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oprah: what i know for sure

What I Know For Sure - hand

Four years ago today, I was sitting in the audience at Harpo Studios in Chicago, listening to Oprah Winfrey announce, “We’re going to Australia!” Being chosen as one of her Ultimate Viewers was one of the most surreal experiences of my life, one of the most emotional and one for which I will always be truly grateful.

Oprah has been part of my life since she began her show almost 30 years ago, and she remains a huge influence on me today.

Every month, I look forward to reading her “What I Know For Sure” column in O magazine. It’s the first thing I turn to because it’s always thought-provoking and it makes me look at my own life from a different perspective.

Her essays have been revised, updated and collected in a must-have book, What I Know For Sure, which you should buy for you and every woman in your life. I was thrilled to receive the audiobook version which, of course, is read by Oprah herself.

I find myself looking forward to getting in my car now so I can put on one of these four CDs. I must have listened to them a dozen times already, and each time I get something new out of them.

What I Know For Sure - car

Oprah talks about everything from gratitude to possibility, from joy to clarity. She opens her heart, sharing personal stories and revealing her own vulnerabilities. I feel like she’s talking directly to me – a gift which has made millions of people adore her and wish she were their friend.

I could give you a quote that’s inspired me from every one of these gems. But I’d end up pretty much copying the whole book here.

So let me just share a few words of wisdom. These alone are enough to completely change the way you live.

“We are each responsible for our own life. If you’re holding anyone else responsible for your happiness, you are wasting your time.”

“The only way to withstand the quake is to adjust your stance.”

Simple, powerful, life-changing.

I’m so excited that I will be going to see Oprah and Elizabeth Gilbert (another favorite of mine) at Oprah’s Live Your Best Life Weekend in San Jose in November.

What I know for sure is that I will be fully present, taking in their words, grateful to be there and hoping to be able to thank Oprah personally for everything she’s given me.


  1. You’ll be in my town! Message me!

  2. Jennifer Williams says:

    I bet it would have been great to be at one of her live shows. I have not checked out her magazine yet, I keep meaning to but forget when I am at the store. I bet I would love this column.

  3. I’ve watched Oprah for as long as I can remember. Always have been and always will be a fan. I’d love to get a copy of this for myself.

  4. Oprah is all kinds of awesome. I have to get this book!

  5. Jessica @EatSleepBe says:

    I love the positive impact that she has had on your life. And how lucky that you were in the audience on that particular day! She really is one phenomenal woman.

  6. Cant wait to get this book! Make sure you give us an update on how your weekend with Oprah went!

  7. This sounds like an incredible listen – a collection of stories both written and spoken by such an inspiration! I am putting this on my audible.com wish list!!!

  8. Congrats on your upcoming event. Sounds fantastic.

  9. This is awesome. I didn’t know this collection had come out. I don’t get the magazine every month, so these would mostly all be new reads for me. I’m going to add it to my list. Love Oprah!

  10. Oprah is amazing, I wish I could have gone to a live show of hers!

  11. Wow – lucky you! I remember watching that on television too!

  12. I agree: The “What I know for sure” essays are often the very best part of O Magazine (which I still get in print… just can’t give it up!). Oprah is amazing. You are one fortunate fan to have had time with her in Australia! Enjoy your next visit with her — and with Elizabeth Gilbert. What a show that will be!

  13. How awesome. So happy for you. That is amazing!

  14. I love her! And this one is on my reading list! What a great opportunity you have with her!

  15. Congratulations!! How wonderful for you to get to see Oprah Live in San Jose

  16. Lucky you! Oprah is such a positive and insightful person. I will definitely buy the book!

  17. What a an incredible experience! Oprah is so inspiring. Have fun at the taping!

  18. She’s such an inspirational person. I have a friend who saw her in Atlanta (this past weekend, I believe.) What an amazing experience.

  19. I need to catch up on your archives! I had no idea you were one of Oprah’s most awesomest viewer! 😉 Have fun in San Jose! I too love Elizabeth Gilbert.

  20. She is inspiring, positive, smart. Just like you! I am going to get the audio version. Sometimes we need reminders.

  21. Wow! What an amazing experience to be chosen as one of Oprah’s Ultimate Viewers! I’m sure the Live Your Best Life Weekend is going to be amazing!

  22. Okay, first of all…so jealous! But happy for you! What an amazing experience!

  23. I am sure this book is filled with awesome goodies! What an amazing experience!

  24. Lucky you!
    The trip must have been a life changer for sure.
    I too am a huge Oprah fan!
    Thanks for the tip…I will defiantly pick up a copy of the book for myself!

