‘Becoming’ Your True Self: 10 Life Lessons by Michelle Obama

7 minute read
Michelle Obama

A Lady who wears many hats and has made her impact on the world’s powerful nation, Michelle Obama takes pride in being the United State’s first African-American first lady. A mother, wife, attorney and author, she has proved herself gracefully in every role. Also known as the ‘Boss Woman’, Michelle Obama was born on January 17, 1964, to parents who had ancestors born in slavery. She graduated from  Princeton University and then went to Harvard Law School to become a lawyer. Be it her job, family or children, Michelle Obama lived a life with many uncertain and difficult decisions to make. But with each step she took, she learned newer ways to improve herself and create a legacy for people to look up to. Her obstacles and hardships have taught her many lessons and morals, among which, let’s look at 10 life lessons by Michelle Obama for us to appreciate and implement.

Be Humble and Treat Others Equally

“We learned about gratitude and humility – that so many people had a hand in our success, from the teachers who inspired us to the janitors who kept our school clean… and we were taught to value everyone’s contribution and treat everyone with respect.”

The first life lesson by Michelle Obama is to know your roots and be humble. Growing up witnessing discrimination and partiality against the people of her race, Michelle Obama knows the value and importance of being treated equally. Apart from racial discrimination, Michelle also emphasizes being humble to the people at work. Whenever given the stage, she never fails to acknowledge people at every position who have contributed to society as a whole.

Own Yourself

Michelle Obama once stated, “There is ‘no one right way to be human’. Don’t just share your success stories, stress on how you got there. Share your barriers, your flaws, and own them. No one has had a life filled with unicorns and rainbows. You never know who might get inspired by your journey and strive to do better. She also mentions a feeling of “otherness” in the community. But soon she realized every person is an ‘other’ person in their own way. Vulnerability helps you connect with others in a better manner than being too strong. People relate to you and feel comfortable in your aura.

Don’t Think What Others Think of You

“I am coming down from the mountaintop to tell every young person that is poor and working-class, and has been told regardless of the color of your skin that you don’t belong, don’t listen to them. They don’t even know how they got at those seats”

To find your true identity and explore yourself, the most crucial of all life lessons by Michelle Obama is to never bother with what others think of you. How can you think out of the box when you still feel the need to impress people in it? As normal beings, she too felt the need to be validated especially owing to where she came from. She often thought to herself ‘Am I Enough?’ But as she grew and faced reality, she realized that those people didn’t even deserve validation themselves.

Give Others the Same Opportunity you Received

“Both in the private as well as in the workplace domain, it is important to realize that nobody is entitled to a certain job or position. My story could have been anyone’s story.”

Having had a dignified position in several places, Michelle Obama knows how important it is to lend a hand to the people who need assistance. Once you reach a position of power, don’t forget the road you took. Guide others in a similar way you guided yourself. People remember goodness and it surely comes back in unimaginable ways. When asked about Barack Obama, she mentioned, “Barack knows the American Dream because he’s lived it…and he wants everyone in this country to have that same opportunity, no matter who we are, or where we’re from, or what we look like, or who we love.”

Overcome Fear

“Learning how to overcome fear, or learning how to live with fear and work through it is one of the keys to success and growth”

An important piece of advice among the 10 life lessons by Michelle Obama is overcome your fear. Fear is one of the greatest obstacles between where you stand now and what you can achieve. Many skilled people have lost huge opportunities due to staying in the same place fearing what might happen if they move. She also advises people to embrace change, no matter how scary it seems. The fear of newer and unpredictable incidents is certain but once you learn how to overcome it, there are abundant opportunities. As easier it is said than done, Michelle Obama has chosen many hard paths and taken tough decisions to reach where she proudly stands.

Stay Hopeful

“To think that that would happen. We’re putting down markers and we make progress. Going backwards doesn’t mean the progress wasn’t real; it just means it was hard. What we’re trying to do is shift culture, we’re trying to overcome hundreds of years of racism and segregation born out of slavery and injustice.”

Having struggled through many despairing incidents, this piece of knowledge is one of the strongest life lessons by Michelle Obama. She had lost two treasured people in the same year-  her dad and her beloved college friend. It was an extremely tough phase for her to keep her hopes high. Yet, she made important decisions and reminded herself of the true purpose of her life and what she would want to be remembered for. Apart from being hopeful in these situations, her constant hope for a better America debarred of racism and discrimination made her stronger in the political world.

Don’t Think You are Less than those in Power

“I’ve been at probably every powerful table that you can think of… I’ve served on corporate boards, I’ve been at G summits, I’ve sat in at the UN. They’re not that smart.”

Michelle Obama is here to spill the secret of becoming bold – by keeping your head up high and stop doubting yourself. Every one of us feels like we aren’t as good as the people with power and position. However, the truth is they are there because of you. They might be yearning for newer ideas that you possess. Don’t think of them as powerful beings just because they say the wrong things with confidence. Often, the people who are intimidated by you will make sure you feel a little uncomfortable.

Have Your Own Voice and Use It

Growing up as a black girl in a middle-class family to being one of the most respected FLOTUS, i.e. First Lady of the United States. The journey surely needed a strong voice to make sure people sit back and listen. If people doing the wrong thing express themselves with great confidence and are heard, imagine what the right people are capable of. You just need to shout louder to be heard.  Michelle mentions that she learned a lot from her husband, Barack Obama on being bold with your voice. Barack Obama was among the people who were a little rebellious against what he felt was wrong which often impressed the masses and the rest is history!

Prioritize Yourself

“We need to do a better job of putting ourselves higher on our own ‘to do’ list.”

Another essential lesson among the life lessons by Michelle Obama is to know where to draw the line when it comes to your well-being.  Michelle Obama was quite open about her struggles with Barack Obama. There were times where she had to wait for hours for him to return which even led to them opting for couple’s counselling. After a few sessions, Michelle Obama did realize the importance of prioritizing herself. Know when to make adjustments and when to demand. Be it with your loved ones or friends, know when to stop pouring depending on how much is there in your cup. Remember, you can’t help people if you yourself are in need of it.

Courage can be Contagious

“You may not always have a comfortable life and you will not always be able to solve all of the world’s problems at once but don’t ever underestimate the importance you can have because history has shown us that courage can be contagious and hope can take on a life of its own.”

A lady who was built on this term. A little courage is all it takes to climb mountains. Michelle Obama’s life of courage has inspired many people who wish to inculcate her qualities. Her powerful speeches uplift many young girls from all over the world who have begun their lives with great ambitions.

These were the 10 Life Lessons by Michelle Obama that can edify your life. As we read through such blogs, it is crucial to know its depth and apply them. Michelle Obama’s spirit is truly worth embracing and spreading around. For more awesome content, stay tuned to Leverage Edu!

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