3 Important Lessons About Success from Oprah’s Favorite Guest of All Time
There are times when our lives are touched by angels, and the lessons they teach us are meant to permeate every action we take as we traverse the journey of our lives. Meeting and working with Dr. Tererai Trent on her new book, The Awakened Woman, has taught me the power of positive thinking in ways I never thought possible. I wanted to share the three main lessons I’ve learned, and how you can adapt these practices in your own life to achieve what may seem like an impossible dream.
You see, Tererai is from a small cattle-herding village in Zimbabwe where very few girls are given a chance at an education. She taught herself to read and write, while working as a cattle herder and becoming a young mother. She knew there was more to life, and her determination and grit changed the course of her destiny, and for the thousands of girls and boys who now attend the schools she’s built with the help of Oprah.
#1 Plant Your Dreams
Tererai spoke no English, had no high school diploma, and had to steal her brother’s school work and hide with it in order to learn to read and write. She was so determined to be educated, that she risked being beaten just to get a scrap of paper to write down her dreams. She wrote down four dreams: 1. Go to America. 2. Get a bachelor’s degree 3. Get a Master’s Degree 4. Get a PhD.
She couldn’t really know what each of the degrees would mean in the long run, but she imagined they would empower her to never have to be victim to ignorance or violence again. She buried the dreams in a tin can and covered them with a rock. She went to the rock every day and prayed over them. She visualized receiving the degrees and what her life would look like then. She found hope through creating a better life in her mind.
Planting your dreams in the ground and then watering them with your mind’s visualization ability is the first step in making them real. I have always said, “Whatever you plant will grow” as an affirmation and it’s always worked as it clarifies intention and as we know, intention is the key to all growth!
#2 Speak Your Dreams to Make Them Real
One day, when Tererai was only 18, an American woman came to her village. She was visiting on behalf of Hefer International, a nonprofit that gives livestock to the poor in order to increase their ability to make a living. She asked several of the girls from the village what their dreams were and when it was Tererai’s turn she said, “I want to go to America, get a college degree and then a PhD!” Jo Luck, the woman, said, “If you believe it then it is achievable.” This alone motivated Tererai and made her feel that if she could say it, and she believed in it then it would be achievable.
When we speak our dreams, sometimes people tell us they aren’t “realistic” or that we may want to have a “plan B.” Bbut if we speak them in a supportive circle, and we are able to have witnesses who say, “It is achievable”, our and that gives our dreams gain wings. I remember telling my teacher I was going to write a book (I was six) and she said, “Then you will write a book, actually, you’ll write several” and that stuck with me forever. But my dad said, “Writers don’t make money, you’ll need a day job.” That too flavored my ability to believe in my dream — just not in the most productive way. So, watch who you speak your dreams to, ensure they will help you secure them instead of making them shaky with doubt.
#3 Make Your Dreams Sacred by Giving Back
Tererai went to her mom and told her what Jo Luck had said about her dreams. Her mom then gave her the best advice on the planet. “Tererai, these are good dreams, but they will not be sacred until you have a final dream based on helping others.” Tererai realized she wanted an education for herself and her children, but yes, her mom was right. She then wrote down a final dream, to come back to Zimbabwe after her education and build schools for others to become educated and break the cycle of poverty.
Tererai was asked by Oprah’s producers to be on the show and eventually she was on four times. On one of the final times, Oprah asked her what her final dream was. She hadn’t told many people yet. On national television, she told Oprah her final dream was to go back to her village and build schools for the girls so that they may too have access to their dreams.
Oprah then surprised her and said she was going to fund Tererai’s dream and gave her $1.5 million dollars and three years of help through World Vision. Tererai then realized the sacred dream is the most potent.
Sometimes we use the law of attraction and other spiritual techniques to envision what we most want, but we forget that we are only one person. If we truly want to create a powerful new world for ourselves and others, we need to seal the dream with a kiss, a kiss for others’ to be taken care of. We are powerful manifestors, and giving back is our greatest superpower. When we focus on giving back to others, we are given access to miracles.
Tererai is an example of a woman who against all odds, recreated her life and now inspires others to do the same through her work with Tererai International. Thousands of girls and boys have achieved what was once thought impossible because she dared to dream, visualize, speak, and then build the very thing she needed most: A school of her own.
For more information about Tererai Trent and her new book, The Awakened Woman, you can go here: http://www.enlivenbookclub.com/the-awakened-woman