I remember Oprah telling the story about when she first read The Color Purple. She was so moved that she bought the book for everyone and had a backpack full of copies. She handed them out wherever she went.
Then she heard they were making the book into a movie. She had to be in it. But she had never acted before and was working on a news show in Chicago. Producer Quincy Jones was in Chicago for business, and he happened to see her on his hotel television. He put her name forward for the role.
She was able to audition and then heard nothing. She told herself she didn’t get the part and it was because of her weight.
So, she checked herself into a centre for weight control. She remembers running around the track in the rain, tears streaming down her face, and she said out loud, “I surrender.”
Then she heard someone yelling her name from the building. “Oprah! The phone is for you!”
Oprah screamed, “Who is it?”
“It’s Steven Spielberg.”
She took the call. He said she got the part. That her weight was perfect. And to come to the set for rehearsals.
She said she packed up and stopped at Dairy Queen on the way home in case she had lost a pound.
She was thirty-two and it was her first acting role. She earned an Oscar nomination.
What story do we tell ourselves about ourselves? That we are everything or that we are not enough?
If we do all we can to prepare and then surrender to the possibilities, where might our path lead us?