Happy Birthday: 61 quotes that sum up the greatness of Oprah Winfrey

  • Sanya Panwar, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Jan 29, 2015 19:41 IST

She's a role model and a rule-breaker. She's as quirky as she is old-school. All the celebs adore her and she makes the world of movie stars and heads of states just a tiny bit less intimidating for the rest of us. She's a Twitter fountain of wisdom: With an eye on her millions of fans, she tries to spread a little of the good word through her messages of positivity and tolerance.

And she turns 61 on Thursday.

The thing is: There are a lot of beautiful women in the movies and on TV. But to be frank, we reserve the blind and irrational love for those distant stars that do more than just wear stunning clothes. And if Oprah is not that unpredictable woman, the one who makes us laugh, who stands her ground and fights her corner and - just now and then - offers a small glimpse of a better world in which we might stand with her as equals, then who is?

The truth is we love Oprah Winfrey. We always did, and always will. We've been on Team Oprah ever since she hit TV screens for the first time back in 1986, because no celeb - hell, no human being - teaches you more about today's dog-eat-dog world, where no one has time or cause to crack a (real) smile, like this media-mogul-cum-talkshow-legend-cum-most-influential-black-woman-in-history.

And just why do we love her so much?

Because: She's an agony aunt. She's a serious trendsetter (Join the Oprah Book Club already!). While everyone else is dressing up to the nines, there's nothing Oprah loves more than a pair of sweatpants. She talks about weight and she eats. She makes us love anti-rom-coms and love video games. She even makes the royals crack a smile. She's socially switched on (with 26.5 million Twitter and 3.3 million Instagram followers, this is a woman who knows how to market herself organically). She's queen of pulling silly faces, seriously. And she teaches us how to embrace our curves. Now, who can top that?

So, to celebrate Oprah's 61st birthday we have a treat for everyone who has ever been inspired by her (so everyone who has ever lived!). We've compiled 61 (truly excellent) quotes by Oprah on everything from self love to success.

Oprah is back people. Get inspired right ovah here…


2 If you concentrate on what you have, you will always end up having more. If you focus on what you don't have, you will never, ever have enough.
3 There is no such thing as failure. Failure is just life trying to move us in another direction.
4 Everybody has a calling. And your real job in life is to figure out as soon as possible what that is, who you were meant to be, and to begin to honor that in the best way possible for yourself.
5 You have to know what sparks the light in you so that you, in your own way, can illuminate the world.
6 You are responsible for your life. If you're sitting around waiting on somebody to save you, to fix you, to even help you, you are wasting your time. Only you have the power to move your life forward.


8 I've talked to nearly 30,000 people on this show, and all 30,000 had one thing in common: They all wanted validation...I would tell you that every single person you will ever meet shares that common desire

9 The greatest discovery of all time is that a person can change his future by merely changing his attitude.

10 The key to realizing a dream is to focus not on success but significance - and then even the small steps and little victories along your path will take on greater meaning.

11 What I know is that if you do work that you love, and the work fulfills you, the rest will come.

12 What I know for sure is that if you want success, you can't make success your goal. The key is not to worry about being successful, but to instead work toward being significant, and the success will naturally follow. http://www.hindustantimes.com/Images/popup/2015/1/Oprah1.jpg

14 I believe that everyone is the keeper of a dream - and by tuning into one another's secret hopes, we can become better friends, better partners, better parents, and better lovers.

15 I know for sure that what we dwell on is who we become.

16 I've come to believe that each of us has a personal calling that's as unique as a fingerprint - and that the best way to succeed is to discover what you love and then find a way to offer it to others in the form of service, working hard, and also allowing the energy of the universe to lead you.

17 It isn't until you come to a spiritual understanding of who you are - not necessarily a religious feeling, but deep down, the spirit within - that you can begin to take control.

18 Often we don't even realize who we're meant to be because we're so busy trying to live out someone else's ideas. But other people and their opinions hold no power in defining our destiny. http://www.hindustantimes.com/Images/popup/2015/1/Oprah4.jpg

20 Use what you have to run toward your best - that's how I now live my life.
21Follow your instincts. That's where true wisdom manifests itself.
22 I believe that every single event in life happens in an opportunity to choose love over fear.
23 I believe that uncertainty is really my spirit's way of whispering, "I'm in flux. I can't decide for you. Something is off-balance here.
24My philosophy is that not only are you responsible for your life, but doing the best at this moment puts you in the best place for the next moment.


26 The choice to be excellent begins with aligning your thoughts and words with the intention to require more from you.
27 Real integrity is doing the right thing, knowing that nobody's going to know whether you did it or not.
28Understand that the right to choose your own path is a sacred privilege. Use it. Dwell in possibility.
29 With every experience, you alone are painting your own canvas, thought by thought, choice by choice.
30Be thankful for what you have; you'll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don't have, you will never, ever have enough.


32 I don't think you ever stop giving. I really don't. I think it's an on-going process. And it's not just about being able to write a check. It's being able to touch somebody's life.
33 I finally realized that being grateful to my body was key to giving more love to myself.
34 Living in the moment brings you a sense of reverence for all of life's blessings.
35 What I know for sure is that what you give comes back to you.
36 Do the one thing you think you cannot do. Fail at it. Try again. Do better the second time. The only people who never tumble are those who never mount the high wire. This is your moment. Own it.


38 Every one of us gets through the tough times because somebody is there, standing in the gap to close it for us.

39I believe that one of life's greatest risks is never daring to risk.

40 Surround yourself with only people who are going to lift you higher.

41When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time.

42I don't believe in failure. It is not failure if you enjoyed the process. http://www.hindustantimes.com/Images/popup/2015/1/Oprah10.jpg

44I have a lot of things to prove to myself. One is that I can live my life fearlessly.

45It is confidence in our bodies, minds and spirits that allows us to keep looking for new adventures, new directions to grow in, and new lessons to learn - which is what life is all about.

46So go ahead. Fall down. The world looks different from the ground.

47 The thing you fear most has no power. Your fear of it is what has the power. Facing the truth really will set you free.

48Think like a queen. A queen is not afraid to fail. Failure is another steppingstone to greatness.You can take from every experience what it has to offer you. And you cannot be defeated if you just keep taking one breath followed by another. http://www.hindustantimes.com/Images/popup/2015/1/Oprah3.jpg

50 Every day brings a chance for you to draw in a breath, kick off your shoes, and dance.

51Every time you state what you want or believe, you're the first to hear it. It's a message to both you and others about what you think is possible. Don't put a ceiling on yourself.

52 If you want your life to be more rewarding, you have to change the way you think.

53 Energy is the essence of life. Every day you decide how you're going to use it by knowing what you want and what it takes to reach that goal, and by maintaining focus.

54 I define joy as a sustained sense of well-being and internal peace - a connection to what matters. http://www.hindustantimes.com/Images/popup/2015/1/Oprah2.jpg

56 If you neglect to recharge a battery, it dies. And if you run full speed ahead without stopping for water, you lose momentum to finish the race.

57 Passion is energy. Feel the power that comes from focusing on what excites you.

58 The big secret in life is that there is no big secret. Whatever your goal, you can get there if you're willing to work.

59 Unless you choose to do great things with it, it makes no difference how much you are rewarded, or how much power you have.

60 What material success does is provide you with the ability to concentrate on other things that really matter. And that is being able to make a difference, not only in your own life, but in other people's lives.

61 Lots of people want to ride with you in the limo, but what you want is someone who will take the bus with you when the limo breaks down."

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