The Renaissance Woman: Secrets On Career, Life, And Leadership You Need To Know

The Renaissance Woman: Secrets On Career, Life, And Leadership You Need To Know

I have always loved Oprah. I do not have a particular reason but I just grew up loving her and how successful she was. The irony of this was that I never stalked her like I usually stalk people I love like Steve Jobs (RIP). So let’s just say my love for her was from a distance.


I came across this video of an interview she had at the Stanford Business School and I can only say my love and respect for her grew. It moved from planet Earth to Pluto. I’ve had this video for the longest time and after watching it, it inspired a lot of action. Here are a few lessons I learnt from the video and I hope it inspires you too.

The interview was divided into three sections and each began with a quote. The first was:

“You have to know what sparks the light in you so that you, in your own way, can illuminate the world’

-Oprah Winfrey


At this point, I had to pause the video and think about how this applied to me. I had a brief conversation about it with my friends and we came to a conclusion that each one of us is created uniquely and we need to identify, understand, develop, and share this uniqueness with the world. I mean if we’re all ‘copycats’ or shadows of ourselves, the world would be a boring place. There won’t be a need for creativity of innovation. In Dr. Myles Munroe’s book, Maximizing your Potential, he said something that has stuck with me to this day which is “Make sure you die empty”. I didn’t understand this at first but he went further to explain that every human is born with 100% potential. It’s sad to note that many people die without using 0.1% of it. I’m sure the graveyard is packed with lots of people’s potential. To die empty, one has to exhaust that unique potential possessed. Looks like Dr. Myles and Oprah think alike just in different words.


It shocked me to find out that she never knew she’d end up in media. I mean, I always thought someone like Oprah must have had her life all figured out. Sometimes we feel like we need to have our life all figured out; from birth to death or at least birth to midlife. Sometimes it’s hard to know what sparks the light in you when you’re swarmed with thoughts of “what if’s” and the likes. These days I like to say “it’s never that serious” because we take life too seriously that we forget to live. Isn’t it sad that many people spend most of their life worrying about the future that when the “expected future” finally arrives, they’re too old to live it or enjoy it as planned or hoped for.

As a youth, it’s okay to try out new things till you find your forte. We beat ourselves too hard when we fail at something we thought we’d succeed at but then again it’s all about the mindset. It can be seen as failure to some or an experience that provided a learning point. With an array of experiences, you get to discover yourself gradually. You begin to feel what’s not yours and what is. In the words of Kerry Washington’s character (Olivia Pope) in the TV series, Scandal: “Trust your guts”

As at 1971, Oprah was earning $10,000 and then she got an offer to Atlanta which she declined. I definitely would have jumped to that offer. I’m thinking more money but then again I realized it’s not always about the money. It’s more about your skill and what you can bring to the table. To whom much is given, much is expected so you cannot be giving the same amount of effort you were giving to a $10,000 job to a $40,000 job. It’s more important to become better and perfect your craft such that your value can be appreciated.


Most times, we are torn between “What the world is saying to us” and “what feels likes the truth to ourselves” Certain things in our lives feel glamorous to the world and feel very unnatural to us. For example, earning $40,000 was amazing to everyone around Oprah but she knew reporting was not for her. According to her,” Knowing what you don’t want to do is the best possible place to be when you don’t know what to do”. This is because knowing what you don’t want to do leads you to figure out what you really want do.

Something very powerful she said again was “Know when it’s time to go” you cannot stay in one place forever except you’re done growing and willing to get redundant. Don’t get drunk with power; be guided by a force bigger than yourself.

There is an innate supreme moment of destiny for everyone; to feel this, you have to possess a level of self-awareness. She says that “There is no real doing in the world without being first” You have to develop some sort of connection with yourself and that which is higher than self… Hmmm, sounds deep. We all need to learn how to live from the inside-out not the other way round. That way, we ensure that our inner being is intact. Let everything you have, do, and become be fueled by your inner being because overriding instincts get you in trouble. I know we all have that moment of regret where we wished we had listened to our instincts.


It’s very important we find and understand our purpose-what our contribution to the world is. Oprah’s is to help people connect to themselves. She used TV as a platform to speak to the world. In everything you do, ask yourself “What is my intention of doing it?” Remember the third law of motion, “For every action, there’s an equal and opposite reaction”. What you think and act on will definitely come back to you because what propels the action is the intention. This determines the reactions, results, and consequences.

Who are you? What do you want to do with yourself? What do you do to take care of yourself? How are you going to use who you are to benefit the world? What is your Spirituality like? This certainly has nothing to do with Religion as many people mistake it to be in some situations. This is the highest and truest expression of yourself. Your life is your greatest teacher.

I thought of the best way to end this and no better way than to use the words of the Renaissance woman:

“Align your personality with your purpose and no one can touch you; figure out your purpose in life. You don’t have anything to give/offer the world that you don’t already have; you have to keep yourself full. Your real work is to figure out where your power base is and to work on the alignment of your personality, gifts, and the reason why you’re on earth”

Click here for the video ——>Oprah on Career, Life, and Leadership

Bisous people, thanks for reading. Comments and questions are welcome.

Published by Alicia James

Reply heres...

Login / Sign up for adding comments.