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5 most insightful stories from ‘The Path Made Clear’

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Here are just a few of our favorite things about Oprah Winfrey.
USA TODAY

What is your life’s purpose? Oprah Winfrey is here to help you on your soul-searching journey to find the answer.

Winfrey explores the powerful seeds of faith in ourselves with her latest book, “The Path Made Clear: Discovering Your Life’s Direction and Purpose,” (Flatiron Books, pp. 208), making it clear from the start that “there is no greater gift you can give or receive than to honor your calling. It’s why you were born. And how you become most truly alive.”

In Winfrey’s vision, the path to our “true calling” seems to be lined with small seeds that we might not yet be able to see but which will eventually grow into strong trees with fortified roots we must tend to and nurture. And in order to walk down this path, we need to pay attention to what our lives are telling us and actually take the steps.

The book, out Tuesday, mines clusters of knowledge in the form of quotes and short interviews from Winfrey’s archives with world-renowned dignitaries and superstars, from Deepak Chopra and Jay-Z to Joel Osteen and Ellen Degeneres.

Winfrey becomes the ultimate teacher through sharing her own wisdom and in tapping those who can also express their paths to purpose, even dedicating the book “to the teachers who help us realize we can take on the world.”

We rounded up some of Winfrey’s most poignant insights from the book.

5 new books this week: Oprah’s ‘The Path Made Clear,’ Maisie Dobbs’ ‘White Elephant’ and more

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Oprah’s true purpose (according to Oprah)

If you’re going to write a book about finding your true calling in life, it makes sense to have one of your own. Of course, Winfrey does.

However, she reveals that there was a moment in her life “when I felt torn between who the world was telling me I should be and what I felt to be the truth of myself.”

Thankfully for readers (and for herself), she recognized the joy she gets from “watching someone experience that aha moment.”

“I have always known that teaching is my true calling,” Winfrey writes. “It is the taproot from which all of my other skills and talents grow.”

It’s been more than 40 years since Oprah has had a ‘job’

We know that Winfrey has been working hard – so hard that she was the first African-American woman billionaire. But the iconic talk show host and media mogul said that she hasn’t had a “job” since August 14, 1978.

She describes her first day as a co-host on Baltimore talk show “People Are Talking” as the day that she found exactly what she was supposed to do. “That day, my ‘job’ ended and my calling began,” she writes in the book.

The event that filled Oprah with fear

Yes, even Oprah gets scared. Winfrey validates those fears (“Fear is real”) that we have when the dream seems too big, sharing the story of her preparation for a Harvard commencement speech in 2013.

She opened up about feeling so scared that she couldn’t even start the speech, and she revealed that she felt frustrated with her career at the time and wondered. “What can I teach about success when I’ve stopped succeeding?”

But she flips fear on its head by acknowledging that with every dream, there is a shadow, but you can always confront the fear and push past it: “I found my groove after I realized that you don’t need to have gone to Harvard to speak to Harvard graduates.”

Oprah channels Maya Angelou, talks rousing Golden Globes speech

Winfrey writes about her famously close relationship with her “spiritual queen mother” and commemorates Angelou’s legacy by reminding readers of some of the poet, author and activist’s most well-known quotes about people remembering how you make them feel and being more alike than they are different.

“Maya once told me that my legacy will be every person whose life was touched by my being here,” Winfrey writes. “I believe the same is true for all of us.”

She channels Angelou’s words into practice, touching on her powerful Cecil B. deMille Award acceptance speech at the 2018 Golden Globes. Winfrey said that her speech resonated with people because we want to bridge a tense divide and “focus on elevating humanity.”

Full speech: Read Oprah’s Golden Globes acceptance speech and bask in the power

These two books changed Oprah’s life

You’ve probably read at least one of Winfrey’s two most-treasured books at some point in your life. Winfrey, who is known in literary circles worldwide for her eponymous book club, lists “To Kill a Mockingbird” and “The Wizard of Oz” as two of her all-time favorites.

She says the Harper Lee book “entranced her,” while the L. Frank Baum novel “unlocked an early spiritual awakening.” Winfrey affirms that “The Wizard of Oz” gave her one of her life’s biggest aha moments when she realized that everything you need to achieve your purpose is already inside you.

And in that sense, Winfrey becomes our own real-life version of Glinda the Good Witch by showing us the beginning and the end of where we need to look for change: within ourselves. 

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