Inspirational advice from former First Lady, Michelle Obama

On 3rd December, I was privileged to attend an event at the Southbank Centre, London, in which I watched an amazing conversation between two extremely inspirational women: Michelle Obama and Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.

Through Adichie’s insightful questions, the audience of around 2,700 people were charmed by the grace, wit, and knowledge of the former First Lady.

Through the words of her recently-published autobiography, Becoming, Mrs Obama spoke about how, after studying Law at Harvard University, starting her own non-profit organisations, and becoming First Lady of the most powerful country in the world, she is still on her journey.

Many of the things Mrs Obama said resonated with me, and I would like to share with you the message she had for young people: it is okay not to be where you want to be yet, and it is okay not to have a concrete plan in place, because life is a journey in which we will always be ‘becoming’.

She also taught us that adults shouldn’t ask children ‘What do you want to be when you grow up?’, because the concept of growing up is not finite. Young people shouldn’t allow others to put out their flame of passion. Our ideas matter.

And here’s a secret she let us in to: the people who occupy seats at the most powerful tables in the world ‘aren’t even that clever’. Their ideas aren’t any better than those of young people, and they don’t come up with the solutions to everything. It is important, as young men and women, to keep speaking out and to not let others hold you back; it is by transitioning into different crowds of people or types of jobs that fear inevitably arises, but one of the keys to success is overcoming fear. We should start on our journey of liking ourselves for who we are, and stop asking: ‘Am I good enough?’, because we are!

Kamsi (SFC2)

Michelle Obama