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Posted in Journey to Joy, Life, Reviews/Giveaways | 45 comments

What I know For Sure: How to be inspired every day

What I know For Sure: How to be inspired every day


Yesterday was my friend’s birthday and I sent her a book. A  book that entered my life at just the right time. A book that, along with three others, kick started my Journey to Joy this year.

But this one is a very special book… because it is imbibed with the magic that is OPRAH.

What I Know For Sure

Oprah Winfrey. Just typing that name inspires me!

Because we might, I might, bandy the word inspirational around a lot these days but it should probably be reserved for people like Ms Winfrey, placed on a claret velvet cushion and polished daily just so that when we do use it, it really means something.

Oprah Everett Collection

I started watching Oprah’s shows when they were first broadcast in the UK and I knew then that there was something magical about her. There’s an essence, a quality, a truth, that shines through her words. I always felt like she was being honest, you know?

What I Know For Sure is a culmination of 14 years of columns written by Oprah in her O magazine. Reading back all those columns, these nuggets of inspiration, of truth, was a journey for Oprah herself.

I instantly remembered wracking my brain and searching my soul, sitting up late and waking up early, all to figure out what I’ve come to understand about the things that matter in life, things like joy, resilience, awe, connection, gratitude and possibility – Oprah

Each of the book’s chapters collects together what Oprah has learned about these areas – when I realised the first chapter was JOY, my word for 2015, it definitely felt like there was some kind of karma at work!

What I Know For Sure - Joy

There are lessons in this book that I need to explore more fully. Lessons like the one that Oprah learned herself about intention from Gary Zukav’s The Seat of the Soul; that every action, thought and feeling we have is motivated by an intention and that we need to become more aware of the intentions that inform our experiences so that we can understand that cause and effect. Through this understanding, Gary believes, comes choice.

Deep right? I know. But there’s a real nugget of wisdom there that I want to unpack! I’ve written before about choosing JOY rather than expecting it to just arrive in my lap and on so many pages in this book that wisdom is echoed back to me.

Before I leave you to your weekend let me share 5 of my favourite inspirational quotes from the book with you – I’ve added emphasis to the parts that resonate SO much with me:

#1 I hope that you aren’t so wrapped up in nonessential stuff that you forget to really enjoy yourself – because this moment is about to be over Oprah

I LOVE this quote because it speaks to being in the moment, something that I’m acutely aware of NOT doing. This moment is about to be over. So, so powerful. Let’s make a pact to really live in each moment and remember that this moment is the only one we know we have for sure.

#2 The true measure of your courage is not whether you reach your goal – it’s whether you decide to get back on your feet no matter how many times you’ve failed Oprah

Some of my goals find me starting over almost every day! Like not being a shouty Mum, like rising about drama and frustration, like seeing the joy in the small things. This quote reminds me to be kind to myself and not give up.

#3 Everything you do and say shows who you are. Let it be the truth – Oprah

Wow. This one hits me right between the eyes and makes me catch my breath. Be aware, be present and be conscious because we’re modelling how to live for our children right here, right now.

#4 I know for sure that what we dwell on is who we become – as a woman thinks, so she is Oprah

This quote brings me back to the lessons I have learned through Alisa Frank’s Cut the Crap and Feel Amazing about visualisation and seeing the positive to make it happen. Our negative thoughts and words are so poisonous to ourselves and to others.

#5 I was once afraid of people saying, “Who does she think she is?” Now I have the courage to stand and say, “This who I am.” – Oprah

And so I have come full circle and returned to the word INSPIRATION. How amazing would it be for us all to stand up and say this out loud in front of all the nay-sayers, the unsupportive and negative people in our lives? But wait, let’s go further. Let’s stand in front of the mirror each day and say this to OURSELVES!

Joy book stack

I LOVE What I Know For Sure. I read it almost every day and when I get to the end I start all over again. I’ve bought copies for my Mother, my Sisters and my girlfriends. Those nuggets of wisdom need sharing!

I hope that, on her birthday, my friend found a measure of joy in What I Know For Sure. What I know for sure is that I will continue to read it for the daily inspiration that Oprah has gifted to us all.

 Have you written a post that makes you smile? I’d love you to link it up over at my Share The Joy linky – all genres welcome, new posts or old favourites. Let’s share the joy together!

Share The Joy Linky

 Oprah image credit: Everett Collection /

Linking up with Welcome to the Weekend at Claire Justine, Post Comment Love at Verily Victoria Vocalises, Sunday’s Best at Mother 2 Mother, All About You at Mama and More, Brilliant Blog Posts at Honest Mum, Give Thanks Thursday at Mummy From The Heart and The List at Mum’s Days


  1. Gosh, this sounds blinking amazing!! I’ve just tried to order on amazon but had a problem with the payment, I’ll definitely go back and get it though, and the cut the crap one. It sounds like I need that in my life too!!

    Great review and thank you for linking up to #TheList xxx
    hannah Mums’ Days recently posted…Rose Petal Sensory Play for Valentines!

  2. That is a truly inspirational post! Your passion comes through very clearly when I read your words.
    I thinks choosing a word like JOY to follow you throughout the year is very brave. It is sometimes so much easier to envelope yourself with numbness and misery – especially in the cold and dark winter months.
    Thank you for writing this post. You have inspired me to search for inspiration in my life xx
    Joanna recently posted…5 Reason’s why I don’t post pictures of my son online

  3. Isn’t it wonderful when you find a book that speaks to you? One with so much wisdom in that you can’t take it all in and have to keep re-reading it. Thanks for sharing this I shall definitely buy a copy J
    Juliet McG recently posted…

  4. Thank you. It was delightful and important to read this. I missed out on seeing Oprah at the Jaipur Literature festival because she was so popular that it was dangerous! I have always appreciated her honesty and determination and will also be giving this book as a present!
    Menai recently posted…

  5. This empowering post really raised the hairs on my arms, such wise words and ones we must remember. You should add a Pin it button to all your images to make it easy for others to pin. The Wise Words boards are hugely popular there, I have one too. I love this HUGELY: #5 I was once afraid of people saying, “Who does she think she is?” Now I have the courage to stand and say, “This who I am.” – Oprah. You are a shining star Michelle x
    HonestMum recently posted…A Wintry Walk in Vertbaudet

  6. It sounds very good Michelle, a couple of those quotes really speak to me and echo lessons I know and need to remember. Mich x
    Michelle Twin Mum recently posted…



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