Community//

3 lessons we can learn from Barack Obama’s Life and Career Decisions

Through this interactive video, discover what would you do if you were in Obama's shoes in the most crucial moments of his professional life.

The Thrive Global Community welcomes voices from many spheres. We publish pieces written by outside contributors with a wide range of opinions, which don’t necessarily reflect our own. Community stories are not commissioned by our editorial team, and though they are reviewed for adherence to our guidelines, they are submitted in their final form to our open platform. Learn more or join us as a community member!
Barack Obama
Barack Obama

There are moments in life when we face a crossroad. Few information from the past could help us choosing a way forward; even fewer information on the potential of each path and where it can lead us to lighten the way.

How, then, are we supposed to take action?

Looking deeper into our own stories and dreams is the best starting point for a more coherent and grounded decision. What are the core values, expectations and risks will we take into account?

But looking at others’ stories and decisions might help analysing and reconsidering – what would you do? And why would you do it?

Barack Obama has had some crossroads on his way to become America’s 44th President. And much of what makes his story unique comes precisely from the paths he chose on crucial moments: paths that were not obvious but always connected with a long-term strategy and with what he saw as his purpose in life.

On this interactive video, one can step into Obama’s shoes and decide: What would you do?

Audio excerpts from WBEZ’s podcast, Making Obama / Video produced by Brazilian career and leadership website napratica.org

What lessons can we can learn from Obama’s Career Choices?

  1. Look back at your story for clues: The experiences and people that have shaped your past might offer powerful insights to your way forward. For instance, it was through the rediscovery of his roots in Quenia that made him realise he needed to understand the realities of the civil rights movement in America.
  2. Aim high: if you do so, whatever result you reach in the way, the outcome will still be greater than your less ambitious goal. Obama had that in mind when he ran for Illinois State Senate in 1996 , with no political experience.
  3. Don’t lose sight of the most important people in your life: Not only he built relationships that endured his whole life – such as professional partners and mentors – but he also had his family and his partner, Michelle, by his side in all of those crossroads. In that way he conquered their trust and support, but most importantly he knew there would always be someone by his side when he might be running out of track.
    Share your comments below. Please read our commenting guidelines before posting. If you have a concern about a comment, report it here.

    You might also like...

    Community//

    The 5 Lessons I’ve Learnt from Michelle Obama’s Becoming as a Mother 4.0

    by Amy Nguyen
    Photo credit: Szepy via iStock
    Community//

    3 Ways to Determine if You’re On the Right Path

    by Shira Miller
    Community//

    In Defense of the Swerve

    by Marianne Waggoner Day

    Sign up for the Thrive Global newsletter

    Will be used in accordance with our privacy policy.

    Thrive Global
    People look for retreats for themselves, in the country, by the coast, or in the hills . . . There is nowhere that a person can find a more peaceful and trouble-free retreat than in his own mind. . . . So constantly give yourself this retreat, and renew yourself.

    - MARCUS AURELIUS

    We use cookies on our site to give you the best experience possible. By continuing to browse the site, you agree to this use. For more information on how we use cookies, see our Privacy Policy.