By Oprah Winfrey
Every morning when I open my curtains for that first look at the day, no matter what the day looks like — raining, foggy, overcast, sunny — my heart swells with gratitude. I get another chance. When you think about it, it’s truly awesome: seven billion people finding their way in the world, trying to make sense of the human diaspora.
In the best of times and worst of times, I know for sure, this life is a gift. Yes, I recognize that I get to live on a big scale. But in the end the only difference between being famous and not is that more people know my name. When it comes to what really matters — what makes us laugh and cry, grieve and yearn, delight and rejoice — we share the same heart space. We just fill it with different things. Here are 20 of my favorites:
1. Planting vegetables in my garden.
2. Making blueberry-lemon pancakes on Sunday morning for Stedman. Never fails to delight him—like he’s 7 every time.
3. An off-leash romp on the front lawn with all five dogs.
4. A rainy day, a chill in the air, a blazing fire in the fireplace.
5. Picking vegetables from my garden.
6. A great book.
7. Reading in my favorite place on Earth: under my oaks.
8. The spinach, goat cheese and herb pizza at ABC Kitchen in New York City.
9. Tazo’s Passion tea, with a little lemon and fresh mint.
10. Cooking vegetables from my garden.
12. Sleeping till my body wants to wake up.
13. Waking up to the real twitter: birds.
14. A workout so strong, my whole body breathes.
15. Eating vegetables from my garden.
16. Being still.
17. Embracing silence.
18. Listening to Snatam Kaur’s version of “Ong Namo.”
19. Scones at the Hotel Bel-Air. If Queen Elizabeth only knew, she’d eat no others.
20. Gratitude as a daily spiritual practice. Every day I bless my life by counting my blessings.
Next, Brown asks, “How many of you are comfortable asking for help?” Far fewer hands go up this time.
“How many of you would rather give help than ask for help?” Brown asks next. Once again, nearly all hands in the audience go up.
“Let me just ruin this for you,” Brown says, as the audience laughs. “When you cannot ask for help without self-judgment, you are never really offering help without judgment.”
“Stand up and tell the truth,” Oprah says. “Let’s hear that one again, I’ve got to write that down.”
“Here’s the bottom line,” Brown says. “Ready? When you cannot accept and ask for help without self-judgment, then when you offer other people help, you are always doing so with judgment.”
“Really?” Oprah asks.
“Always,” Brown says. “Because you have attached judgment to asking for help.”
For many years, Brown says she thought her self-worth came from helping other people. “But I would never ask for help,” she says. “Which meant every time I was helping you, I was judging you.”
“When you extract worthiness for helping people, that’s judgment,” Brown says. “When you don’t extract worthiness and you think, ‘I’m just helping you because one day I’m gonna need help’ — that’s connection. That’s vulnerability.
“You’re teaching tonight, girl,” Oprah says. “You’re teaching.”
In the video, Pressfield outlines the questions you can ask yourself to help discover your purpose: “What are you more afraid of than anything in the whole world? Or what would you do if you knew you were going to die in three months? What would be the last thing that you would do? What would you do – it’s the old thing that you have heard before — if fear were not a factor or if money were not a factor?” he asks.
“So if there is a calling,” Pressfield says, “That thing that you are afraid of, whatever it is — then you sort of have to turn pro and do it.”
Oprah has said many times that every person has a calling — it’s one of her core beliefs. “I do a lot of speaking around the country and I just did seven speaking engagements, seven cities in Canada this past winter and spoke specifically to that,” she says. “Started every one of my gatherings saying, everybody has a calling, and your real job in life is to figure that out.
“That’s the job,” Oprah says.