There’s no denying media mogul Oprah Winfrey’s impossibly impressive life path. From talk show host and author to humanitarian, actor, and curator of an entire TV network, Winfrey knows what she wants and goes passionately toward it.
Though it’s tough to believe, Winfrey did not experience automatic success in life. Just like the rest of us, she had to learn the difference between a career and a calling before her passion and purpose could take off.
“Your real job in life is to figure out what you’re called to do and you use a job until you can figure out what your calling is — because a job is necessary to survive,” Winfrey says on her network, “In my early days, I had a job, until I could figure out what gave my life its purpose and meaning.”
Winfrey goes on to explain that she had gotten a job in Baltimore as a news anchor, where she was making $22,000/year at 22 years old. At the time, it felt like a financial dream come true.
“Gayle and I used to say, ‘Could you imagine if you 40 and you’re making $40,000? Oh! That’d be good!’” Winfrey recalls, “So that was as big as my dream was — just to make my age.”
But then, Winfrey was demoted because she “was the wrong color and the wrong size.” She was pulled from the news and put on a talk show because the network didn’t know what else to do with her.
“My very first interview was with the Carvel ice cream man and Benny, one of the characters from All My Children,” Winfrey reveals, “I finished that show and I felt like, ‘this is what I am supposed to do.’ All these years, I had been misplaced in news. I’d be out on stories and I’d be crying with the people — I felt I was exploiting the people with news — and the moment I did that talk show, I felt like I could be myself.”
Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.
Finding your passion will energize you
So how do you know you’ve found your calling? You’ll know what you’re supposed to do by how it feels. Winfrey goes on to explain that since that turning point in her career, she has never had a problem with her energy levels — she went from being an exhausted, burnt out news anchor to a TV host bursting with energy and zest for life.
“If you can find what your passion is, you never get tired, or if you do get tired, you’re fueled by the energy of your work,” Winfrey gushes, “I know I’m doing exactly what I’m supposed to be doing at this time.”
You won’t be fueled by financial gain
According to Winfrey, finding your passion also means loving what you do so much that you “would do it for nothing and find a way just to do it.”
While the now-billionaire certainly doesn’t have to worry about doing her life’s calling for free, she has without a doubt fought hard to get to where she is — but her resilience and unwavering belief in her passion has taken her incredibly far.