Oprah Winfrey’s career trajectory is one many of us look at as a beacon of inspiration. From humble beginnings as a television anchor in Nashville, Tennessee, to international media mogul, respected global voice, and let’s not forget one of the wealthiest women in the world, Oprah was a perfect candidate for the Commencement Address at Smith College’s 2017 graduation ceremony a few days ago.
In her speech, Oprah pinpointed her success to one simple thought, telling graduates, “the power of service” was what catapulted her career to new heights. But as philanthropic as Oprah has proved to be in all her years, she didn’t mean kind acts to others exactly, instead asking students to only do the things that are true to their core self, and therefore presenting (much needed) authenticity to the world.
The changing moment? Oprah’s revelation came at 30, after an interview with the KKK led her to a decision to “only do shows that were in alignment with my truth,” and to no longer be used by television for ratings, but to instead use television as a platform that could be of service to the viewers.
The queen of conversation perfectly articulated to Smith students that a great place to start when finding a calling is to ponder, “the notion of intention, knowing why you want to do something, not just doing it, but understanding the why behind the doing,” labelling this as “authentic empowerment”.
And even Oprah herself needs reminding of her direction apparently, her trick? Regularly checking in and asking, “How can I be used? Life use me.” Watch it all below.