  25. What an awesome experience! I’d love to see Oprah in person!

  26. I have always thought that Oprah was such an inspirational person! I have been wanting to read her book!

  27. Melissa Smith says:

    This sounds like a great book to read. Although being chosen as an Ultimate Viewer would sound even better to me! Lucky you!

  28. I just love simple common sense thinking like that. WOW! How lucky for you! I want to get these cd’s now or read the book. Thanks

  29. Joni White says:

    Oh, thanks Lois, for the idea of the audible version of Oprah’s book. I’m gonna put it on my Christmas wish list! I am looking forward to Oprah talking to me in my little yellow VW Beetle!!!!!! I hope to meet you some day at our Oprah Show Ultimate Viewer Reunion!!!!! 😀

  30. Congratulations! That’s going to be a great time, I’m sure. I really like Oprah, she’s a very inspirational woman.

  31. So, I’m guessing I should get this book. I first saw it on Saturday, and I didn’t buy it, and then I saw it today at Target, but I didn’t buy it… Now here is a blog post about it, guess what, I’m on my way to order it. PS. Totes jealous you got to go to Australia with Oprah… HOW AMAZING IS THAT!

  32. How lucky are you to be able to actually be on one of her shows! Love that quote: We are each responsible for our own life. If you’re holding anyone else responsible for your happiness, you are wasting your time.”. I think a lot of people need to live by this!

  33. I really like those quotes. You forge your own life. Move forward and savor each moment. I love how through your blog I have a sense you do just that.
    What an incredible moment to have been selected!

  34. What an amazing blessing it must be to see Oprah live! She is very inspirational. I agree we are all responsible for our own lives. People who blame their upbringing for their flaws irk me. I am like no, you are just choosing not to try to do better. Now I am not talking about the ones who are trying to overcome their issues. I am talking about the ones making excuses to not atleast try to do better.

  35. I will have to give this a read. It sounds like something that would be a good fit for me.

  36. You totally deserve to be at her show because you are an ultra fan for sure. I love how you soak in her words of wisdom, and boy does she have some good ones.

  37. This is so fantastic! I can’t wait to read about your new adventures. LOVE Oprah!

  38. Isn’t it a wonderful gift to find someone who inspires you so much? Congrats on the upcoming trip!

  39. I saw some chatter from her appearance in Atlanta and everyone said it was amazing!

  40. Have fun and enjoy every minute of her show. I will definitely be buying her book of essays.

  41. Have a great trip. I love Oprah and would love to see her sometime.

  42. Have a wonderful time! I’ve always liked Oprah, she’s such a positive woman and a good example for everyone.

  43. Not to make you feel old, but you’ve been following Oprah as long as I’ve been alive. I think she is a wonderful and brilliant woman! Growing up watching her on tv and now reading her magazine and watching her on her network is such a treat! Have fun in San Jose!

  44. You’re such a lucky lady! First of all, for making it into Oprah’s show (so jealous), then for winning a trip to Australia (even more jealous!), and you will get to meet her again. Wow!

  45. I like reading those “What I Know For Sure” columns every month. I heard this book was being published and wanted to get a copy.

  46. Ann Bacciaglia says:

    I’m a fan of Oprah’s, but never really read “O’ magazine. I’m starting to wonder what I’ve been missing. I’m going to have to buy this book for myself…and many of my friends. What a wonderful Xmas present. Thank you so much for letting us know about this.

  47. I love Oprah. I’ve gotta pick that book up.

  48. Denise Gabbard (@DeniseGabbard) says:

    How awesome that you are going to see her in San Jose! I am so jealous…would love to be there too.

  49. Oprah has been a big part of my life too. I remember watching her show while preparing dinner with my Mom growing up.

  50. What a fun trip that will be for you in November. I’m glad you get to go and look forward to hearing about it. 🙂

  51. Wow! Oprah had been a part of my life for a really long time too but I never had the opportunity like that or even knew anyone who did. Just saw it all on TV! You are so lucky to have had that chance! I hope you have a fantastic time! I can’t wait to read all about it on your blog!

  52. This is amazing! It’s amazing how certain people were destined to be in our lives somehow.

  53. Being present and taking all of this in is a gift…can’t wait to learn more. ENJOY!

  54. Lois, you have the best giveaways! Would love to own this book!

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