Wednesday, February 23, 2011

What do you know for sure?

Several years ago film critic Gene Siskel asked Oprah a simple question: "What do you know for sure?"  Caught off guard, the talk-show queen said she needed to go home and think about it--or so she claims in an O magazine subscription offer I recently received.

At first I was going to toss the flier in the trash.  I don’t need any more magazine subscriptions, thank you.  But the question grabbed me.  On the verge of getting lost in a philosophical rumination on the nature of space-time, I stopped and skimmed Oprah's answer.  My list isn't the same as hers (all I can say for certain is that I'm breathing and that I believe in the transformative power of love), but her top ten are worth a look:

1.  What you put out comes back all the time, no matter what. 

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.  Worrying 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, 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 wht everyone else thinks, the world will not fall apart.


  1. Beautiful, Prill! Thank you for the inspiration which came in very handy for me today. ;)

  2. Thank YOU, Barb! Glad it helped. xoxox

  3. Anonymous10:39 PM

    Prill, this is really great advice. I'm going to print it out for my students. Wish someone had said this to me when I was their age.

  4. I thought so, too, Anon.