Mike Kueber's Blog

December 12, 2014

Oprah shares some wisdom

Filed under: Facebook,Philosophy — Mike Kueber @ 3:15 am

I participated in two yoga practices this morning, and both yogis were preaching from the same book – The Book of Oprah. There is a short clip currently circulating on Facebook showing Oprah giving some guidance on life, and her message resonated so much with my two yogis that they wanted to share it with their classes. Oprah’s two big points:

  1. Every older person, when asked what advice they would give to their younger self, says in one form or another they would tell them to “relax, relax, it’s going to be OK.” Do older people really know this? I have given this same advice to my kids, but I thought I was being especially wise. Seems elderly wisdom is more widespread that I thought.
  2. What is the next right move? Instead of obsessing over past decisions that may have turned out badly, a person needs to accept what has already happened (it can’t be changed), and focus on what you have the ability to decide in the future.


After discussing the clip with one of my yogis, she suggested that I watch the entire interview on YouTube – “Oprah Winfrey on Career, Life, and Leadership at Stanford University.”

Although the interview is lengthy, I decided the nuggets above justified an extended viewing (plus, I’m retired so it’s not like this would interfere with more important things in my life). After watching the full interview, I gave the following feedback to my yogi:

  • You want me to watch the full interview? All 1:04:03? Actually, I did, and Oprah is truly a Renaissance woman. But how about those nerds from Stanford posing convoluted, multi-prong questions that stumped her (global warming and logical vs. emotional decision-making)! Who are they trying to impress? Although Oprah claims to be more of a conversationalist and less of a writer, most of the really juicy insights came in her canned 3-minute closing.

So, what did Oprah have to say for an hour about career, life, and leadership? Mainly, that everyone has a Supreme destiny or calling (not necessarily your job) and that we will eventually find that destiny/calling if we remain open to it and listen to our heart. Her calling is to help people find their calling by increasing their self-awareness.

Oprah talks a lot about consciousness and being grounded, about an inner voice and being centered. And, of course, spirituality. When Oprah interviews senior executives for a job with her company, they are often flummoxed when she asks them about their spirituality.

Oprah feels strongly that her external accomplishments are fueled by her internal peace – you can’t help others until you first take care of yourself. Every person’s objective should be to become the highest/truest expression of themselves as a human being. (I have read that formulation more than once before – e.g., “the best version of yourself.”)

Oprah uses the term, “life coach,” and I think that is a good description of her.

May 31, 2011

Saturday Night at the Movies #8 – Just Wright

Common created some controversy last week by being invited by Michelle Obama to a White House function.  According to conservative talk-show hosts, he is a disgraceful hip-hop singer who says good things about cop killers.  I didn’t know anything about that and, in fact, had never heard of the guy before this controversy, but last night I watched a movie starring Queen Latifah called Just Wright.  When scrolling through the credits, I saw that the male lead, supposedly a NJ Net basketball player, was played by Common.

By doing some internet research, I learned that Common (nee Lonnie Lynn, Jr.) is a vegan who has pledged to stop using anti-gay lyrics in his songs, a Christian who has been a life-long member of Jeremiah Wright’s church in Chicago, and an Obama supporter who has claimed, “The one
thing that shouldn’t be questioned is my support for the police officers and troops that protect us every day.”

I was surprised at how likeable Common was in the movie, Just Wright.  Sure, it was only a role, but likeability is hard to manufacture.  I think the conservative talk-show hosts need to find better things to do than micro-manage the White House invitation list.

Although I thoroughly enjoyed the movie, it scored only 45% on the Rotten Tomatoes.  Roger Ebert gave it three out of four stars, and although he conceded it was a formulaic film, he said the formula works.  What is the formula? – Beauty is only skin deep and a person is better served looking for a partner with character, personality, and integrity.

In Just Wright, the NBA basketball player must decide whether he would rather marry a party girl with a sparkling, outgoing personality who looks like Halle Berry or her best friend who works as a physical therapist and looks and sounds like Oprah Winfrey.

Coincidentally, earlier the same day I saw Shallow Hal, which follows essentially the same formula.  Although I thoroughly enjoyed Just
, I consider Shallow Hal one of my all-time favorite movies.  They both give hope, albeit a short-lived false hope, to those of us who look like Oprah or Jack Black.