Last week Oprah Winfrey gave a speech to the graduates at Harvard University. One part of her speech that media outlets picked up was the realization that the common denominator among all people is we all want to be validated. Those words hit me like a ton of bricks. Forget about kindergarten. What I know for sure (pun intended) is that all we really need to know we learned from Oprah Winfrey.
There's Buddha, the Dalai Lama, and Maya Angelou, and then there is Oprah Winfrey. Oh, come on. You know it is true. She may just be one of the most prolific, purposeful, and powerful individuals on the planet. And she speaks the truth, whether we are ready to hear her words or not.
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Not a believer yet? Then see for yourself. Here are 10 indispensable life lessons from Oprah Winfrey:
"There's a common denominator in our human experience. Most of us, I tell you, we don't want to be divided. … What we want is to be validated. We want to be understood." And we can do a better job ofmaking others feel validated, too.
"Don't wait for someone else to complete you. 'Jerry Maguire' was just a movie." Amen, sister.
"Nobody but you is responsible for your life." This is so true. Stop waiting for others to give you what you want. Get out there and take it.
"Forgiveness is giving up the hope that the past could have been any different." Forgiveness is about ourselves, not about those who may have hurt us. It allows us to move forward in our own right.
"One if the hardest things in life to learn are which bridges to cross and which bridges to burn." Some challenges you will just have to take on in life because they are worth it. Those are the bridges to cross. Even if it is hard to do, avoid relationships and cut ties with people who drain your energy. Those are the bridges that just need to burn.
"Failure is just life trying to move us into another direction." This is such an important reminder that we should never be afraid to try. Failures teach us something about ourselves that we would otherwise never had known. There is something to learn from every experience.
"You don't become what you want, you become what you believe." Believe you can reach your goals and you succeed. When you look back you will realize that you succeeded because you believed in yourself enough to not stop until you reached those goals.
"The essential question is not, "How busy are you?' but 'What are you busy at?'" Are you doing what fulfills you?" If you are not doing what fulfills you, find out what does and change your path. Life is too short to waste time being busy doing that which does not energize you.
"Opportunity may knock only once but temptation leans on the door bell." Life presents us with so many chances to make the wrong decision. When the right opportunities do come along, grab on to them tightly and do not let go.
"Life isn't about what you have but what you have to give." If we leave this earth having made an impact on others, then we have truly understood why we are here in the first place.
You see? All we really need to know we did learn from Oprah Winfrey, though I presume that the Dalai Lama might beg to differ.
-By Jessica Cohen
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