Oprah Winfrey, Part 2
Today's episode is supported by Ernest Ernest has helped thousands of people save money with personalized rates and payments for their student loans. Visit Ernest dot com slash masterclass to check your rate and claim your special two hundred and fifty dollar bonus. If you sign alone, this bonus offer expires March two thousand nineteen but you can apply to anytime. Loans made by Ernest operations LLC analyst number one two zero four nine one seven California. Cfl license number six oh, five four seven eight eight Ernest low interest loans designed for you all life is about growing to your own personal best all of life is about growing to greatness. But my life wasn't even supposed to happen wasn't even supposed to happen. My father, and my mother would together one time. So I was born on wanted to a single mother poor in the backwoods of Mississippi. I was raped at nine years old became pregnant when I was fourteen the baby did not live. But I was a striker. I was always trying to prove myself. I became a student. I excelled in everything in highschool are was hired at the local radio station. Two years later does a sophomore in college are was hired in Nashville as a television reporter when I was nineteen years old a couple years after that I was working in Baltimore as an anchorwoman. But it never felt like the right thing for me sitting anchoring the news every night for the rest of my life would have been for me a slow death. And they put me on the local talk show. They were creating call people are talking, and that is when I knew I was home. The day. I did that talk show. I knew my life had just changed. Everybody has a story. And there's something to be learned from every experience. Use your life as a class. This is master class. I was doing well in Baltimore making twenty two thousand dollars a year. But I'd been there eight years, and I knew I'm not going to grow here. I've always known when it was time to move on. Because that is something you feel inside yourself that I've grown as much as I can grow here. I'm not going to grow anymore here. Life is about growth and change when you are no longer doing that. That is your whisper that is your whisper that I am supposed to do something else. I am interested in seeing what the rest of the world has to offer me. And as it would happen. I never lived with a plan. Every one of my coworkers had tapes that they kept resumes that they were always working on they catalog their stories or they knew where their best stories were. I had none of that. 'cause I I didn't have a plan. I didn't have a plan because I was believe do your best something will show up for yourself. So as it happened, Debbie male who was a producer working in Baltimore with me moved to Chicago. Oh, I was on her resume real Dennis Swanson sees her resume real and says who is that. And I get called in for an interview even before it was decided I started singing to myself, she she Coug. So I started really trying to get in vibe in sync with what that could be like for me going to Chicago. I came into Chicago. I auditioned and Dennis wants and told me that day, we wanna hire you. Wow. All the naysayers said, you are moving to Chicago where Phil Donahue who is the king of all talk shows has his talk show. I remember getting called upstairs by my then boss and the boss sitting me down and say who do you think you are you are walking into landmines, and you not even prepared? You don't even know how bad this is going to be for you. You're gonna die on. Bovine. He said to me you're going to die on the vine. And I remember sitting there hearing it and thinking well that could happen, but I've grown all I can grow here. The whisper had gotten so loud that it was a message speaking to the heart of me, the soul of me that it's time to go. So I took the job and moved to Chicago January. First nineteen Eighty-four was my first day. I'm pre-med with a bad, Jerry, curl and a fur coat. I knew I was home. All I knew is. I would be able to do it alone. I wouldn't have a co host not that will whatever that is. I can do it. We didn't have even a studio audience. There was nobody. But the crew and these football players and myself, and I know I work much better with people because even in my little show in in Baltimore, we'd have like twenty four people in the audience. So for the first few weeks months. My staff would go out at we would say to people wanna come in. We have coffee any warm you can get warm for an hour. That's how we got our audience. And so you have a lot of homeless people and people who are looking for warm place to stay for an hour. I was just literally flying by the seat of my pantyhose and God bless Dennis Swanson. I remember sitting in Dennis wants his office saying to him. Well, I know that I'm going to be up against Phil Donahue, Dennis said, I think you have a gift, and we know you can't be Phil Donahue. We're not even asking for that right now they were getting no rating practically like a point too. So he was saying if we could just get a one we could just get a one we beat Phil Donahue first day out. Wow. Wow. Wow. That very first day. Nobody even imagined such a thing could happen. It was shocking. I guess everybody was home. And they call their friends and say you see that black TV you see her. She got a Jerry curl anti-big. I knew something was up when January second I went out on the street to Carson Pirie, Scott, which was a department store and the walk was like a block and a half away every single person in that block knew me knew my name and pronounced it. From that day on the show became a phenomenon. It truly was it's about nothing that I did. Because when you look back at the tapes, it's just shockingly amazing. That someone who looked like I did with no level of sophistication just big