Billionaire mogul Oprah Winfrey says she’s the happiest person she knows — and it has nothing to do with being rich, famous, or successful.
To the contrary, Winfrey has overcome a traumatic childhood that statistically should have made her poor, depressed, and hopeless.
Oprah Winfrey: Whatever You Focus On Expands
In her new book The Path Made Clear, Oprah says being resilient in the face of setbacks and having a purpose in life is the key to happiness.
“Your life is not static,” Winfrey writes. “Every decision, setback, or triumph is an opportunity to identify the seeds of truth that make you the wondrous human being that you are.”
She continued: “I’m not talking just about what you do for a living. When you pay attention to what feeds your energy. You move in the direction of the life for which you were intended.”
Raped at Age 9 and Pregnant at 14
People may think it’s easy for Winfrey to say she’s happy now since she has every material luxury and the accompanying freedom to do whatever she wants.
However, it bears noting that Oprah overcame childhood sexual abuse, rape at age 9, teen pregnancy, poverty, and an unstable upbringing to become a self-made billionaire who has inspired millions of people around the world.
“I was raped at nine years old by a cousin, then again by another family member, and another family member,” Winfrey once said on her show.
‘I Don’t Know Anyone Happier’
As she looks back on her life at age 65, Oprah says she’s happier than anyone she knows — and that’s a lot of people.
During her 40-year TV career, Winfrey has interviewed countless celebrities, including actors, supermodels, CEOs, and pro athletes who are admired worldwide.
“I don’t know anyone happier,” Winfrey told British Vogue. “I don’t know anyone who has a better life or had a better life. I look at other people and I think they look happy. But not as happy as me.”
When Oprah declares her happiness, it’s not gloating. It’s a testament to her longstanding belief that life is what you make of it.
Being Grateful Makes You Happy
Winfrey says her best days are spent lounging at her spectacular $90 million mansion in Montecito, California, where she gardens and relaxes with her dogs and her longtime boyfriend Stedham Graham.
“I can go weeks and never turn on a television,” Oprah says. “I’ve gone a summer not having it on. My guilty pleasure is I do nothing.”
Simple Pleasures Bring Happiness
While many people spend their days scurrying around looking for things to entertain or amuse themselves, Winfrey says just looking out a window at her garden or reading a good book fills her with joy.
“Most people don’t even know what makes them happy,” she said. “I can just sit on my porch and I’ll start reading a book. I can just take it all in. I can just be.”
This type of inner peace is something that has taken Oprah years to cultivate. Winfrey has talked to countless self-help gurus, religious leaders, and happiness experts over the years, and come to the realization that true happiness comes from within.
Oprah Bucks the ‘Beauty Myth’
Oprah Winfrey even dispels the myth that you need to be beautiful in order to be happy (or successful on television).
As HVY reported, an economics professor says his 20 years of research shows that beautiful people earn more money and are happier than their plainer counterparts.
Meanwhile, Winfrey has repeatedly said that she became successful despite not being conventionally pretty. In fact, she said that not being a sex symbol forced her to develop her other talents.
— HVY (@HVYCOM) April 14, 2019
Looking back, Oprah is grateful for her tragic life experiences and the inner strength they gave her to make her the person she eventually became.
Everyone suffers tragedies, disappointments, and setbacks in life. But you have to overcome them in order to survive and thrive. “You’ve got to lean to the happiness,” Oprah said.