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.
"You will find true success and happiness if you have only one goal. And that is this," she divulged. "To fulfill the highest, most truthful expression of yourself as a human being. You want to max out your humanity. By using your energy to lift yourself up, your family, and the people around you," she pleaded with the graduating group.
Oprah's current net worth is valued at $2.7 billion. Forbes listed the media mogul at No. 11 in its list of the most powerful women in the world. Winfrey received an honorary degree from the illustrious university in Cambridge early Thursday morning. She shared the moment as "a defining milestone."