Wednesday, April 6, 2011

What should I ask Oprah?

By Paula Rizzo, My Life List Member
One week from today, I’ll be checking off one of the biggest items on my life list! I’ll be sitting in the audience of “The Oprah Winfrey Show.” This life goal has been a long time coming for me. Eighteen years to be exact. I’ve always had mentors throughout my journalism career but Oprah is one that I had from early on. 

I would watch her show with my mother every day without missing an episode. When I was 13 years old, I wrote her a letter and actually got a response! She (or rather someone from her staff – I know how this goes) sent me an autographed photo and a personalized letter. I was thrilled, as you can imagine, but my young self never had a clue that I’d have a shot at meeting her one-day.

Visualize Your Goals
I must admit that crossing this item off my list didn’t come without some help.  First off, I’m a list maker. I have a list of all the things I’d like to accomplish – going to the Oprah show is just one of them.  Writing a book, visiting Italy and owning a huge apartment in Manhattan are some others. I think it’s imperative to be able to visualize your goals, even if only on paper.  

I also have my vision board. I’m a huge believer in this. If you can imagine it, you can live it! (Did Oprah say that?) So yes, on my vision board with the photos of a bigger apartment, a fabulous wardrobe and a dream vacation is a picture of Oprah. I have this visual reminder on my closet door and look at it each morning when I get dressed. If nothing else, it makes me smile. 

I also subscribe to the principles in the book, “The Secret.” Quite simply, they get me a seat on a crowded New York City subway every day. If you’ve ever been to NYC, you know this is a small miracle. But I’ve also applied it to bigger things, like going to the Oprah show! I think believing that I was going to get the tickets and visualizing myself in the audience helped, too. My husband thinks this is all nonsense – but I’ve proven him wrong now, haven’t I?

A Little Help From My Friends
My friends also helped me to achieve this goal.  Because as I’ve learned: It’s not what you know, but who you know! My best friend, Danielle, and I have been trying to get tickets for the last season of the Oprah show all year long, to no avail.

We were turned down yet again, this time with a friendly little email telling us both that our names were not chosen in the lottery. But because one of Danielle’s friends from L.A., we are going to the show!  Jessica, who I’ve never met before, was nice enough to put us down as her guests when she was chosen for the ticket lottery! What are the chances of that?! How cool is she? Another principle of “The Secret” is not to worry about how your goals will be accomplished, just know that they will. And there it is! I would have never guessed this one. 

When Danielle told me we got the tickets, I was screaming like an audience member in an “Oprah’s Favorite Things” episode. I’m talking top of my lungs … with that crazy look in my eyes like I was being sent to Australia for free. I’ve spent many years as a line producer for live TV newscasts where breaking news ages you nightly and whatever might go wrong does go wrong. But to my credit, I’ve been told that I’m very calm under pressure in the control room. Not on this day. What were the chances?! There are only 325 spots per show and we were going to be in the audience for one of the final few tapings of Oprah’s very last season. Wow!

Preparing for Chicago
Now that the initial shock is wearing off and we've booked our flight and hotel, I have a week to prepare. I've been making lists of lists that I have to make. I'm a bit neurotic but very efficient.

I never take a trip without a packing list, so I’ve been working on that. I’ve found that if you write down every last thing that you’ll need, you won’t forget anything. I’ve also been writing down recommendations for restaurants in Chicago. This is a culinary city that I want to cash in on!  

My Next Life List Item
As an eternal optimist, I’m thrilled to be going to the show, but I’m banking on being able to meet and speak to Oprah. I’m just putting it out there into the universe – it doesn’t matter how it happens, just that it happens. So to be absolutely prepared for this life-changing moment, I need a list. 

What would I talk with Oprah Winfrey about? I’m making a list of potential questions I might ask her. I refuse to be caught like a deer in headlights if given this opportunity. In life, the more you can prepare for big moments the better. But I need some help with this one. What would you ask Oprah, if given the chance? I appreciate your input and am looking forward to hearing from you. 

Paula Rizzo is Senior Health Producer for Fox News and founder of  She's an Emmy Award winner and attributes much of her success to her compulsive list making. She makes a list about just about anything and started to help others become more organized, focused and efficient while being less stressed.


Danielle said...

You were, in fact, screaming like a Favorite Things episode! I'm glad you will have the list ready for Oprah because I am going to blank out and faint.

Paula Rizzo said...

Agreed -- that's why I always try to be prepared -- b/c you never know how you might react!!!

Bill Starr, CEO, My Life List said...

Paula, What a fantastic post. To meet Oprah is also on My Life List, (Also to have a My Life List series on OWN).

I would ask her: "Oprah, if you could live anywhere else other than the US where would it be?"

So excited for you all.

Paula Rizzo said...

That's a great one Bill! Its on my list!