heart. Great heart and connection, an empathy with the people. But no, look no dresser. No hairstylers. No just raw just out there. Raw on TV could be successful. That could never happen in this day in time. It could it just couldn't happen wasn't even call the Oprah Winfrey show. But after the first week, nobody said AM Chicago anymore. People started calling it you see the Oprah show DC Oprah show. So shortly afterwards by July. We had renamed it the Oprah show, but the heart that I brought was what people felt and my ability to be myself. The lesson that that taught me and has taught me over the years. Anybody pretending to be anything other than who you really are. You will never ever reach your personal potential. You cannot do it. So I think what we were able to do with the show was to take the torch the Phil Donahue had laid down. Because really there would be no me had there not been filled. He literally opened that door for me and everybody else to walk through. And I did it my way I walked through the way that I felt was best for me not trying to imitate him because I learned that lesson. I can't beat Phil Donahue at being Phil Donahue. I can't beat Barbara Walters at being Barbara Walters. But I can be myself, and I can make the best of that. I remember thinking I wanted to be an actress and my father saying no daughter man is going to be land on some casting couch and my father for years. I felt such shame about. Out having brought shame to him by having a child out of wedlock that died shortly afterwards, but still the shame of it was there. So when my father said, no daughter of mine is going to be an actress, I just thought. Okay. I won't be one people doubt that your thoughts create reality for you. It doesn't if you just sitting around thinking, I won't something it doesn't. But there's no question if the energy, and the vibrational frequency is correct is in sync with what is to come your way that there is a space that you create that allows that to happen and nothing more than the color purple explains. That to me that is what that's what made a believer out of me. More of this episode after a short break. Today's episode is supported by Kahlo Kayla was redefining the wedding industry with the first ever silicone wedding band. Does. Signed to be more comfortable and safer than traditional metal bands. Kahlo? Silicone rings are affordable practical alternatives for engaged in married. Couples on the go every commitment is unique and Kayla believes that commitment is not just to a spouse or significant other but to anything in your life that has meaning firefighters where Kahlo to showcase their commitment to the field and customers use their rings as a reminder of their daughters. Sons lost loved ones and even friendship bonds. 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I'm back in the bookstore. Getting every book that they had which I think was like eight at the time. I buy all of those books. I hand them out to everybody, I know at work and I become obsessed literally obsessed with the color purple, and I would walk across the Wacker street bridge. Just so I could run into people who had not read the color purple. I didn't have a book club. So anyway, I can get you to read it, it's fine. And I would pass out these books if somebody said Noah hadn't heard of it. Well, I happen to have one right? Ear and I heard that they were going to be doing a movie about the color purple. They was Stephen Spielberg and Quincy Jones, and as it turns out. I start telling everybody I'm going to be in that movie. I'm going to figure out a way to be in that movie. I get a call from a casting agent saying we're casting for a movie called moon song they called it moon. Sung at the time. You're casting for movie common, Saul, you sure, it's not the color purple. 'cause I've been praying for the caliber will he goes, no, it's moon song. So I go to this audition on day in Chicago where seventy two below zero so-called they had ropes out to key people fallen down at a cold sore throats Solan and had wrapped my head. And I was so cold that when you walked outside your eyelids froze. When I walked in there. I thought oh my goodness. It is the color purple because I know every character I've read the book. I read for the color purple and not only am I reading I'm reading like for a major role. They want me to read it. So fia. She's remarried to Harpo. And Harpo is my name spelled backwards. So I think if that is not a sign from Jesus himself. I don't I never saw a sign of bigger than that. So I'll addition I audition I hear nothing. I ended up months later calling the casting agent saying I haven't heard anything he said, you don't call me. What do you call me for I call you? And we have real actresses who are dishes for this part. Alfre Woodard just left by office. He said, she's a real actress who have no experience. So I hung up the phone, and I knew I'm not going to get the part. So I feel really terrible. I can't even believe this. I think this is a God trick I think will got what you do that for. Why did you take me to audition, and I'm all dishes in the Harpo character? And then I'm not going to get it. So I think it's because I'm fat. So I go to this fat farm, and as I am running around the track by myself on a coal, rainy. Wisconsin day. I start praying to God out loud. And I say, I don't get it. I really don't get it God. But I know you do I don't know if there's some kind of joke or what you're doing with me. But I thought you wanted me to have this part. And I want to be in the space where I can thank you for the opportunity. But I can't now I can't it's too hard. Please help me. Let it go. Help me to let it go. And I start seeing surrender. Will. I surrender all. All to the my placid savior, I surrender. All now that song just spontaneously