OWNer Lonnell Williams has long been a fan of Oprah and her message. He has attended several of the
Oprah's Lifeclass tapings. Here, he shares the seven most surprising, eye-opening lessons he's learned from them.
The intent of Oprah's Lifeclass—to enlighten, encourage and renew—resonates at my core. As a longtime student of "doing the work," this show is the perfect complement to my spiritual diet. I take something valuable from each class, finding new ways to examine my life. Oprah's Lifeclass has changed my life in many ways, the most significant lesson having been the encouragement to acknowledge and address unresolved pain I have carried since childhood. Lessons from class help me reveal just how deep the pain is and how it affects my current relationships. More than just identifying the problem, Oprah's Lifeclass gives me tangible action items to implement immediately and foster healing. The results are truly life-changing!
I've been fortunate enough to attend several tapings of Oprah's Lifeclass in person, and I cannot describe the powerful impact of that experience! I'm living proof that these teachings work if you work them. Oprah's Lifeclass is much more than compelling television—it is a healing movement!
- "Comparison is an act of violence against yourself." — Iyanla Vanzant
Our cultural norms are to compare, contrast and compete. After hearing Ms. Vanzant's take on the issue, her statement makes perfect sense. The might of understanding and appreciating one's self-worth is life-changing. This makes me realize the subtle ways I attempt to destroy myself. Given this awareness, I now monitor my behavior and can truly work toward maximizing my potential.
- "Everyone lives at one of three levels in life: Survival, Success or Significance." — Pastor Rick Warren
Living at the level of significance is something I never even considered before this show. It makes me think differently about my own life and forces me to be very specific with the intent of every endeavor. I now ask daily, "Am I living at a level of significance?" I didn't realize such a simple question would be such hard work! I'm still a work in progress on this one but am so grateful for this eye-opening lesson.
- "The difference between a dream and a goal is a timeline." — Dr. Phil
Though I've always been cognizant of the fact that results are achieved through hard work, hearing Dr. Phil share this lesson stirred my soul. It was like he was in my head talking directly to me. I've had dreams and worked to execute but often without a definitive timeline. Dr. Phil basically just put my "stuff" on blast with this one! This "when the universe wills" passive attitude I'd taken previously was just pure b.s.! If I wanted the dreams to actualize, I needed a TIMELINE! Aha!
- Dr. Phil's Lesson on BAITERs
I found Dr. Phil's lesson on BAITERs very surprising because, initially, I didn't feel it fit the vibe of Oprah's Lifeclass. The truth that rocked my core was in his book Life Code, when he stated this poignant truth: We are raised to succeed in the world as the world should be and not as the world actually is. Initially I found the BAITER definition disturbing. Why would I go looking for the negative instead of the positive? Dr. Phil, not one to sugarcoat, explained in detail, and I realized that these people DO exist, AND it is my responsibility to be aware. More importantly than acknowledgement, Dr. Phil gave me the tools not to fall victim to BAITERs. An ugly reality, but a reality nonetheless. Though uncomfortable, this eye-opening lesson prepared me to move forward.
- My Love Language (Courtesy of Dr. Gary Chapman)
After completing Dr. Gary Chapman's quiz and watching this class, I knew my primary language would be Acts of Service or Quality Time. I was quite surprised to learn that my language was actually Words of Affirmation. This forced me into deep introspection of exactly how I express and receive love. I am one who pays attention to another's actions; however, I realize that affirming words are just as important. It is important to me that those I love have the emotional capacity to actually express words of affirmation.
- "What follows 'I am' will come looking for you." — Pastor Joel Osteen
What Joel Osteen did with this simple, profound lesson was force me to be personally accountable for my own well-being and joy. It made me LISTEN to myself. What exactly do I affirm about my own life? I am now very deliberate with what I articulate verbally...especially with what follows "I am." This simple step—being aware and changing my words—continues to have a lasting impact on my life.
- Dr. Phil's Lesson on How to Be the Star of Your Own Life
Initially, I thought it egocentric and selfish to be the star of my own life, but thankfully, Dr. Phil corrected me! Practicing gratitude for all things at all times has long been my personal indicator that I'm starring in my own life. What Dr. Phil did with this lesson was erase the guilt I'd attached to myself for feeling this way. He made me realize that the only way I can truly thrive is by being the star of my own life.