Former First Lady Michelle Obama‘s memoir has been setting some serious records since it’s release! As soon as the book came out, I rushed to my nearest bookstore and devoured it as soon as I got home. I’m not embarrassed to say that I finished it in one day either!
This memoir is filled with gem after gem that allows for every woman, no matter her age or life situation, to walk away with something new!
I was deeply moved by her words and wanted to share the top three lessons that I learned from Becoming.
1.) Stop Falling for Potential
Not necessarily saying I learned this from Auntie Chelle, but hearing how her and MY President got together was inspiring. One of the biggest things she was attracted to in him was the fact that he was already a formed man. He had his own life, developed a sense of self, had his own money, etc. I think that that’s important to note. She wasn’t standing by waiting for him to turn into the man she wanted, he already had the characteristics there.
Often times women -definitely myself included- fall in love with potential. We want so much for the guy that we’re into because we see how much better they can be so we settle and talk half of what they are and try to mold them into the man we want them to be. One thing that my mother taught me was to never raise a man. I don’t have any kids and it surely isn’t starting at a 29 or 30-year-old.
2.) It’s never too late to change career paths.
Michelle Obama was well into her thirties before she knew exactly how she wanted her career to go. After spending a few years as a lawyer, she decided to look for something new as she wasn’t being fulfilled. Over the course of a few years, she bounced around from job to job and finally found something that she found herself truly enjoying – that is before her hubby decided to run for President. In her moving career paths, I learned something else.
2A.) Build meaningful relationships everywhere.
The reason why Auntie was able to move jobs so much is through the connections she made at each of her jobs. It’s no secret that she did her job well, but as we all know, it’s not what you know but who you know. In each of her positions, she made sure to build impactful relationships and she used those relationships as the stepping stone to her next career. How many impactful relationships have you made that you’ve used to your advantage? If your answer is none or one, then it’s time to get connecting!
3.) Boundaries Can Be Broken
When Michelle became our First Lady, she was immediately immersed into a world of no privacy and constant eyes. She mentions how difficult that was initially raising two young girls who she wanted to have as normal of a life as possible. Her world was instantly consumed by several rules she had to follow from the Secret Service. Simple tasks like going outside for a breath of fresh air or standing near the window to warm up was a whole ordeal.
One of the defining moments that caused this to change was when her daughters wanted to get ice cream with their friends and the Secret Service told them no. For her, that was not acceptable because it took away from their experiences of having as close to normal lives as possible.
When it became too much, Auntie said enough. Rules and regulations that had been set for years before her, she came and dismantled them so that they would work for her. I admire that so much because at the highest level of US power, with the most extreme and tight-lined security system, a woman – a black woman at that- was bold enough to shake the table for the best interest of her daughters and herself. I view this lesson as if there’s a rule that has wiggle room to change, then to change it in my best interest!
What lessons did you learn after reading Becoming? Let me know in the comments!
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