The best-selling book of 2018 which sold near 2 million copies in a few weeks, it’s no surprise that the first book I’ve read for the year was Michelle Obama’s autobiography. Honestly, I had the book since last December but never actually put aside time to complete it. Definitely thankful I found some time this month as it opened so many views to a world I knew nothing about (i.e politics, more so American politics). Don’t get me wrong though this memoir wasn’t based solely on her political life; the book is divided into three segments to represent each stage of her life.
From the South Side of Chicago, to Princeton University to Harvard Law School to a junior associate at Sidley and Austin law firm. A box-checker who was eager to prove others wrong, Michelle was beginning to find herself.
A love story with a guy from Hawaii and roots halfway across the world. A union to include two beautiful kids and a desire for more. From a switch in careers to defining her purpose and finding her voice.
The first African American family in the White House. The first black FLOTUS with no definite role but a plan; initiatives included empowering kids to eat healthier and exercise more, Let’s Move; supporting military families, Joining Forces; encouraging further education, Reach Higher and providing girls access to education, Let Girls Learn.
Quite frankly, I didn’t know much about Mrs. Michelle Obama before Obama’s presidency and even throughout his eight years. It was refreshing to learn all about her success and how she developed herself as an African American woman even before meeting Barack. The trials and tribulations she went through from her adolescent years to an adult, she would always question herself “Am I good enough?“
As great as this memoir was with giving candid behind-the-scenes information on the real Michelle Robinson Obama, what would it be without a few gems of inspiration? While reading this book I came across a few lines which resonated with me, and thought I’d share them with you guys.
8 Inspirational Quotes from Becoming + My Takeaways
If you don’t get out there and define yourself, you’ll be quickly and inaccurately defined by others.
You have a voice, use it. Entering into any new field (job, organization, group etc) if you don’t speak up and show people who you are then they’ll come up with assumptions of you. People love using labels to define others, it’s better to set the tone for who/what you want to be known for.
Failure is a feeling long before it’s an actual result.
I think this one is self-explanatory. We live in our heads so often we think of all the “what if” moments before allowing anything to happen. The biggest contributor to this is FEAR.
When they go low, we go high.
This is actually a motto in which the Obamas have been living by before this book was published. However, it was mentioned in the book and definitely fits the list perfectly. When we feel wronged by anyone we shouldn’t stoop to their level and seek revenge, but rather be the bigger person. You can’t afford to let anyone have you behave out of character, going high is watching how you react.
We were planting seeds of change, the fruit of which we might never see. We had to be patient.
Progress and change happen slowly. This quote serves as a reminder that nothing happens overnight. You plant seeds and wait for a change. Sometimes that may never happen depending on external factors (weather, soil type/profile, type of seeds etc), stuff you have minimal to no control over. Life’s a gamble.
“What do you want to be when you grow up? As if growing up is finite. As if at some point you become something and that’s the end.”
This was mentioned very early in the book and I wanted to scream YES to its powerfulness (too much?). I actually hate this question, not only because I never really knew exactly what I wanted to be but why did it matter so much? (well, I know why but that’s another discussion) Do you stop growing after you have achieved this role? There’s no limit to growing and there should never be.
The noise doesn’t go away, but the most successful people I know have figured out how to live with it.
At one point in time everyone was screaming about having haters. As far as I know critics have always been a thing, this is what is meant by ‘the noise’. You learn to live with it by doing what you want to do and cancelling it out. Deciding to do anything these days would always invite “unsolicited opinions” disguised as concern (“are you sure you can do this?”, “that’s so far away”, “do you have enough money?”). Before you know it you’re second guessing yourself and living in self-doubt.
Am I good enough? Yes, in fact I am.
Last, but by no means the least. This one quote has been the reoccurring message throughout this book. Imagine constantly asking yourself am I good enough, am I good enough even after achieving so many great things. Yes, you are good enough. Get out of your head more and live in the moment.
Hopefully you enjoyed this post and it will be the first of many. I’ll share different things that I liked about books I read to inspire you to do the same or just to give general inspiration. I did something like this before with ‘The Year of Yes’ you can check those out here and here.
Have you read Becoming? What were some of the things you took away from the book?