Michelle Obama’s memoir called Becoming has officially been named the best-selling book in US. In this book, Michelle wrote the story of her life from her early childhood with her family in Chicago, to becoming the First Lady of the US. She discloses her sad and happy memories, her fears and doubts, the adversity she had to face, and the decisions that helped her stay strong and successful despite the obstacles.
Take your failures as learning opportunities
In 2016, Michelle presented her speech in an international discussion about girls’ access to education which encouraged young female students to support each other and not be afraid of failing. “The only way you succeed in life and the only way you learn is by failing,” said Michelle. “It’s not the failure, it’s what you do after you fail. Do you quit? Do you give up? Or do you let it bolster you?”
Never view your challenges as a disadvantage
In her memoir, Michelle writes, “I’ve been a working-class black student at a fancy, mostly white college. I’ve been the only woman, the only African American, in all sorts of rooms.” The guidance counselor at Princeton said to her, “I’m not sure that you’re Princeton material,” without even asking Michelle any questions and not even trying to figure out who she was.
But obstacles and prejudices did not destroy her, and never knocked her off her feet. “You should never view your challenges as a disadvantage. Instead, it’s important for you to understand that your experience facing and overcoming adversity is actually one of your biggest advantages. And I know that because I’ve seen it myself,” said Michelle.
Know your own value and don't apologise for who you are
Mrs. Obama’s advice on differences in life is to always say to yourself, “This isn’t about me; this is about the person who says or writes this.”
“Since stepping reluctantly into public life, I’ve been held up as the most powerful woman in the world and taken down as an “angry black woman.” I’ve heard about the swampy parts of the internet that question everything about me. A sitting U.S. congressman has made fun of my butt. I’ve been hurt. I’ve been furious. But mostly, I’ve tried to laugh this stuff off."
Learn to prioritize yourself
Women often put themselves at the end of the list. Michelle confessed that at a certain stage in her marriage she got so deep into her husband’s life, that she didn’t care that much about her own happiness. “I was too busy resenting Barack for managing to fit workouts into his schedule, for example, to even begins figuring out how to exercise regularly myself. I spent so much energy stewing over whether or not he’d make it home for dinner that dinners, with or without him, were no longer fun.”
It all changed when she realized that she herself was in charge of her own happiness. Michelle introduced a new routine where her daughters’ and her own comfort was the focus. "The routine was ironclad, which put the weight of responsibility on Barack to either make it on time or not. For me, this made so much more sense than holding off dinner or having the girls wait up sleepily for a hug.
Set new goals and count your wins
In her memoir, Michelle writes about the goals she set at different periods of her life. "Beneath my laid-back college-kid demeanor, I lived like a half-closeted CEO, quietly but unswervingly focused on achievement, bent on checking every box. My to-do list lived in my head and went with me everywhere. I assessed my goals, analyzed my outcomes, and counted my wins. If there was a challenge to vault, I’d vault it."
Plan your life and be in charge of what happens in it
Planning is essential, is the truth Michelle learned in her family. “I’d been raised, after all, in a family that believed in forethought—that ran fire drills at home and showed up early to everything. Growing up in a working-class community and with a disabled parent, I’d learned that planning and vigilance mattered a lot.
Have fun during hard times
Michelle knows how important it is to stay uplifted when life gets hard. Fun and laughter gives you the power to overcome any obstacles in the way, and cheer up those around you. She said, “This didn’t always sit well with me. I knew from experience that even during hard times, maybe especially during hard times, it was still okay to laugh. For the sake of children, in particular, you have to find ways to have fun.”