The Oprah Effect

Today is the final broadcast of the Oprah Winfrey show. I’m not a regular Oprah viewer, but if something big happens (Tom Cruise’s mental breakdown couch surfing episode comes to mind) I’ll tune in during one of the re-runs. Last night I watched part 2 of the star-studded farewell tribute and thought about the influence that one woman has had on many lives and the  effect that she has had on my own life.

Oprah’s often repeated and very memorable line of saying that if “a colored girl from Mississippi” could grow up to move from a home at the end of a dirt road with no running water, where colored and whites couldn’t drink from the same fountain, to become one of the most powerful women on television then there was nothing that women everywhere could not do, resonated with the small child that I was.

Here was a woman larger than life itself, being beamed across television sets across the entire world, and her beginnings were as humble as many of us that have share our stories of growing up poor. When Oprah said that if she could do it, then I could do it too, I believed her. I believed her because there was a warmth and genuine nature emanating from her that I felt as if she was speaking directly to me. I was that girl that could do it. I was the girl that could rise above. I was meant for a greater purpose than being a consumer of air and water. I too was meant for greatness.

So while this post has nothing to do with finance, it has to do with personal motivation. I encourage you all to find something or someone that you can connect with on more than a superficial level. Surround yourself with something or someone that can push you to go farther, be better, and do more than you think that you can. And when you think that you can’t make it, go back to that person or thing for a energizing motivational boost to carry you through until the next period of doubt.

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8 thoughts on “The Oprah Effect

  • I believe everyone can do whatever they set their minds to do! In fact, my motto is “impossible is just an opinion”. Don’t wait for outside motivation, get the skills and experience to do what you want.

  • Everyone is speculating as to who will take her spot for talk show host. Any thoughts? I think Ellen has some appeal but maybe not broad enough.

    • I saw something that said Anderson Cooper was in the running and another thing about Rosie. Who knows? There’s always someone to fill your place when you step aside.

  • I remember Oprah’s first season. I was about 14 and babysitting the neighbor’s kids during her show. It’s pretty amazing how she transformed from weather girl to mega-successful talk show host. I haven’t seen her show in years, but I’m sure she’s moving on to bigger things.

  • It’s such a shame that she’s going. With the rise of reality-based TV shows, mainstream media is more and more bereft of inspiring role models like Oprah, who has managed to touch so many lives.

  • I like just about anyone who has achieved success from hardscrabble beginnings, and Oprah was (is) one of the great ones. I was highly irritated when she was criticized for investing her *own* money to establish private schools in South Africa. No one has a right to comment on how you do your own charity work.

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