came to me. But when you first start to sing it, you really can't surrender you just saying. Okay. Almost saying the song I sang, and I prayed and I sang, and I prayed I sang, and I prayed that cried until I could feel myself. Let it go. And no you're going to be. All right. You're going to be alright. And at I I thought you're going to be all right. But you don't be able to ever see the movie, you can see the movie, but you'll be all right? And then I kept praying. I wanna pray. I feel like I can actually go see the movie. And I will be able to bless alfre Woodard in the role that I'll be able to say, it's a good thing. You got it. I want to be able to be able to do that. And in the moment, I could say I can now see Alfred I can I can see that that can happen. And I will be okay, my life will go on. And I will not be bitter. And I will not be angering will not whole that. And I will not feel for the rest of my life. She got it. And I didn't I want to have that kind of peace. And in the moment that happened to me somebody comes running out to the track and says, there's a phone call for you. And there was Stephen Spielberg calling to tell me that I hear you at a fat farm, and he said if you lose a pound, you could lose this part, and I ended up stopping at Dairy Queen to make sure I hadn't lost pound. And the next day. I was in his office. At Amblin and Universal Studios and got the part. I would have to say one of the fundamental turning points in my life was the color purple. Nothing has had a greater impact on me. Spiritually emotionally psychologically in determining my path. Because it literally changed my faith in that. I could see it. It was real. It was real God can dream a bigger dream for me for you. Then you could ever dream for yourself. When you've worked as hard and done is much and strived and tried and given and pled and bargained and hoped surrender. When you have done all that you can do. And there's nothing left for you to do give it up. Give it up to that thing that is greater than yourself. And let it then become a part of the flow. And I have never wanted anything as badly as hard as much as the color purple and the wanting of it, and then the surrendering of it is what taught me how to live in a space of letting go you can dream this much. But God has a bigger dream that the color purple is in setting you up for the national Oprah Winfrey. Show by didn't know that the time. So when I ask what should I do should I do this should I do this? The bigger question is what would you got the universe? Have me do. I have known for a very long time that I am a blessed person, and that to whom much is given much is also required that you can't have all of this and not use it for something that is for the greater good your intention. Rules, your life and determines the outcome. The success of AM Chicago quickly became the Oprah Winfrey show, and then syndication came my attorney at the time said you should own yourself. Well, how am I going to do that? So don't take a salary don't take a salary. You don't want to be paid by them. What you want is to invest in yourself. And that is what I did. I thought I will take the risk of owning myself. Splitting the syndication deal and bet on myself. And that's the best bet I ever made. If I never make another bet in my life. That was the best bet. We've fretted for many months about what the first show should be injured b Don Johnson, we tried every celebrity in the world. We didn't know anything about anything certainly not about booking national guests in the end. It didn't really matter. What the first show was what really mattered was setting the intention for what the show would be the intention was to use the show as vehicle for making a difference in people's lives to allow people to become more of themselves. And to let people understand that. There is a flow of vibe a connection that we all have and that we're all interconnected in this thing. Call the human experience, which makes us the the human family at the time. It was just a goal. It was just something that I felt inside myself that that is what I wanna do. I wanna use this platform to do this. There was competition from different talk shows. Sally Jesse Raphael. Oh, what are we gonna do? I'll wrap Brielle. And then it was Geraldo Rivera. Oh, never survive. But we're all and over the years. Morton Downey junior Ricky lake every time it would happen. I would say to my team. Well, doesn't matter because every season somebody else was coming out one talk show to to talk shows tweeden doctors there have been over one hundred talk show since we started. But every time I would feel like all right? Got to step up. Our game got to step up our game the way you step up. Your game is not to worry about the other guy in any situation because you can't control the other guy cannot control the other guy. You only have control over yourself. So it's like running a race the energy that it takes a look back and see where the other guys are takes energy away from you. And if they're too close scares you? So that's what I would say to my team all the time. Don't waste your time in the race. Looking back to see where the other guy is what the other guy is doing. It's not about the other guy. It's about what can you do? You just need to run that race as hard as you. Can you need to give it everything you've got all the time for yourself? For yourself. Don't go anywhere. More to come after this short break support for this episode comes from squarespace squarespace makes it easier than ever to launch your passion project from showcasing your work selling products of any kind with beautiful templates and the ability to customize just about anything you can easily make a gorgeous website, all on your own squarespace is powerful. Ecommerce functionality lets you