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My Full Circle, Aha Moment (the day I met Oprah)!

I have been an Oprah fan for as long as I can remember.  My family, my friends, even strangers could probably tell you that Oprah has been a part of my life for… well, forever.

Back when she had her talk show (the good ole days), I tried year after year to get tickets.  If you ever tried, you know that it was next to impossible to score these golden tickets!  However, there was another way to get the chance to be a part of an Oprah show and that was to write in for a particular show topic on her website.

One day in October, 2005, there was a particular show topic that caught my eye.  The producers were looking for people who wanted to help make someone’s holiday brighter.  All it said was to write in if you would be interested and why you would want to be a part of this show.  No further details were given.

Two years earlier my dad had passed away.  He was and will always be the greatest example of using your life to serve others and show acts of kindness.  I have always tried to do the same and after he passed away, I looked for ways to make even more of a difference.

I wrote in telling my dad’s story and how I would love to be a part of this experience, no matter what it involved.  The next week, there was an update on Oprah’s site telling of the overwhelming response and they would give more information soon.  I knew my chances were slim and honestly, I did not think much more of it.

Two weeks later I received a phone call from an Oprah show producer stating my email was one of the ones chosen and they wanted me and a guest to come be a part of the audience for this show!  Needless to say, I was the happiest guy alive!

A few days later, my sister and I were on our way to Chicago!  I think we did the happy dance the entire way there!  The next morning, we were second in line outside of Harpo studios and a few hours later we were sitting in the audience anxiously awaiting Oprah to come and sit on her famous couch!

I could not believe this was happening!

The energy in the studio was electrifying because we were all there for one reason – and yet, we did not know the full extent of what was about to happen.  Oprah came out (I was so excited I think I cried a little) and announced that she was giving all of us $1,000 to do something nice for a complete stranger!  She also gave us a video camera to record our experiences with and invited us back for a second show to share what happened!

I was elated! This was a dream come true!  My sister and I quickly took action and found a couple in our hometown who had recently adopted three children from a very bad situation and were in need of financial help.  We were able to turn our $1,000 into $4,000 and surprise this very well-deserved family with a Target shopping spree, groceries, and paying off some of their debt.

It was one of the greatest experiences of my life!  The hugs and overwhelming gratitude that we received from this family was like no other.  My sister and I went back for second show and were able to hear the stories of others who had made such an incredible impact on someone’s life.  It was such a unique experience to share with people from all over the country!

After we returned home it hit me what had actually happened.  It is also why I share this story with all of you.  I had wanted to attend an Oprah show for years, but could never get tickets.  I had the privilege of being the son of a man who impacted so many lives and motivated me to always do more with my life.  My dad passed away in 2004 and in January of 2005, I wrote down that one of my goals would be to somehow use my life in a bigger way to impact others.  I had no idea how that would look in my life.

In October of 2005, I took the first step of writing into the Oprah show and was actually chosen!  I didn’t go to a random show.  I was picked to be a part of a show that would make such a difference in the lives of others!  And to do this as a way of honoring my dad’s life just made it all the more meaningful.

It truly was a full circle moment in my life.

That experience continues to affect me today, almost 10 years later, and how I live out my life.  My encouragement to you?  Dream big.  Believe in your dreams.  When an opportunity presents itself, take it.  Be open to using your life in ways much bigger than your original dream.

Have you ever had a full circle moment?  I would love to hear about it!


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