What We Learn From Oprah!

Many think of Oprah as one of the world’s greatest teachers. We’d like to say that, in fact, Oprah is the world’s greatest student. With an unmatched global reach, a television network committed to transformation and a Twitter following of 14million people, Oprah Winfrey has built the world’s largest audience. More incredible than her fan base is the collection of knowledge she has acquired amidst her journey. As Mastin says here at TDL: Knowledge isn’t power, Applied Knowledge is power. Oprah applies the knowledge she has gained by sharing it with the world, student by student.

Oprah has said that she doesn’t meet with her interviewees before the taping of an interview. She wants questions and answers to arise from authentic interaction and learns about her guests for the first time with the rest of the world. This can be related to what several spiritual paths call having the mind of a child – a mind that is fully open and knows nothing is ready to receive everything.

Lady O hasn’t built an empire by being an expert on a singular topic. She has built an empire by sitting in her student seat, receiving the expertise of countless teachers and applying their knowledge to her life. The same is available for you. The way to your INpire (the kingdom of love and joy within you) is not one that you have to make for yourself. The way is perfectly paved with situations and people guiding you along the path to your INpire, should you choose to sit in your student seat and receive the guidance they offer.

After 25 years on the air, we’ve found three principles Oprah practices from the student seat. Having this practice available in your awareness can maximize your potential to learn.

1)     Unknowing. Forget all that you think you know. Become your inner child. A mind that is fully open and knows nothing is ready to receive everything.

2)     Listen. Don’t wait to talk, LISTEN. When we choose to listen rather than just hear, we make the space to receive. This allows us to deeply consider what is being shared, and sets us up to respond authentically.

3)     Be compassionate. We refer to compassion as loving before understanding. You may not initially understand what is being communicated to you. So, love first and remain open. It is in this awareness that the “Aha’s” are welcome.

Many think of Oprah as one of the world’s greatest teachers. We’d like to say that in fact, Oprah is the world’s greatest student.  She believes and acts as if everyone has something to teach her, and remains open to receive it.

Remember that every single person and situation in your life is pointing you in the direction of your INpire should you choose to receive their guidance. Try out the practice above today and let us know how much you’ve learned by bedtime tonight in the comments below.

May Oprah be with you.

Ryan and Riley

# # #




  • I love this. I am the biggest Oprah fan and I remember that when her show was going off I felt this emptiness in my life. Oprah’s show was where I went to learn about life. It felt like there was going to be a hole. I didn’t know then, but I was a student and Oprah was my teacher. Not only did she teach me through the interviews that life was bigger than me. She also taught me that someone powerful could be humble and compassionate. She never came with ego. She came to serve. I believe the best teacher is always a student of life. We play both roles in our life. The only thing I know is that I know nothing. I have everything to learn and everything to teach. Great post!

    • Thanks Dyanne!
      We love your line, “the best teacher is always a student of life.”

  • The world is becoming more wonderful as each of us becomes a better student!

  • a,

    “This can be related to what several spiritual paths call having the mind of a child – a mind that is fully open and knows nothing is ready to receive everything.”  To  know that you know  nothing at all is truly the key to knowledge. I used to laugh when she had a-ha moments, thinking she’s just saying that. But, yes, she is indeed a student and in turn teaches the rest of us through her grace. I love you guys by the way! <3

  • To this day Oprah still has enthusiasm when she REALLY gets something. 

    She always approaches her interviews as if the audience were the ones asking the questions. She is truly genuine. Add to that a great actress, which is what she wanted to be as a child anyway. She is another good example of preparedness + opportunity = divine luck! Blessings to all! 

  • Vialpandotheresa

    I love this!

  • You know, about a week 1/2 ago I would’ve agreed with every single word you’ve written here about Ms. Winfrey.  Alas, after her decision to feature two of the most venomous anti-gay, hate-mongers as Lifeclass “teachers,” I can no longer support Ms. Winfrey and her network. To feature these two characters that are the OPPOSITE of life affirming, is a travesty and shows a lack of understanding of the plight of the LGBT community. I believe Ms. Winfrey might be just a little more concerned about her empire than we previously thought. 

  • Ryan and Riley

    thank you all for your comments! We’d love to know where  you are in your student seat. We love your feedback

  • Cece

    Wow – this was beautiful guys and very insightful. Thanks so much for sharing!