USA's former first lady Michelle Obama recently released a podcast as an extension to The Light We Carry: Overcoming In Uncertain Times, her book in which she talks about her life and the lessons she learnt along the way.
The podcast titled Michelle Obama: The Light Podcast includes anecdotes from her personal life, vulnerabilities and friendships. The podcast is actually a conversation that she had during her book tour with a few of her esteemed friends including celebrity host Ellen Degeneres, her friend of 30 years, Elizabeth Alexander, a teacher and poet and Gayle King.
By narrating her own experiences and sharing interesting anecdotes, Michelle Obama aims to inspire the people listening to her. In an insightful segment, she recollected her life as a Black woman at a time when people didn't believe in their capabilities. She shared how she had her own her fears and vulnerabilities and how they never stopped her from growing and pursuing what she wanted.
Michelle Obama The Light Podcast
Obama talks about how Alexander has been a great friend to her. In their three-decades-long friendship, they went through a lot together whether it was hardships or career challenges or embracing motherhood. Obama talks about how the life of friendship doesn't matter when your efforts are true.
Whether you met them long ago or just a few months back, having each other’s back is important just like Obama and Alexander. She talks about how important Alexander is to her, her genuine care and love and how their connection did not change after Obama became the first lady. She mentioned that talking to her always makes her warm.
In her &embeds_euri=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.theroot.com%2F&source_ve_path=Mjg2NjY&feature=emb_logo">conversation with Gayle King, Obama talked about practising excellence every day instead of waiting for the right time to come. She talked about what she herself followed and told her two daughters as well that in order to become excellent, to achieve that professional level, you have to start early. Start setting and achieving small goals daily from a young age and excellence will follow for sure.
She also talked about raising her daughters and said that her parenting was similar to how her parents raised her. Instead of giving them luxuries, she raised them to be independent even in the most trivial tasks like making bed and doing homework.
Obama grew up in an environment where her parents allowed her to speak up and she credits them for instilling those values in her that helped her move forward and prove her worth to the world when it didn't treat Black people right. She compares the tasks in life to knitting and says that instead of chasing great changes, we should focus on making small things right. We should focus on things we can actually control and use small opportunities to create a difference.
She shared about how she felt during the Covid-19 quarantine and Black Lives Matter protests. She remembered that she was worried about the world's condition, people's health and how people are managing but she also remembered how emergency workers were out there for help and how people supported each other during the marches. That inspired her to do what was in her control, the small differences she can make with the power she had.
When you understand where the fear is coming from, whether it is irrational or not and how to embrace it, you will find better growth opportunities.
But that does not mean she wasn't afraid. She had fears and was afraid of a lot of things but she mentions that realising your fears and being comfortable in them is what will lead us to growth and opportunities. Most of the time, our fear comes from differences but we need to identify which fear is rational and what fear is keeping us from growing.