sell anything online. And analytics help you grow your site in real time. Everything is optimized for mobile right out of the box. And there's nothing to patch or upgrade ever even buying domains. Become simple. But if you do get stuck square spaces twenty four seven award winning customer support is there to help squarespace empowers. Millions of people from designers to lawyers artists to gamers even restaurants gyms to turn great ideas into something real had to squarespace dot com slash masterclass for a free trial. And when you're ready to launch us the offer code masterclass to save ten percent off your first purchase of a website or dome. Main. That's squarespace dot com slash masterclass offer code masterclass in the earlier. So the Oprah Winfrey show eighty seven eighty eight eighty nine we were leaning more and more and more towards confrontational television. Now, does it make you feel knowing that he's lying to one of you after two years? I don't have any more faith. I mean after today it's going to be forget it right on plan. A thing at my farm and you'll sir are alive. You're a pretty girl. You've got a great face. I can hardly wait till you lose the way. And I'll be the first one to throw my arms around you. And I'll from right off. The very idea of getting somebody on who was willing to confront somebody else on live TV was unheard of. What are you going to do what you grow up? One of your kids comes in and says mom, I'm homosexual what are you going to do to that kid? Are you going to continue to love them because you're a better parent than I am I've got gotta gay center. Now tell you something I'm a damn good period. And I love. The very idea of getting people to express their feelings or motions cry. Tell these stories at never been told say that they were abused say that they had abused. Other people incredible. In the beginning. I was just like everybody else in television. I just happy to get the job. My guest today. Call themselves skinheads for some the shaved heads in punk music is just fun a form of teen rebelliousness, but a growing number of these young people are aligning themselves with a Neo Nazi philosophy somewhere around the late eighties. I was in the middle of interviewing some skinheads. And I had a big aha moment. What we want to do is have a defined area for racially conscious. White people the other white people who really don't care about the race and their heritage. And all the great things why people have created they can go ahead and be in another area. Recognize that I wasn't helping anybody and that this is a platform. This isn't just a TV show. These guys are on TV and there spewing out their hatred, and I'm thinking, I'm interviewing them exposing their hatred, but all the other people who agree with them are going. Yeah. And I actually saw a guy in the audience go. Yeah. You tell her just like that. You just said I don't sit with monkeys. You think because she's black because I'm black. We're monkeys is that it's a proven fact proven fact. It's a proven fact that I'm a monkey could boo. And that's when it hit me. Okay. I think I'm doing one thing. But I am really using this platform. This is a platform in which people get to say, an expose their ideas. Is this the idea you want exposed and creating that energy in the world? I was following the path of least resistance in. Let's get the most ratings and controversial TB, and let's put people together and gosh, it's good ratings and they were tremendous ratings. So when I made a decision that I'm going to take a higher road because I cannot live with myself. I will not be able to live with myself. Once I made that decision. My life changed a whole. A whole life changed. This became not about getting to work or getting ratings. I forgot about ratings other people worried about ratings, but I didn't do anything based on ratings did whatever I feel is going to best serve the viewer and serve me in the chair. I'm going to talk to people who I feel can make a difference. I'm going to talk to people who going to bring a piece of themselves a piece of the light of themselves and not gonna waste my time. Doing anything else? I think that my gift is relating to people. And I think that my gift is understanding that I'm not watching the viewers. But that I am the viewer. There's a difference between identifying what the viewer then being the viewer. So I have the power and the courage to ask the questions that I do and to be as intrusive or not. Because I'm not asking them based even on my own curiosity. But based on what I feel represents what the viewer want thinks needs. When I was working Baltimore doing people are talking with Richard share, the young woman who had been molested came on. And that show and told a story that was so. That felt like it was my story molested buyer uncles tried to tell her family. Nobody believed it I was shaking when that interview was over because I wanted to say to her after the show this happened to me this happened to me, and that was the very first time. It ever occurred to me that it actually had happened to someone else because I was one of those people who thought I'm the only person carrying the story and years later when I came to Chicago that exact same moment happened again. And I had the courage to say this happened to me. Hello, everybody. I'm to Winfrey our show today. Confronted problem that is so widespread that chances are it is happening right in your very home. And you may not even know it. It is a frightening problem because once it happens to you it will more than likely happen to your children to speak from personal experience because I was raped by a relative at the time. He was nineteen years old. I hadn't seen or spoken to him since the day it happened. But I remember every single detail. You know, one of