I believe that to really live a fulfilling life, you should never stop learning brand new things. But if taking new classes conjure up nightmares of high school exams, you’re probably thinking too hard. For every single person in the world, there are things that interest them, that fascinate them, that inspire them to change, to grow, to rebuild, and to think in new ways.
Lately, I’ve been participating and viewing Oprah Winfrey’s LifeClass program. Every day, a new hour of “class” begins on her new network, OWN, where she’ll cover life topics, such as “letting go of the past and forgiving” and “the power of your ego self,” all of which everyone can take something away from. She’ll show clips from her past show episodes, where audience members were going through and dealing with the current topic in their own lives, and she’ll also share her own stories of trials and triumphs along the way.
After the hour of show ends, viewers can log onto her website under a special LifeClass section and write in a digital journal and answer questions pertaining to the topic that night. These questions aren’t directive- there isn’t any thoughtless yes or no’s here. Each question really makes you think back to how you felt about a certain situation, how you feel about yourself, those around you, and so on. For a few of the episodes and “class work” afterward, I’ve had to face things from my past that I’ve tried my best to shove down deep inside, things I didn’t dare deal with and feelings I was too scared to feel.
The more days I spend, reflecting over the questions and think about the world that I’ve created for myself, the more in tune I am with others and how I can relate to them. Every person has a different story behind them- we all react and act in different ways, we all have different likes, interests, and beliefs. It’s a really miraculous thing when you remember that even in all of those differences, we all have an inner core that craves the same things: acceptance, love, contentment with life, happiness (in all forms), and resiliency. I’m looking forward to doing more work on myself. Here: some of the questions she’s been asking us to answer online (don’t worry, she doesn’t read these answers. Thankfully):
- What memories of your own failure or bad behavior do you rerun in your mind? This holds you hostage to the past. What have you learned that will help you do better? Focus on that instead.
- Where are you condemning yourself for not doing better when you truly didn’t know better? What can you do now that would help you forgive yourself?
- Think of an area in your life where you wish you could do better. Think of someone who’s overcome that problem. If you could get an encouraging text from that person today, what would they say?