Few know I am a self-help junkie, and I find it hard to resist stylish, inspirational books. A couple of weeks back, I saw Oprah Winfrey's 'What I Know For Sure' on the shelf of my favourite bookstore, and was drawn to it.


The book begins with Oprah recalling an interview during which the late Gene Siskel asked her, 'What do you know for sure?' 'Now, this was not my first rodeo,' Oprah writes. 'I've asked and been asked an awful lot of questions over the years. . . but I have to say, the man managed to stop me in my tracks.' In the years following that interview, Oprah took up writing monthly columns. A compilation of some of those columns, written over a span of fourteen years, 'What I Know for Sure' is her 'little book of revelations' — self-help lessons, spiritual quotes and motivational stories, inspired by her life experiences.


Each night before going to bed, I would read a couple of pages, bookmarking pages for lessons that made an impact, like when she wrote about her encounter with Tina Turner. 'Okay girl this is going to be over soon. And if I didn't loosen up, I would miss the fun… What I know for sure is that every day brings a chance for you to draw in a breath, kick off your shoes, and step out and dance — to live free of regret and filled with as much joy, fun, and laughter as you can stand… I hope you aren't so wrapped up in non-essential that you forget to really enjoy yourself  — because this moment is about to be over.'


Another valuable lesson, 'Like me, you might have experienced things that made you feel unworthy. I know for sure that healing the wounds of the past is one of the biggest and most worthwhile challenges of life. And doing so is your responsibility; no one else’s… leave your past behind and make yourself whole. Pay attention. Every choice gives you a chance to pave your own road. Keep moving. Full speed ahead.' And my eyes misted when I read something that I related to, something I wished I knew when life threw me a curveball. ‘strength comes from our ability to face resistance and walk through it. In the toughest moments… take just one step more than we feel we're capable of… draw on the incredible resolve that every human being possesses… what I know for sure is that there is no strength without challenge, adversity, and often pain.'


The book ends with the wisest words of all, 'I try to do well and be well with everyone I encounter. I make sure to use my life for goodwill. Because I know for sure that what I think, what I say, what I do — everything will be returned to me. And the same is true for you.' This book is really about Living Generously. It's about taking care of yourself and taking care of others. It's about loving yourself so you can love others. And the messages are delivered in nuggets of life experiences with all the warmth and love that Oprah is renowned for. Am I inspired? Well, there are some nice stories packed in the book and a couple of 'aaah! moments' that made me stop and think. This is definitely a book of everyday wisdom for Oprah Winfrey fans and friends. If you love her show and are inspired by her, you will undoubtedly treasure the brief, endearing stories shared from her life. It will definitely touch a nerve, make you reminisce about a similar experience, or feelings.





OPRAH WINFREY Oprah Winfrey's 'What I Know For Sure'



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