Expect failure at some point in your lives, Oprah Winfrey said to Harvard's graduating class of 2013 Thursday afternoon. How you deal with difficulty will ultimately define your success, she added.
"It doesn't matter how far you might rise because at some point you might stumble," she said before the sea of students dressed in black and crimson robes. "There is no such thing as failure. Failure is just life trying to move us in another direction," added the extremely successful media mogul, who cited her first year at OWN as an experience that left her "stressed" and "frustrated." Though it would not be a story worth sharing without a triumphant ending: "I have turned that network around!" she exclaimed.
"Learn from every mistake," Winfrey said. "Each mistake will force you to learn who you really are. Then figure out what's the next, right move."
The public figure who said she spent much of her television career, "pushing, pushing, pushing myself," pleaded with students to embrace themselves. “When I first started, I had Barbara in my head. I would try to sit like Barbara, talk like Barbara, move like Barbara,” she said. Then it struck her: "I could be a much better Oprah than a pretend Barbara," she joked as the crowd erupted in applause.