Life is All About Process : Takeaways from BECOMING by Michelle Obama

Michelle Obama is widely known as the former First Lady of the United States of America. Following the path of other former first ladies, she used her power as an advocate for healthy families, higher education, and others social issues she believes in. She soon became a role-model for many young girls worldwide, me included.

Reading her best-seller book, Becoming, I have come to notice that Michelle Obama wasn’t born with everything handed to her on a silver platter. She worked hard to get where she is right now, and the process was never instant.

In one chapter of her life, Michelle Obama expressed her interest in pursuing higher studies in University of Princeton to her high school counselor. Yet she was told that she was not even a “Princeton Material”, as if planting a suggestion of failure long before she’d even try to succeed.

Being told that you can not do something ; I am certain that happens to everyone. Sad but true, those types of comments have stopped many bright minds out there in chasing their dreams. But rest assured that those sneer comments will never get tired of crushing you down, even after you reach success.

As for Miss Obama, she didn’t let those words lower her sights. Instead, she worked hard until she got an acceptance letter from Princeton in her mailbox! This part of the book taught me that we all have doubters in our lives, but the best way out is always to go through them.

But speaking of the opposite party, are we seriously going ignore them the whole time? Pretending they and their opinions don’t exist?

When landing in the White House for the first time after Barack Obama was announced as the elected President, the Obamas were welcomed by the Bushes. Mind you, Obama is a democrat, Bush is a republican. Both have different political values and perspectives in helping the American people. Despite those differences, both can still maintain professional relationships.

Every single individual is unique. That explains why we often face people with different opinions than us. It could be your co-worker who thinks that your idea is not worth being implemented, or even your significant other who prefers to stay at home on Saturday’s night instead of going outside. Disagreement is inevitable, it is part of life. What we can do is to respect each others.

In Michelle Obama’s case, the Bushes ensured a smooth transition before leaving the White House. They also hosted the Obamas for an early visit, a warm and nice gestures despite the fact that how the two might criticize each other during the campaign. It is clear for me that if you want to earn other people’s respect, you have to respect them first! Treat others how you want to be treated.

Even if you manage to focus on your goals and to respect your opponents like Michelle Obama, the same question about whether you are good enough might still linger. Am I good enough? Do I deserve to be here? Am I worthy of these responsibilities? Even one of the most powerful women on earth still ask the same question.

During campaign for the second term, Michelle Obama’s head is full of those hesitations. Do the American people trust her enough to lead the country again? Are they doing enough? Even though they did get elected for second term, that feeling is completely normal.

You might be doing well in life, but your insecurity could still get the best of you. This is where “self-love” is important. Not only to other people, you also need to appreciate yourself. Tell your reflection in the mirror that you are doing well, and there is nothing wrong with making small mistakes. Just like Michelle Obama, you can thrive again for not only your second term, but also third, fourth, and so many other terms ahead.

At the end of the day, life is all about process. Unlike marathon, you don’t stop after reaching your finish line, you keep running. The journey doesn’t just end there. Whatever you do in life, always remember to focus on your goal, respect each other, and love yourself.

As quoted from the book :

Becoming isn’t about arriving somewhere or achieving a certain aim. I see it instead as forward motion, a means of evolving, a way to reach continuously toward a better self.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *