• Sonia Jackson

What if Hardships are Our Foundations?

Sometimes we look at the hardships in our history as the reason why we haven’t done more, got more, been more.

“I wish I had her life,” my friend was pointing to the picture of Oprah on the cover of O Magazine. I understand the wish. Oprah Winfrey is one of the most influential, successful and richest people in the world today; multi-award-winning talk show host, actress, producer, philanthropist is only a glimpse of her empire. Kind, generous, driven.

Oprah’s history, however, wasn’t always easy: born into poverty in rural Mississippi to a teenage single mother, grew up in Milwaukee and was repeatedly molested by family and a family friend, was a runaway, became a teenage mother only to have her son died in infancy.

But even with considerable hardship as a child, Oprah’s past didn’t stop her from becoming the powerhouse she is today. She found a way to her father and excelled as an honors student in high school, and won an oratory contest which secured her a full scholarship to college. Her current net worth is estimated at $2.9 billion.

Oprah’s history of hardships became the foundation on which she built a life of humanitarianism and entrepreneurism and became our best friend.

We may not all create a net worth in the billions or, maybe, we might surpass it but one thing seems certain. If we dwell on our hardships, that’s all we’ll see and we’ll get more. But if we put the hardships behind us, underneath us, they can become the foundation upon which we can build a platform where we can reach for the stars.

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