Oprah's Lifeclass: 5 Lessons

After getting schooled in Oprah's Lifeclass, Nadine shares 5 Oprah-style tips for improving your life and achieving your dreams.

By Nadine Silverthorne
Oprah's Lifeclass: 5 Lessons

Yesterday I had the good fortune to spend the day with 8,999 Oprah fans, soaking up platitudes and inspirational speakers at Oprah's Lifeclass: The Tour. Oprah's first ever stop in Toronto was to tape two episodes of Oprah's Lifeclass (which airs Monday nights on OWN). Rainbow-dressed fans from all over waited over four hours in line (and spent a considerable amount on tickets) to see television's unofficial self-help evangelist. I think most of them would agree that it was worth it.

Oprah's guests included spiritualist Deepak Chopra, motivational speaker Tony Robbins, inspirational author and TV host Iyanla Vanzant and spiritual leader Bishop T.D. Jakes. Each Lifeclass "guest teacher" gave a moving talk to get the audience inspired and pumped up before the show taping, which centred on the topic of forgiveness.

Don't feel bad if you couldn't go. I'm here to give you the crib notes from what I learned yesterday (I was scribbling like a crazy person). Here are 5 Oprah-style life changing tips:

1. Got a problem? S-T-O-P.
Iyanla Vanzant gave us this powerful acronym to use at the crossroads of any conflict.
Stop, smile
Take a deep breath
Observe yourself (and/or the situation)
Proceed with kindness

2. Have a vision.
Iyanla used an analogy of not realizing she needed glasses to highlight this point. You think you're seeing 100 percent but you might only be seeing 70 percent, because your eyes will adjust to the deficiency. So we all need a sort of vision check-up, much like we would for our eyes, but for our lives. Are we actually living the life we want? Check-in with yourself and don't let fear determine your vision.

3. Nurture your vision.
You need to see your vision for your life and yourself, in the way you would if you were pregnant with a baby — you need to protect it and nurture it. 3 ways to nurture your vision:

a) Affirm your vision every day. Use positive sentences that begin with "I am" — whatever you attach "I am" to, you will become.

b) Clarify your vision. Know what you're doing, why you're doing it and how you're going to do it.

c) Find time to be still. Listen for the message from within instead of always begging for the answer.
4. Have a life breakthrough.
Ever got what you wanted but getting it didn't feel like you thought? Did you feel guilty for not enjoying it? Tony Robbins offered his 3-step method to achieving success AND feeling fulfillment:
a) Strategy. Every breakthrough needs a proven and effective strategy. Your dream may be to see a sunset, but if you're heading east, it doesn't matter how many affirmations you do, you're not going to see a sunset.

b) Story. We are not the sad story that plays in our heads. Revise your story and the way you tell it to focus on the positive outcomes of negative events and behaviours.

c) State. Pay attention to your physical state. When we're depressed, nervous or afraid, our body tells a different story than when we're happy or excited. Adjusting your state will change your story and with the right strategy in place, you'll achieve your goals and feel good about it.

5. Forgive someone.
"Forgiveness is giving up the hope that your life could be any different." Iyanla reminded us that forgiveness is a gift we give ourselves. "Until you heal the wounds of your past, you will continue to bleed into the future." Deepak Chopra stated plainly that if you don't forgive, if we hold onto the past, hold onto grudges, you're going to get sick.

Bishop T.D. Jakes preached that "Unforgiveness, left unchecked, becomes the cancer of the soul — it spreads." He said we hang onto old hurts at the expense of our destiny. So stop waiting for the apology, seeking revenge and imagining different scenarios and "let it go" (which happens to be the title of Bishop Jakes' new book).
Want more? Get schooled in Oprah's Lifeclass, Monday nights on OWN.
This article was originally published on Apr 17, 2012

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