Meeting Oprah

 Feeling 25 Years of Growth in 20 minutes

It was an inspiring 20 minutes, the time spent with Ms. Oprah and colleagues recently on a beautiful afternoon in New York.

Having just raced from the airport to get to the meet and greet on time, I was hoping I wasn’t looking as harried as I was feeling.   We were gathered in a small room in the Time Warner center after watching the rehearsal for the OWN up front presentation scheduled to take place that evening.

Dressed casually in jeans and a white shirt, Oprah was gracious and welcoming to our group. She wanted to say thank you in person for helping her realize what she believes is her life’s purpose; encourage and inspire people to live the lives they truly desire.

This was the fourth time I had the opportunity to meet Ms. O, but the first time spending as much time with her.  The first time was 25 years ago at the NATPE television program conference when her show was in the early years of syndication.  The Oprah Show was the hottest happening in syndicated programming that year.  Local television stations that didn’t start out believers were lined up to sign up.  The people, specifically women, had spoken and the little black girl from Mississippi had ignited daytime television.  Oprah was making her mark.  Daytime television would never be the same and hasn’t been the same since she left the day part in 2011.

Back then she was wide eyed and gregarious.  High levels of energy and excitement preceded and followed her where ever she went.

She exudes a different type of energy and excitement today.  It is the energy of an accomplished woman who is quite comfortable in her skin and with the place she has arrived in her life.  She has worked long and hard to get there. No longer a syndicated television host she is now the CEO of  a network that bears her initials.  And for the past 14 years, she has also graced the cover of a magazine that bears her name.

The excitement that surrounds her now is the anticipation of a poignant Aha! moment that might be shared from one of the many teacher guests she engages in conversation on her network.  The excitement is what could happen if we embrace our potential and the possibility that we can live the life we want.

Watching and listening to her that afternoon was illustrative of what it is like to be settled into and living one’s purpose.  What it is like to have achieved more than you thought imaginable, which in turn gives you the courage to imagine and accomplish even more.  This is what I felt in her presence this time.

“My gift”, Oprah said, “is my ability to connect with people.”  Her newest project has her very excited in a calm sort of way.  It is the prospect of connecting with her audience in person in different cities and inspiring them to live “The Life You Want”.  She’s never quite done it like this before and she can’t wait, she says.

From the little black girl from Mississippi to the little black girl from the Bronx, it was a powerful, inspiring and affirming 20 minutes.

Its time for you and me to bring our imaginings to life!


Believe and live forward.

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D. Gray-Young, CPC, ELI-MP

Certified Personal and Executive Coach

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