for you. And when you do that, you will receive in direct proportion to how you give in whatever platform you have„.
“Start embracing the life that is calling you and use your life to serve the world.” — Oprah Winfrey, May 25, 2011
Oprah’s lesson 2: Nobody but you is responsible for your life
“Time and time again, the theme that kept showing itself in our early years on this show was people making bad choices. People were making bad choices and then blaming everybody but themselves for the state of their lives. We started to learn by watching others how self-destructive that really was.
“Here’s what I learned from all of that, besides not to do that anymore: Nobody but you is responsible for your life. It doesn’t matter what your mama did; it doesn’t matter what your daddy didn’t do. You are respon-
sible for your life„. You are responsible for the energy that you create
for yourself, and you’re responsible for the energy that you bring to
“One of the best examples of this was Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor who was on the show talking about the book My Stroke of Insight. She was a 37-year-old,
Harvard-educated brain scientist who suffered a massive stroke in the left part of her brain. She couldn’t speak or remember her own mother, but when doctors and nurses walked into her room, she knew from the right brain who was on her side. She could feel their energy.
“Dr. Taylor sent me a sign that I have hanging in my makeup room. It says, ‘Please take responsibility for the energy you bring into this space.’ And I ask the same thing in my home and at my companies. All life is energy and we are transmitting it at every moment. We are all little beaming little signals like radio frequencies, and the world is responding in kind.” — Oprah Winfrey, May 25, 2011
Oprah’s lesson 3: Everything you done to me already done to you “Remember physics class? Did you pay attention to Newton’s third law
of motion? Let me tell you, that thing is real. It says for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. That is the abiding law that I live by, articulated to perfection by Miss Celie in The Color Purple when
she finally gets the courage to leave her abusive husband, Mister. ‘Everything you done to me already done to you.’ It is the Golden Rule to the 10th power.” — Oprah Winfrey, May 25, 2011
Oprah’s lesson 4: You are not alone
“When I started this show, it was a revelation to all of us how much dysfunction there was in people’s lives. I grew up with Leave It to Beaver
and Andy Griffith. I thought everybody’s family life was like that, even though I knew mine was not. Well this show, and our guests, began to paint a different picture and allowed us to drop the veil on all the pretense and do exactly what we envisioned in that first show: to let people know that you are not alone„.
“People started coming on this show saying things they couldn’t say to
their own family members. Little by little, we started to release the shame.” — Oprah Winfrey, May 25, 2011
Oprah’s lesson 5: The root of our pain is all the same — unworthiness
“I learned from the guests on this show, no need to feel superior to anybody. Because whether it’s heroin addiction or gambling addiction or shopping addiction or food addiction, work addiction, the root is all the same. The show has taught me there is a common thread that runs through all of our pain and all of our suffering, and that is unworthiness. Not feeling worthy enough to own the life you were created for. Even people who believe they deserve to be happy and have nice things often don’t feel worthy once they have them.
is a difference, you know, between thinking you deserve to be happy “There
and knowing you are worthy of happiness„. We often block our own blessings because we don’t feel inherently good enough or smart enough or pretty
enough or worthy enough. The show has taught me you’re worthy because
you are born and because you are here. Your being here, your being alive makes worthiness your birthright. You alone are enough.” — Oprah Winfrey,
May 25, 2011
Oprah’s lesson 6: Everyone wants to be heard
“I’ve talked to nearly 30,000 people on this show, and all 30,000 had
one thing in common: They all wanted validation. If I could reach through this television and sit on your sofa or sit on a stool in your kitchen right now, I would tell you that every single person you will ever meet shares that common desire. They want to know: ‘Do you see me? Do you hear me? Does what I say mean anything to you?’
“Understanding that one principle, that everybody wants to be heard, has allowed me to hold the microphone for you all these years with the least amount of judgment. Now I can’t say I wasn’t judging some days. Some days, I had to judge just a little bit. But it’s helped me to stand and to try to do that with an open mind and to do it with an open heart. It has worked for this platform, and I guarantee you it will work for yours. Try it with your children, your husband, your wife, your boss, your friends. Validate them. ‘I see you. I hear you. And what you say matters to me.’” — Oprah Winfrey, May 25, 2011
Oprah’s lesson 7: Be still, wait and
“People often ask me, What is the secret of success of the show? How have we lasted 25 years? I non-jokingly say, ‘My team and Jesus.’ Because
nothing but the hand of God has made this possible for me„. I know I’ve never been alone, and you haven’t either. And I know that that presence, that flow — some people call it grace — is working in my life at every
single turn. And yours too, if you let it in. It’s closer than your breath, and it is yours for the asking.
“I have felt the presence of God my whole life. Even when I didn’t have
a name for it, I could feel the voice bigger than myself speaking to me, and all of us have that same voice. Be still and know it. You can acknowledge it or not. You can worship it or not. You can praise it, you can ignore it or you can know it. Know it. It’s always there speaking to you and waiting for you to hear it in every move, in every decision. I wait and I listen. I’m still — I wait and listen for the guidance
that’s greater than my meager mind.” — Oprah Winfre May 25, 2011
Oprah’s lesson 8: Whispers are always messages
“The only time I’ve ever made mistakes is when I didn’t listen. So what I know is, God is love and God is life, and your life is always speaking to you. First in whispers„. It’s subtle, those whispers. And if you
don’t pay attention to the whispers, it gets louder and louder. It’s like getting thumped upside the head, like my grandmother used to do„.
You don’t pay attention to that, it’s like getting a brick upside your head. You don’t pay attention to that, the whole brick wall falls down. That’s the pattern I’ve seen in my life, and it’s played out over and over again on this show.
“What I’ve gleaned from this show: Whispers are always messages, and if you don’t hear the message, the message turns into a problem. And if
you don’t handle the problem, the problem turns into a crisis. And if you don’t handle the crisis, disaster. Your life is speaking to you. What is it saying?” — Oprah Winfrey, May 25, 2011
Oprah’s lesson 9: Be a safe harbor
for somebody else
“You all have been a safe harbor for me for 25 years. It’s strange, I
know, but you have been. And what I hope is that you all will be that safe harbor for somebody else — their safe place to fall. Do for them what
you all are telling me the show has done for you. Connect. Embrace. Liberate. Love somebody. Just one person. And then spread that to two. And as many as you can. You’ll see the difference it makes.” — Oprah
Winfrey, May 25, 2011
Oprah’s lesson 10: See the best of your selves
“Every single day I came down from my makeup room on our Harpo elevator, I would offer a prayer of gratitude for the delight and the privilege of doing this show. Gratitude is the single greatest treasure I will take with me from this experience. The opportunity to have done this work, to be embraced by all of you who watched, is one of the greatest honors any human being could have. And I thank each of you for allowing me to speak in such a way that, no matter what was happening in your life, you could see the best of your selves.
“For everything there is a season, we know, and our time together on this platform is coming to a close. In a few moments when the final credits roll, I see it not as an ending, but as an extraordinary beginning. One chapter closed. The next chapter beginning for all of us.” — Oprah
Winfrey, May 25, 2011