5 quotes from Oprah's new series that will inspire you and start your week off right.

Two years ago, Oprah's fledgling TV network OWN was struggling with lackluster content, disappointing ratings, and quite a few critics.

But last night, OWN aired what is being hailed as a groundbreaking show, one that trended worldwide and garnered loads of critical acclaim.

How did Oprah turn the ship around?


As this quote from an interview with The Grio explains, she saw beyond the challenges to pursue her passion.

The result, which debuted last night, was the first episode of the seven-part docu-series "Belief."

The stunningly beautiful documentary explores faith and religious traditions around the world through compelling individual stories. Oprah paid for the series out of pocket when no one else believed in it. And she worked on it nonstop forthree years.

How inspiring is that? Now, sure, most of us don't have the luxury of investing millions of dollars in our dreams. And perhaps the fruits of our hard work won't be written about in The New York Times because, you know, we're not Oprah.

But, like Oprah, we can all approach each day with a commitment to finding passion in our lives. We can believe in our vision in the face of doubt. And we can use that creative momentum to make a difference in the world.

If that's not enough motivation for you, here are four quotes from last night's episode that just might give you the extra oomph you need to get up and win this week:

1. From Cha Cha, a 19-year-old college sophomore who looked for healing in her Christianity after being raped:

No matter what has happened to you, no matter how you feel, no matter how others tell you to feel about it, you are still beautiful. In fact, Beyoncé had it right. You are flawless. Period.

2. From Reshma, a 30-year-old Indian-American Chicagoan who traveled to find spiritual awakening through her native Hindu traditions:

Though traveling the world is certainly eye-opening, you don't have to travel the world to find what you need to be fulfilled and to thrive. You got this.

3. From Mendel, a 12-year-old Orthodox Jewish boy in Budapest, preparing for his bar mitzvah:

Sometimes you have to give up the old you — old habits, environments, comfort zones, relationships, ways of seeing yourself — in order to grow. It may be painful and new, but reaching the next level is worth it.

4. From Terry, a dying Aboriginal elder, passing on the last of his ancestors' traditions to his 11-year-old grandson.

We stand on the shoulders of giants. Remembering the stories of those who came before us can give us the identity, strength, and pride we need to survive whatever comes our way.

The "Belief" series, which airs every night this week through Saturday, Oct. 24, was so much more than motivating quotes.

Make sure to check it out. But in the meantime, let these quotes help you OWN (pun unapologetically intended) your own passion and dreams today.

Images courtesy of John Scully, Walden University, Ingrid Scully
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Since March of 2020, over 29 million Americans have been diagnosed with COVID-19, according to the CDC. Over 540,000 have died in the United States as this unprecedented pandemic has swept the globe. And yet, by the end of 2020, it looked like science was winning: vaccines had been developed.

In celebration of the power of science we spoke to three people: an individual, a medical provider, and a vaccine scientist about how vaccines have impacted them throughout their lives. Here are their answers:

John Scully, 79, resident of Florida

Photo courtesy of John Scully

When John Scully was born, America was in the midst of an epidemic: tens of thousands of children in the United States were falling ill with paralytic poliomyelitis — otherwise known as polio, a disease that attacks the central nervous system and often leaves its victims partially or fully paralyzed.

"As kids, we were all afraid of getting polio," he says, "because if you got polio, you could end up in the dreaded iron lung and we were all terrified of those." Iron lungs were respirators that enclosed most of a person's body; people with severe cases often would end up in these respirators as they fought for their lives.

John remembers going to see matinee showings of cowboy movies on Saturdays and, before the movie, shorts would run. "Usually they showed the news," he says, "but I just remember seeing this one clip warning us about polio and it just showed all these kids in iron lungs." If kids survived the iron lung, they'd often come back to school on crutches, in leg braces, or in wheelchairs.

