The Top 20 Things that Oprah Knows For Sure

When Oprah was asked by the late Gene Siskel, “What do you know for sure?” she said that she got all flustered and was initially lost for words.  The question has become a commitment legacy for her to find at least one new thing each month that she “knows for sure”.  Oprah’s summary of the 20 top things she knows for sure is a wonderful ready reckoner to review what is most important to us and realign ourselves, particularly heading into Christmas and the New year when life seem to get somewhat hectic.  So here is the list of Oprah’s top 20 things she knows for sure…


  1. What you put out comes back all the time, no matter what. (This is her creed).
  2. You define your own life.  Don’t let other people write your script.
  3. Whatever someone did to you in the past has no power over the present. Only you give it power.
  4. When people show you who they are, believe them the first time. (A lesson from Maya Angelou).
  5. Worry is wasted time. Use the same energy for doing something about whatever worries you.
  6. What you believe has more power than what you dream or wish or hope for. You become what you believe.
  7. If the only prayer you ever say is thank you, that will be enough. (From the German theologian and humanist Meister Eckhart).
  8. The happiness you feel is in direct proportion to the love you give.
  9. Failure is a signpost to turn you in another direction.
  10. If you make a choice that goes against what everyone else thinks, the world will not fall apart.
  11. Trust your instincts. Intuition doesn’t lie.
  12. Love yourself and then learn to extend that love to others in every encounter.
  13. Let passion drive your profession.
  14. Find a way to get paid for doing what you love. Then every pay cheque will be a bonus.
  15. Love doesn’t hurt. It feels really good.
  16. Every day brings a chance to start over.
  17. Being a mother is the hardest job on Earth. Women everywhere must declare it so.
  18. Doubt means don’t. Don’t move. Don’t answer. Don’t rush forward.
  19. When you don’t know what to do, get still. The answer will come.
  20. “Trouble don’t last always” (A line from a Negro spiritual, which calls to mind another favourite: This too shall pass).


And one more…   Nothing happens until you decide.


Until one is committed there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness. Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation), there is one elementary truth, the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans:  that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too.  All sorts fo things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred.  A whole stream of events issues form that direction, raising in one’s favour all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamt would come his way.  I have learned a deep respect for one of Goethe’s couplet: 

“Whatever you can do or dream you can do, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it”. 

WH Murray – mountaineer – The Scottish Himalaya Expedition, 1951.


My challenge to myself, and to you, for this month is to decide on something that you really want to achieve, or something that will value add to your life. Commit to it, believe it will happen and then move forward in the direction of your desires and observe the synchronicities that occur to support the manifestation of what you have decided.


I am commiting to completing and publishing my next book, Wildly Happy NOW! by March 2011.

What will you commit to?

Email me at and share your commitment with me.


Posted in On Success