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Posted in Journey to Joy, Life, Reviews/Giveaways | 21 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


  1. Great review. I’ve heard a lot of talk about how amazing and inspiring Oprah is. Her book clearly spoke to you, your review is so passionate. :) #AllAboutYou
    Morgan Prince recently posted…Who Inspires You?

  2. This is a beautiful post, and so very powerful too! I love the quotes and the fact that going back over her own writing helped Oprah to find what she really did know about herself. Now that is inspirational… and isn’t that what we are trying to do ourselves, each day? As she says, it’s getting back up no matter how many times we fall and knowing who we are and being proud to say “This is who I am”. Love it, thanks for sharing xx
    Amanda recently posted…Moving Home: How Do You Relocate A Garden?

  3. I am loving the sound of this book! I’m a huge Oprah fan, and have been so ever since watching The Color Purple as a kid. Although he gets slated, I agree with what Michael Moore said in Stupid White Men – sheshould be President, wouldn’t that be a thing :-)
    Reneé @ Mummy Tries recently posted…February Melfie

  4. Oh yes!! Well you know I obviously love this post so, so much. In fact I have to say a big thank you, because thanks to your recommendation, I bought the Oprah book and I absolutely love it.

    It is quite possibly the best book I have ever read from an inspirational point of view. So SO much of the book resonated with me, it had me in tears at times. I adore Oprah…she was my first celebrity idol…and continue to be inspired by here, many many years on.

    Absolutely love this series. You’re a very inspiring woman yourself! :) With love X

  5. Beautiful touching and wise words especially about enjoying every moment, my goal for this year and always. You should get a pin button on all the images and quotes and ideal for others to pin on to Wise words boards, there are squillons on them on Pinterest including my own. Gorgeous post! You inspiring us all as Oprah does with your own journey, thank you x

  6. Wow, Oprah! I Love her – I remember watching her programmes when they first aired in the UK too and completely agree, her honesty really shines through.
    #2 really resonates with me – getting back on your feet no matter how many times we get knocked down. My family had a bit of a rough day on Saturday and it really made me question whether ‘finding joy’ this year was possible (I know, I was feeling dramatic) but on Sunday we all got back on our feet and pulled it back – that’s what families do!
    Great post!
    JoyandPops recently posted…My Deliciously Ella Clean Eating Experiment

  7. Great review! I definitely need to take some of this advice and remember it. A post to bookmark.
    Kaye recently posted…

    • Thank you Kaye for your kind words! x

  8. I really enjoyed your review – it shines with the joy and enthusiasm for seeking it that you gained from it. I plan to read this book soon, but meanwhile, thanks for the great quotes. You’re right, we shouldn’t overuse the words, but they are, of course, inspirational. x
    Jess Paterson recently posted…

    • Thanks so much Jess glad you liked it! x

    • Thank you honey! It’s very special x

  9. Thoroughly enjoyed this post, thank you, will be putting Oprah’s book to the top of my reading list :)

    • Hope you love it as much as I do Gabrielle x

  10. I’m headed to my local bookstore as soon as they open to pick this book up. I love Oprah. Thanks for the great endorsement.
    I’m currently enjoying one by a blogger, called “Carry on Warrior : The Power of Embracing Your Messy Beautiful Life” by Glennon Doyle Melton. You might check out her blog before buying the book. She’s a bit unique.

    • It really is a wonderful book Heidi. Thanks for mentioning ‘Carry On Warrier’ – I’ll definitely check our her blog! x

  11. I love Oprah, and feel that she has a lot to offer in an intelligent, experienced and mature way – I would love to read her book, so may be popping out to get it.

    I am currently revisiting To Kill a Mockingbird as it made a big impression on me when I read it back in my school days!
    Molly @ The Move to America recently posted…Hershey Bans British Chocolate

    • I agree Molly and I’m sure you’d love What I Know For Sure – all that experience is right there in the pages to soak up! I read TO Kill A Mocking Bird as a child too and it is an amazing book – you’ve inspired me to pick it up again! x

  12. This book gives me life. I think it may be the most thoughtful, generous and life changing gifts I’ve received in many years. I’m forever thankful to you for sending this to me.
    I’ve been bookmarking quotes which hit me between the eyes as I read through it. Mine mirror yours but here is one I’d add.
    “A relationship built on love feels good. It should bring your joy – not just some of the time but most of the time. It should never require you losing your voice, your self respect or your dignity”

    This is true of friendship as much as it is your partner. Love is key!! xxxxx
    Tinuke recently posted…Happy Monday #embracehappy

    • Oh I’m so glad it speaks to you as it did to me Tin. You’re right that is a special quote – and for me it shows that everyone will take something out of this book according to their own needs. Happy birthday again and hewge hugs! x



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