There was a time when I was working 20-hour days—doing two shows and the TV series The Women of Brewster Place. It was a blessing that the series was canceled because otherwise I would have dropped. But I came to understand my own limits. Stamina's not just that you're still standing; it's having the dynamism to work well and with grace.
You also have to listen to yourself. Sometimes you need a break to refuel. Yesterday instead of tackling all the regular things that had to be done, I went for a facial, manicure, and pedicure in the middle of the day with no guilt. There were stacks of bills to be paid but I thought, They will all be there when I am done.
When I really feel exhausted, I go to a farm in Indiana that I call my restoration acres. There's nothing I have to do there; I can piddle around, read, or sit on the porch. That gives "me" back to me.
Also, it's important to build a support system. No one does it alone. I work with a group of people who are like family—and their support allows me to maintain my stamina. We're all staministas here at the Oprah team.
At the heart of it all is finding your passion. The most important goal for me is to let people know that life isn't happening to them willy-nilly, that they're the star, that they're playing a major role in their own destiny. Once I started to see that for myself, I thought, I just have to tell everyone. And all the work I do is about getting people to turn up the volume in their life and to see it in Technicolor. If I did not love the work, I would be drained and depleted. My best advice is do what you love.
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