Reflection: Oprah came to town this week. And, although I’m neither a devotee nor an uber-fan, I bought a couple of tickets for the show. I thought it would make a great mother-daughter night out (and it did). And, as a speaker, I was curious to see how she presented herself and what messages she chose to share.
Oprah excelled at creating an intimate connection with a crowd of 13,000 people. And that’s no easy feat! Some of that success springs from sheer familiarity. It also comes from her openness in sharing who she is, the road she’s travelled and what she’s learned along the way. And much is due to her ability to simply be in the moment. Who else would have the moxie or confidence to admit to that many people in that kind of setting that she’d chosen the wrong bra for her outfit of the evening?
Candor aside, one of Oprah’s strongest messages centered around the need for each of us to tune in our purpose in life. She noted that the threads of purpose show themselves early, and surface often. Even as a preschooler, she had plenty to say and the confidence to stand and deliver. Her grandmother observed, “That girl’s got a way with words!” That was her first thread. Others followed.
She got me thinking about the threads of my own life. I, too, was enthralled by words – an early reader who couldn’t get enough of books. I soon wrote my own poems and stories – the pre-courser to books that came later. I loved a platform and a stage – from oratory contests to chairing councils, clubs, and events. And, I lived to create things – hammering together ‘furniture’ from orange crates and peach boxes (yes, they were wooden back then), paint-by-number artwork, gardening, sewing, and on it went.
Looking back, it’s easy to see the parallel threads of communication and creativity. They were there, had I been paying closer attention along the way. At the time, the path forward never really seemed that clear.
Action: Daniel Pink describes three intrinsic motivators as central to our lives: a sense of purpose, the opportunity for mastery and, a degree of autonomy. Following the lead of the threads of our lives taps into all three.
Here’s an invitation for you to do a little weaving of your own. What are some of the threads that have surfaced in your life so far? Childhood activities? Early interests? Clear preferences? Recurring desires?
Have you made room in your life for those inclinations and natural connections? Have you given life to those preferences along the way? What might you have abandoned or set aside over the years that, reclaimed, could enrich the days ahead?
And, just as importantly, what threads are surfacing now that together with those from the past could point the way to a more engaging and purposeful future?
It’s an interesting point to pause and ponder.
Quotes Of The Week: There is a purpose to our lives that each day tugs at our sleeve as an annoying distraction. – Robert Brault
At the center of your being you have the answer; you know who you are and you know what you want. – Lao Tzu
It takes courage to grow up and turn out to be who you really are. – E. E. Cummings.
When we align our thoughts, emotions, and actions with the highest part of ourselves, we are filled with enthusiasm, purpose and meaning. – Gary Zukav
Don’t ask yourself what the world needs; ask yourself what makes you come alive. And then go and do that. Because what the world needs are people who have come alive. – Harold Whitman
Resource Of The Week: There’s a real desire for connection to purpose in the workplace as well as in our personal lives. Dr. John Izzo addresses this point in his article, Do Your People Feel A Sense of Purpose At Work?
Tags: attitude, commitment, delight, excellence, focus, inspiration, learning, motivation, overload, overwhelm, Pat Katz, Patricia Katz, pause, perspective, purpose, Saskatoon, speaker, success, time out