Oprah Winfrey: Take Responsibility


The combination of passion and faith will take you far. Steve Jobs needed to have a lot of faith in himself and his mission to make Apple successful.

Oprah Winfrey has also enjoyed massive success. She places a premium on personal responsibility. Let’s see what Oprah can teach us in this lesson. She once said:


“I don’t think of myself as a poor deprived ghetto girl who made good. I think of myself as somebody who from an early age knew I was responsible for myself, and I had to make good.”

~Oprah Winfrey


Oprah Winfrey is a one-of-a-kind businesswoman, talk show host, actress, and media mogul who now owns a television network. Winfrey focuses on how she took responsibility for her own life at an early age. In this quote, Winfrey stresses that she never thought of herself as someone who was “poor” or “deprived.” She chose not to see herself as disadvantaged in any way.

Instead, she regarded herself as equal to everyone else and, like anyone else, knew she was the one responsible for her own life. Even as a young person, she was compelled to do something with her life. She knew no one else would do it for her.

Winfrey brings home the importance of taking control of your own life. She viewed her personal sense of responsibility as the key to “making good.”

How to Apply Oprah Winfrey’s Tip to Your Life


Regardless of your background, you can be successful if you take responsibility for your own future.

Consider these ideas:

  1. Circumstances don’t control your future. Refuse to allow your personal situation to color your sense of who you truly are or what you can accomplish.
    • Instead, view yourself as capable of achieving anything you set out to accomplish.
    • Seek solutions to your challenges so you can keep moving forward toward your goals.
  2. Your success doesn’t depend on luck, where you live, or whether you’re rich or poor. It does depend, however, on how you step up to take responsibility for yourself. Avoid blaming others, making excuses, or just wishing things will get better.

Taking responsibility is easier when you think positively. Thomas Jefferson advocated positive thinking, which will be covered in the next lesson.

Here’s what you need to do today:

  • Make a list of the excuses you tell yourself to justify not taking action toward your goals.
  • Now, imagine yourself as a highly responsible person that would never rely on excuses. How would you feel and think if you were that person? What would you do differently?