What I Know for Sure
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December 6, 2020
Review by Linda Wall, BA
Book Review – What I Know for Sure
What I Know for Sure by Oprah Winfrey started out as a question asked of her by Gene Siskel in 1998, ‘What do you know for sure?’ Oprah contemplated that question for decades and even had her own column in “O Magazine” based on those reflections for fourteen years. This book is a compilation of the best examinations of her inner wisdom and the wisdom of others.
Oprah touches on so much in this little book. She provides chapters on Joy, Resilience, Connection, Gratitude, Possibility, Awe, and Clarity to name a few.
In the chapter on resilience, during life challenges, Oprah uses the question, “what is this here to teach me?”
On gratitude, Oprah says, “I started out giving thanks for small things, and the more thankful I became, the more my bounty increased. That’s because – for sure – what you focus on expands. When you focus on the goodness in your life, you create more of it.” I know this to be true for myself as I’ve been practicing gratitude daily for the past six years. For someone with a tendency of depression for much of my life, I can honestly say ‘you can’t be depressed and grateful at the same time.’
In the chapter on possibility, Oprah wrote, “My biggest mistakes in life have all stemmed from giving my power to someone else…” In the same chapter, she also wrote: “The whole point of being alive is to become the person you were intended to be, to grow out of and into yourself again and again.”
In the chapter about awe, wonder and spirituality, Oprah writes, “One of the things I often ask God: please show me who I really am. She continued, “One of my favourite life quotes comes from the French philosopher-priest Pierre Teilhard de Chardin: “we are not human beings having a spiritual experience. We Are Spiritual Beings having a human experience.”
I’ll end with this passage that sums up, for me, what we all should ‘know for sure.’ “Seeking the fullest expression of self. That’s the story of my life in 6 words – my personal definition of what I’m all about, at least for now… words I would have used last year don’t apply today. Because if we’re really committed to growth, we never stop discovering new dimensions of self and self-expression.”
This little book really resonated with me. It’s one I revisit every few years. I highly recommend this little gem.
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