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Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Flying with Michelle Obama

I know that I wrote a comment about Michelle's speech yesterday, but I could not get her out of my mind. This part of her speech is still resonating with me. If you did not hear it, here is the text

Barack and I were raised with so many of the same values: that you work hard for what you want in life; that your word is your bond and you do what you say you're going to do; that you treat people with dignity and respect, even if you don't know them, and even if you don't agree with them.

And Barack and I set out to build lives guided by these values, and pass them on to the next generation. Because we want our children — and all children in this nation — to know that the only limit to the height of your achievements is the reach of your dreams and your willingness to work for them.

How powerful is that? To know that the only limits that exist are the ones you place on yourself by not dreaming big enough or not working hard enough for those dreams? How many of us truly realize this? And if you know it, when did you know it? Did you figure it out yourself or did someone point it out to you?

I am not sure in my own life how I obtained that knowledge. I wasn't born knowing it. I am not even sure I knew it five years ago. I know it now. That is the important thing. To fully embrace it. To dream big. I saw Oprah when she came to Charleston, SC a couple of years ago. She said STOP LIVING YOUR LIFE SMALL. I made a promise to myself that day that I would stop selling myself short, stop listening to others when they questioned my motives to get a better job, bigger house, more degrees, and so on. For the most part I have kept my word to myself. There are times when I slip and those times are when my dear sister girlfriends pick me up and fly by my side for as long as I need.

Dreaming big and working hard for those dreams is about creating a legacy. We have the power to chose what we leave behind. We do not have to allow someone else to do that for us. We should not allow someone to do that for us. Create your legacy while you have some say in the matter.

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