You hear it over and over again. Life lessons. Real truths. Things I’ve learned now that I’m x age. Things you should learn when you’re x age. The only things that matter in life.
In Oprah Winfrey’s book, What I Know for Sure, she tells us everything she knows. For sure. These are her life lessons. The things that it took her years to really figure out. The lessons she learned the hard way.
One thing I know for sure – they are all the same. The things that matter most in this life, the epiphanies we come across, the lessons we’ve learned, they are the same for every single person. But how we learn the lesson makes all the difference. If we’ve learned the lesson at all.
I can sit here and give you advice. I can tell you these truths:
Live in the moment. Find strength in resilience. Do what you would do if you were not afraid. Every experience and every challenge teaches you something. You are accountable for your own happiness. You are enough. Life is better when you share it. Love is all around. Make time for gratitude every day. Make peace with your body. Give to others. Embrace your age. Every day is a new day. Keep reaching for your best life. Follow your passion. Be bold. Be yourself. Do you what you love. Dream big. Work hard. Be open to miracles. Trust your instincts. Protect your time. Reduce clutter in your life. Be the change you want to see. Vote. Be healthy. Happiness comes from making others happy.
Right? You have heard at least some of these before, yes?
The true meanings in life, the things that we all strive to figure out and to know, are being told to us time and time again. But we don’t listen. Or we listen and disagree. Or we listen and forget.
But sooner or later down the road, we get it. Full force, total clarity. We cannot learn lessons through other people’s words. These lessons must be learned on our own, in our own lives, with our own experiences.
Above I have summed up Oprah’s entire book. One paragraph of words you have likely heard before in some form or shape. But I am not telling you not to read it. In fact, I think it’s more important that you do read it. I think we all need to hear other people’s experiences. We can hear their perspectives, see how they learned the lessons. Maybe we will recognize some of them when we are learning them for ourselves, in our own time.
I don’t think Oprah’s book was classified as a memoir, but to me, it felt like one. How else can you write a book about the lessons you’ve learned if you don’t tell everyone how you learned them? She tells us a few stories about her childhood, her friendships, and her experiences that have a profound impact on her.
And in turn, this book had a profound impact on me. I read it quickly and then last night I opened it back up on my Nook and swiped through every page again so I could jot down the lessons that most resonated with me.
I may not have had the experiences to learn all of these lessons on my own, but I want to remember them. I want to hold these truths in my mind, repeat them over and over, and try my hardest not to to forget.
As Oprah says, “life is full of delightful treasures,” and this book is one of them.