February is National Black History Month and we felt that it was necessary to acknowledge some of the empowered and confident women of color that have lots of intelligence and inspiration to share with the world. One of these amazing women is Michelle Obama, who recently published a Best Selling book, titled Becoming. Michelle introduces multiple main points within the first few chapters of her new book that can set up any #bloomgirl for a lifetime of success and love. These points follow Michelle throughout her own accomplishments and we believe everyone can learn something from them. Check out the top 4 tips from her book below!
1. Never Lose Your Spunk
Even at a young age, Michelle showed she would not be told what to do. She was stubborn with her piano teacher, not taking corrections, and only wanted to figure notes and keys out on her own. In this particular instance, she writes “Looking back on it now, I think my parents appreciated my feistiness and I’m glad for it. It was a flame inside me they wanted to keep lit” (pg. 12). Not even 10 pages later, Michelle mentions a time when she asked for a redo after messing up a spelling bee during grade school. She said that “Mrs. Borroughs was impressed with this little black girl who’d found the courage to advocate for herself” (pg. 19). Michelle even stood up for herself on the neighborhood playground, fighting a girl who constantly made sly remarks at her. This fire within her has only grown throughout her adulthood, as she continues to fight for the causes she believes in.
2. Always Be Willing To Learn
Throughout her whole life, Michelle has challenged herself to know more. During high school and college, she was learning in more conventional ways. Michelle pushed herself by taking advanced, complex courses to expand her thinking. She distinctly remembers taking a 300 level class as a college freshman, which left her with a lifelong lesson- that she “can work her way out of any hole”. Outside the classroom, Michelle was learning patience from her roommate situation. Her college roommate, Suzanne, taught her that there are other ways to live than super neat and structured. She writes that “there are simply other ways of being”. Michelle has an open mind in all of her experiences, leading her to be a continuous learner.
3. Acceptance Is Key
A powerful quote from the beginning of her book was about acceptance. It was something her parents told her brother and her frequently, which was that “Everyone on earth, they’d tell us, was carrying around an unseen history and that alone deserved some tolerance”. The meaning behind it was that you should encounter everyone with kindness because you never know what life has thrown at them. She refers back to this theme constantly when discussing her upbringing. Being raised in South Side Chicago, Michelle experienced plenty of diversity. She attended high school and college with classmates that did not have to work as hard to prove themselves, but she did not let that affect her relationship with them. Michelle tends to live in a constant, judgment-free state, which has contributed immensely to her intelligence. She treats everyone how she would like to be treated, with kindness and acceptance. The world could always use more of this attitude.
4. Hard Work Pays Off
Michelle continuously demanded more of herself during her teen years and early 20s. She attended a challenging high school, that she did not even think she could handle in the beginning. She notes that her “worries about high school, if they were to be cataloged, could mostly be filed under one general heading: Am I good enough?” (pg. 55). Throughout high school, she worked to be the best in her class and upon graduation, she graduated in the top ten percent of her class, along with many other honorable awards and titles. Michelle wrote that by graduation she had “managed to vanquish pretty much every doubt I’d arrived with as a nervous ninth grader” (pg. 65). She went on to attend Princeton University for her undergraduate degree and then receive a law degree from Harvard University.
Michelle Obama’s Book, Becoming, is bursting with insights and advice anyone could apply to their own life. We highly recommend this book to anyone needing motivation, is interested in the Obamas’ story, or simply just a good read. Michelle makes it hard to put down once you get started. There is plenty to learn from Michelle’s story that you just need to experience it for yourself!
To leave you something to think about, bloom girl, here is a powerful quote from Michelle- “Failure is a feeling long before it becomes an actual result. It’s vulnerability that breeds with self-doubt and then is escalated, often deliberately, by fear”. Just because sometimes it feels like you have failed, us here at bloom know that is not true!
the bloom team