"We all tried to be really careful in the summer — or, as we called it back then, 'polio season,''" John says. This was because every year around Memorial Day, major outbreaks would begin to emerge and they'd spike sometime around August. People weren't really sure how the disease spread at the time, but many believed it traveled through the water. There was no cure — and every child was susceptible to getting sick with it.

"We couldn't swim in hot weather," he remembers, "and the municipal outdoor pool would close down in August."

Then, in 1954 clinical trials began for Dr. Jonas Salk's vaccine against polio and within a year, his vaccine was announced safe. "I got that vaccine at school," John says. Within two years, U.S. polio cases had dropped 85-95 percent — even before a second vaccine was developed by Dr. Albert Sabin in the 1960s. "I remember how much better things got after the vaccines came out. They changed everything," John says.

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When "bobcat" trended on Twitter this week, no one anticipated the unreal series of events they were about to witness. The bizarre bobcat encounter was captured on a security cam video and...well...you just have to see it. (Read the following description if you want to be prepared, or skip down to the video if you want to be surprised. I promise, it's a wild ride either way.)

In a North Carolina neighborhood that looks like a present-day Pleasantville, a man carries a cup of coffee and a plate of brownies out to his car. "Good mornin!" he calls cheerfully to a neighbor jogging by. As he sets his coffee cup on the hood of the car, he says, "I need to wash my car." Well, shucks. His wife enters the camera frame on the other side of the car.

So far, it's just about the most classic modern Americana scene imaginable. And then...

A horrifying "rrrrawwwww!" Blood-curdling screaming. Running. Panic. The man abandons the brownies, races to his wife's side of the car, then emerges with an animal in his hands. He holds the creature up like Rafiki holding up Simba, then yells in its face, "Oh my god! It's a bobcat! Oh my god!"

Then he hucks the bobcat across the yard with all his might.

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Images courtesy of John Scully, Walden University, Ingrid Scully
True

Since March of 2020, over 29 million Americans have been diagnosed with COVID-19, according to the CDC. Over 540,000 have died in the United States as this unprecedented pandemic has swept the globe. And yet, by the end of 2020, it looked like science was winning: vaccines had been developed.

In celebration of the power of science we spoke to three people: an individual, a medical provider, and a vaccine scientist about how vaccines have impacted them throughout their lives. Here are their answers:

John Scully, 79, resident of Florida

Photo courtesy of John Scully

When John Scully was born, America was in the midst of an epidemic: tens of thousands of children in the United States were falling ill with paralytic poliomyelitis — otherwise known as polio, a disease that attacks the central nervous system and often leaves its victims partially or fully paralyzed.

"As kids, we were all afraid of getting polio," he says, "because if you got polio, you could end up in the dreaded iron lung and we were all terrified of those." Iron lungs were respirators that enclosed most of a person's body; people with severe cases often would end up in these respirators as they fought for their lives.

John remembers going to see matinee showings of cowboy movies on Saturdays and, before the movie, shorts would run. "Usually they showed the news," he says, "but I just remember seeing this one clip warning us about polio and it just showed all these kids in iron lungs." If kids survived the iron lung, they'd often come back to school on crutches, in leg braces, or in wheelchairs.

"We all tried to be really careful in the summer — or, as we called it back then, 'polio season,''" John says. This was because every year around Memorial Day, major outbreaks would begin to emerge and they'd spike sometime around August. People weren't really sure how the disease spread at the time, but many believed it traveled through the water. There was no cure — and every child was susceptible to getting sick with it.

"We couldn't swim in hot weather," he remembers, "and the municipal outdoor pool would close down in August."

Then, in 1954 clinical trials began for Dr. Jonas Salk's vaccine against polio and within a year, his vaccine was announced safe. "I got that vaccine at school," John says. Within two years, U.S. polio cases had dropped 85-95 percent — even before a second vaccine was developed by Dr. Albert Sabin in the 1960s. "I remember how much better things got after the vaccines came out. They changed everything," John says.

Keep Reading Show less