I set myself a goal of walking a half marathon and I invited Oprah Winfrey to join me for our walk, and after purchasing, she kindly did, in the form of the audio book version of “The Path Made Clear – Discovering Your Life’s Direction and Purpose”.
Full disclosure, I am not an evangelical Oprah follower, and have not read anything authored by Oprah Winfrey before, but I heard a snippet of her newest book on BLINKIST, and got curious – given that my Frankie Dot’s intention is to learn all there is about various aspects of life to live a life less ordinary, and notably, with purpose.
The psychological impact of listening to the book caught me by surprise, and in a very good way – it was calming, thought provoking, inspiring and I’d even go as far as to say, meditative.
Oprah narrates the audio book, which probably contributes to the calming feature of the delivery, providing a background summary for each of the chapters, which generally follow the sprout of a seed in mother nature – roots, whispers, clouds – in exploring the discovery of life’s purpose.
Along with Oprah’s chapter introductions with examples from her own life, the book provides a manifest of inspirational sound bites, quotes and conversations with high profile individuals in the form of interviews throughout, including Deepak Chopra, Jay-Z, Joe Biden, Elizabeth Gilbert and Shonda Rhymes to name just a small few. Although sometimes disjointed and sporadic, I get the auspicious of the books intent, to humanise the context of living your best life through purposeful being and intentional presence.
I picked up three main themes interwoven throughout the narrative:
The reflections on being in tune with yourself, listening to whispers of anxiety, gut feels or excited goosebumps is explored at length in the book, and recognising these moments through emotional intelligence to learn from and reflect and ultimately build further the construct of your purpose.
I noted a number of discussions I intend to work on for myself – allowing yourself to be still enough to let your purpose come to the surface and understanding that there is no real doing without first being. As a self-identifying active relaxer, I know this is true for me, and that finding a way to slow down and decompress is one that I need to surrender too for my own wellbeing and to clear my mind to be clear on my goals.
There is much discussion around overcomplicating, overthinking and overdoing, when in fact living in a way that is true to yourself is really very simple.
The anecdotes around fear really resonated with me and the various interviews spoke of self-sabotage and negative self-talk.
I enjoyed the segment with Michael Bernard Beckwith where his premise in life was to think about possibilities more than issues; no denying that there were issues, but being cognisant of the energy given – energy into those lower frequencies, be it doubt, worry or fear, shapes the place your life and thoughts naturally align with. But if you talk about possibilities, even if you don’t know how to get there, then your energy goes up thinking about the ‘what if’s’ activating great potential and positive thought processes.
Another snippet focussed on trust, and that trust starts within yourself and being willing to stand alone, look different, be different, and take note of feelings to move forward or change tact – these are risks that some people can take and others don’t. And those that do, are walking a path of great discovery for themselves.
The last sound bite I plucked was around community and the choice to walk with wise people and grow wise yourself, or become a companion of fools, resulting in a loss of momentum towards your life goals, wants and desires.
From the limited knowledge I have of Oprah, and her chapter introductions throughout the book, being clear on your intentions is one of her key messages. The following statements caught my focus:
“Nourish what makes you feel confident, connected, contented, and opportunity will rise to meet you”
“The world isn’t here to make you happy – we need the crisis to grow. See the craziness and the evolution – all are moments of growth”
“Align your personality with your soul – harmony and congruence show the way”.
Although the book occasionally focussed on biblical verse and divine creator style metaphors, which is not everyone’s core belief or flavour, I feel that the life lessons and anecdotes presented throughout the book are universally profound and I finished the book feeling refreshed, uplifted and more aware and focussed on the areas of my life that I intend to invest in.
I also now have a strong desire to re-watch ‘The Wizard of Oz’ and ‘To Kill A Mockingbird’ – you will have to read the book to find out why!
Have you discovered your true purpose?
Are there any audio books that you recommend I add to my list??
I sourced my copy of “The Path Made Clear – Discovering Your Life’s Direction and Purpose” from Audible.