The "Queen of Talk" is coming out with a new book, and it is certainly destined to be a monumental success. The title of the book is The Path Made Clear. It is a tome of life advice from many Oprah approved luminaries such as Elizabeth Gilbert, Brené Brown, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Ellen DeGeneres, and Eckhart Tolle.
Staying true to her mission of living authentically, the book aims to help you cut through the issues that can hold you back from living a meaningful life. Oprah's core message is clear: "Your real job in life is to figure out as soon as possible what your purpose is, who you are meant to be, and begin to honor your calling in the best way possible."
Excellent advice. Discovering your purpose -- and remaining true to that purpose -- is the essential component of a worthwhile existence. We all want it. However, it can be a steep and problematic climb to figure it all out over the course of a lifetime. It took Oprah nearly 50 years to truly honor her calling in the most genuine way. In a recent SuperSoul Sunday clip, Oprah laid down some pivotal life-changing moments that directed her to finally be faithful to her higher purpose. She recalled a time in her early 40s when she was standing in Maya Angelou's kitchen, and Angelou said these words to her: "You, alone, are enough."
You may have heard this phrase before, but what does it really mean? I believe it means that you do not need to be "more"-- you simply need to remain true to yourself. It is not constructive to strive to be more worthy, more likable, or more lovable. You are enough. You can continue to develop, grow, and change as a person throughout your lifetime -- but your life does not require external validation. It's about building emotional resilience and a more profound sense of self-awareness.
Oprah says it took her many years before Angelou's advice finally took root. As a self-professed people pleaser, Oprah had hit a wall -- trying to please everyone and doing the things everyone else wanted her to do was not serving her well.
So she revisited Angelou's advice and began to ask herself what she deemed is the most pivotal question you can ask yourself: "What do I really want?" This, of course, is not an easy question to answer. It takes a lot of "peeling away of the onion." In my coaching practice, I see that a great number of people have never mindfully attempted to figure out what they want for themselves. Many people go through life putting other individuals and things before themselves--and their aspirations, dreams, and purpose get put on hold.
Whether it's the pursuit of a successful career or business, a happy home life, or giving back to others, all of these are significant objectives. But it is also important to check in with yourself every now and then to determine if your outward purpose is a substitute for "being enough."
Oprah began her journey to define her true calling by training her mind to the feeling of "yes." She did this to evoke the feeling of all the things that made her feel great--and to remember what "yes" felt like when she really wanted to say "no." To augment her efforts, she had a sign made for her desk that read, "Remember what 'yes' feels like." It helped her to let go of people-pleasing tendencies and be more in tune with the fact that she was "enough."
None of us is perfect, and we all share struggles and uncertainties throughout our lives. So I challenge you to ask yourself this very question. Find a moment to close your eyes, take a deep breath in, and then a deep breath out--and then silently ask yourself, "What do I want?"
You may be surprised by the answer.