the hardest things in life to do is to confront your own molester. And with that pain often comes healing. And so I called him for the first time recently, and we talked about what happened twenty three years ago. He said to me that he was happily married with a couple of children now and didn't want to talk about what had happened twenty three years ago. Besides the explain I thought you were a teenager. Then I was nine years old. I felt pretty confident that my saying it would. Do the same thing for this person that I felt when I heard it the first time I wanted this person. I was talking to know you are not alone. Not knowing it was going to open up the floodgates of everybody else didn't saying it happened to me. And that taught me a great lesson. That taught me that we are not alone. We live in different spaces different parts of the country have different goals. But ultimately, we all want the same things, we want to know that we matter we want to know that we were hurt and that what we had to say meant something whether you're talking to your boss, whether you're talking to friends every body in every conversation, and particularly in every argument in disagreement just want to know, did you hear me? And did what I say mean anything to you. Humans are the same all over the world. Even in countries where women aren't allowed to do much of anything. The Oprah Winfrey. Show works. I had the most tumultuous childhood, and I would have to say, the Oprah show cured me, and I didn't get cured until my forties. Did I actually? Get healed of that experience. I really never seriously considered having children because I was not willing to make the sacrifice required. And I do see it as an ultimate sacrifice. I think that the decision to have a child is the decision that you make in sacrifice. And so I didn't have children because I knew that to have the life that I have and to be able to create the platform that I have. It was more important for me to be a teacher. That was the burning fire in my heart. In the same way that friends of mine, you would have had to found a way to have children and would have had children. No matter what I never felt that my calling was different. I would have to say I've never had a days therapy with all the crazy stuff. That's happened in my life. I've never had a days therapy. But the show has been the greatest therapy. It has been the greatest teacher, and that it has taught me. To be a teacher. I think that there is a great mystery that none of us will really fully get until we take the last breath. And I believe it will become very clear in the last breath. I did a show once with a mother who had taken care of her son for year as he died in the last moment, she climbed into bed with him. And as he was dying. His last words were oh, mom. It was so easy. He closed his eyes and died, and she said that nother goose bump moment for me. I thought yeah. I think it's going to be just like that. Where you go. Oh god. It was always easy. Why are we struggling Zohar? And it was so easy. What I know. Is you gotta take responsibility for the space you hold here. And understand that the third law of motion which says for every action there's an equal and opposite reaction that is my religion that is the fundamental construct of my religion. And by that, I mean, I know that every thought that I think every thought that I have that moves into action is going to create an opposite and equal reaction. So everything that I put out into the world is going to come back. It's the golden rule on steroids, the golden rule on steroids. It's true that as you do unto others. They will do unto you. It's already done. There is a flow. There's an energy field and a flow. That is also happening with us as human beings. We just haven't figured out what that is yet or how to channel it. But that is definitely going on. There's an energy field. There's an energy flow that I strongly feel in my own life. And I know lots of other people who do you're either inflow or out of it. And if you're in flow, it's like this. It's like this all the time. It's like this. It's like flowing with the stream and the flow is in direct proportion to the center of yourself where God abides where universal energy abides where the divine within you abides. How far you are from the center from the divine Ness of yourself from your connection to source energy that which created you is how out of sync you are with your life, regardless of what you call it when you can align with that nobody can touch you Gary Zubkov caused that authentic power in his books. Either the soul he says when your personality comes to serve the energy of your. Soul that is often into power. And that's only real power. They is because you're gonna lose everything else. Okay. How beautiful you are. One day. Your breasts are going to sag and your eyes are going to bag, and you're not going to be as beautiful, and it doesn't matter. How much bow toxin? How many times you get yourself pulled up in how many hairdos and how many makeovers or what you do? You know that doesn't last. It's just like the most beautiful flowering tree everything passes. And it's time. It doesn't matter. How much money you have how much power you have how high you sit on the Forbes list. How many times you make the most influential lists? All of that changes. All of that changes. But what is real what is lasting is who you are? And what you were meant to bring. What is the gift you were meant to give and nobody can take that away from you. I'm Oprah Winfrey. And you've been listening to masterclass the podcast. You can follow masterclass on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook, if you haven't already go to apple podcasts and subscribe rate and review this podcast. Join me next week for another masterclass podcast.