You Get Advice, You Get Advice: All of Oprah Winfrey’s Best Lessons on Career and Life

Need some inspiration? Look no further, as E! News has rounded up all of Oprah Winfrey's best pieces of advice on friendship, your career, self-care and so much more.

By Allison Crist Jan 29, 2023 3:00 PMTags
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Oprah Winfrey is a household name for a reason.

The multihyphenate, turning 69 Jan. 29, is not only responsible for one of the longest-running daytime television talk shows in history—which, if that weren't impressive enough, she's since leveraged it into a media juggernaut while also creating several other businesses. But, she's also a beacon of hope, seemingly able to piece together an inspiring message on a moment's notice. 

And who wouldn't want advice from Oprah? It's pretty clear she knows what she's doing.

This is why we're grateful that she's shared an almost endless supply of wisdom over the years, whether it came in the form of a book, an O Magazine column, a Masterclass, an interview or an award show acceptance speech (ahem, who could forget when she won the Cecil B. DeMille award at the 2018 Golden Globes?).

And if you've yet to hear Oprah's lessons on friendship, finding your purpose, self-care—you name it, she's spoken on it—then you're in luck, because we rounded up her best pieces of advice. 

Oprah Through the Years

Keep scrolling to feel more inspired than ever, all thanks to Oprah.

Take Care of Yourself

"The best way I know for sure to stay in steady makeover mode is to take care of yourself," Oprah wrote in a 2014 O Magazine column. "To feed yourself with love and loving thoughts. To eat food that's delicious to you and to your body. To engage in loving practices, like giving yourself the gift of stillness at least five minutes a day. To surround yourself with people who bring you light, and to banish all forms of negative energy."

You're Allowed to Say "No"

"If a person turns against you because you say 'no' to them, you recognize that that wasn't real love anyway," Oprah said during an episode of the Dear Sugars podcast. "True love, true friendship, true support comes from people who want you to tell your own truth. They don't want things given to them that don't come from a pure place."

Find Supportive Friends & Hold Onto Them

"Surround yourself with someone who is as happy for your happiness as you are for your happiness," Oprah said in an Oprah Daily video. "You need friends that are happy in their own lives so that they can actually be authentically happy for you."

Love Yourself No Matter What

As Oprah recalled in a BBC Radio 2 interview in 2018, "When I first started my own show in Chicago, I was talking to a bunch of models. They were all these skinny, pretty girls and they were talking about their cellulite. I was like, girl, I can show you some cellulite!"

"I think that moment," she continued, "and then the rest of the audience relating to that moment, I started to realize that being yourself, allowing yourself to be vulnerable, embracing your faults, that everybody has them, that's what gives you power."

You're Going to Fail & That's Fine

"There is a supreme moment of destiny calling on your life," Oprah told Stanford Graduate School of Business students. "Your job is to feel that, to hear that, to know that. And sometimes when you're not listening, you get taken off track. You get in the wrong marriage, the wrong relationship, you take the wrong job, but it's all leading to the same path. There are no wrong paths."

Know Your Worth

From 2014's What I Know For Sure adaptation: "Stop waiting for your husband to say 'I appreciate you,' your kids to tell you what a great mother you are, a man to whisk you away and marry you, or your best friend to assure you that you're worth a darn. LOOK inward—the loving begins with you."

Aging Isn't a Bad Thing

"Getting older is the best thing that ever happened to me," Oprah said in an O Magazine column. "I wake up every morning rejoicing that I'm still here with an opportunity to begin again and be better."

Your Power Comes From Within

"The truth is, I try not to let other people define for me whether I have power or don't," Oprah said at a 2013 Essence Black Women in Hollywood luncheon. "I ended the show, and then there were a whole bunch of people who said, 'Oh, you don't have power anymore.' But the truth is, I know who I am, and the thing about power for me is that it's connected to a source that's obviously greater than myself. Any time you can connect to the source and understand that that's where all of your energy, your creativity, your joy and your triumph come from, I consider that to be authentic power."

Love Is All Around

"The chance to love and be loved exists no matter where you are," Oprah wrote in O. "Most of us can't see it because we have our own preconceived ideas about what it is (it's supposed to knock you off your feet and make you swoon) and how it should appear (in a tall, slim, witty, charming package). So if love doesn't show up wrapped in our personal fantasy, we fail to recognize it. I know this for sure: Love is."

You Don't Have to Limit Your Purpose

"Your purpose doesn't have to be tied to your career," Oprah wrote in The Path Made Clear. "I have many friends who told me they knew they were meant to have children before they even understood what it was to conceive. I've always believed that accepting the call to be a mother is the choice to become the ultimate spiritual teacher. Because mothers live in service and sacrifice to their children."

Live It Up

"I've interviewed so many thousands of people. And I know for sure that the biggest regret of anybody's life is not fully living it," Oprah said during a 2016 Master Class. "You get to the end of your days, and you realize you had this opportunity, you had this life...and did you every day live it the fullest? Did you maximize it? Did you live on full blast? Was the volume turned up every day of your life? You don't want to get to the end and look at all those days you wasted worrying. So now I don't worry about anything anymore. I don't."

A Personal Lesson From Maya Angelou

"The greatest lesson I've learned throughout my career came from Maya Angelou, actually, when I was first meeting her," Oprah recalled backstage at the 2018 Golden Globes. "After I've known her for a while, she said, 'Baby, you need to know that when people show you who they are, you believe them the first time, and your problem is it takes you 29 times to see the same lesson coming in a different skirt or wearing a different pair of pants.'"

She continued, "So I think that has been one of my greatest wisdom teachings, is to asses from people's behavior, their actions—not just towards me, but towards other people—who they are and how they behave, because if people talk about other people, they'll talk about you. So I think in business and personal relationships, that's been my greatest lesson. Also staying grounded, has been really great for me."

You Get What You Give

According to a column she penned for O Magazine, Oprah's ultimate creed is as follows: "What you put out comes back all the time, no matter what."

Gratitude Is Everything

"The single greatest thing you can do to change your life today would be to start being grateful for what you have right now," Oprah said according to O Magazine. "And the more grateful you are, the more you get."

You Have to Take Responsibility

"Only you have the responsibility to move your life forward," Oprah said in a Lifeclass video. "The sooner you get that, the sooner your life gets into gear. It does not matter where you come from. It doesn't matter your circumstances—what matters is this moment and what you're willing to do right now."

This story was originally published on Sunday, Feb. 6, 2022 at 4 a.m. PT. 

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