Deane & McLoughlin


President Obama

Friday, September 11, 2009

A few days ago, President Obama made a speech to the school children of the United States.  I heard them talking about it lots on the radio and have since found it on the internet and wanted to share it with you because I found it to be particularly inspiring.
Despite being addressed to school children, I think everyone can learn some valuable lessons from what is said.
You can watch the full speech here or I have outlined a few key points below.

  • "Where you are right now doesn’t have to determine where you’ll end up. No one’s written your destiny for you... you write your own destiny. You make your own future."
  • "I know that sometimes, you get the sense from TV that you can be rich and successful without any hard work -- that your ticket to success is through rapping or basketball or being a reality TV star, when chances are, you’re not going to be any of those things."  
  • "But the truth is, being successful is hard... and you won't necessarily succeed at everything the first time you try"
  • "Some of the most successful people in the world are the ones who’ve had the most failures. JK Rowling’s first Harry Potter book was rejected twelve times before it was finally published. Michael Jordan was cut from his high school basketball team, and he lost hundreds of games and missed thousands of shots during his career. But he once said, "I have failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed."
  • "These people succeeded because they understand that you can’t let your failures define you – you have to let them teach you. You have to let them show you what to do differently next time."
  • "No one’s born being good at things, you become good at things through hard work." 
  • "Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it. I do that every day. Asking for help isn’t a sign of weakness, it’s a sign of strength. It shows you have the courage to admit when you don’t know something, and to learn something new."
  • "And even when you’re struggling, even when you’re discouraged, and you feel like other people have given up on you – don’t ever give up on yourself."

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