How To Create Change and Foster Hope Like Barack Obama

How To Create Change and Foster Hope Like Barack Obama

Article written by Marina Tsipenyuk.

When Barack Obama was pronounced the winner of the 2008 presidential election, the world was energized with a new spirit of hope. Now, right at the dawn of inauguration day, we are seeking Obama in Spiderman comics and companies like are Pepsi modeling after Obama’s marketing campaign. It is the first time in my life that I have seen a political figure become such a celebrity!

There is no question that 2008 had been a revolutionary year in American politics. For the first time in this country’s existence we will see a black man, who won the election by a popular landslide, be the president of the most powerful country on earth. Judging by the extreme enthusiasm, America was clearly ready for this. And regardless of conflicting views on Obama’s liberalism, it is evident that this man is a great orator with an amazing ability to connect to listeners. His resume, too, is outstanding, boasting of experience and accomplishment in academia, writing, foreign affairs, civil rights, environmental awareness…etc. He is young, captivating, moral, and inherently motivating. Obama is the new face of America.

Americans… still believe in an America where anything’s possible – they just don’t think their leaders do. ~Barack Obama

9 Ways That ‘Yes We Can!’ Like Barack Obama

Barack Obama is a stand for…

1. Change By Us, For Us and Now

Why not us? Why not today? Why not now? Obama believes that those who seek change must be the initiators.

Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.~Barack Obama

As we know, try all we may, we cannot change anyone but ourselves. This is the same with situations. Only we can act to change our circumstances. Procrastinating action with excuses is easy. If we desire to accomplish something great, then we must have a vision, and be that vision.

2. Constant and Never Ending Improvement

Although Obama recognizes how hard others have worked for this country, he believes that there is much more to improve. There is never an end to improvement.

It took a lot of blood, sweat and tears to get to where we are today, but we have just begun. Today we begin in earnest the work of making sure that the world we leave our children is just a little bit better than the one we inhabit today.

No matter how good times may be, we can always aspire for an even better tomorrow. A black man will be president, but that does not mean that there is an end to racism. Jay-Z said “Rosa Parks sat so Martin Luther King could walk. Martin Luther King walked so Obama could run. Obama ran so we can all fly.”, but even flying is a means to something bigger.

3. Rational Measures

Personal development aficionados sometimes plunge into action. We attempt to tackle happiness, jump out of our comfort zones, and wage magnificent wars against a slew of vengeful carbohydrates. And although extremes can be great, we must also make sure that our goals are well planned and rational.

I don’t oppose all wars. What I am opposed to is a dumb war. What I am opposed to is a rash war.~Barack Obama

When a nation chooses to declare a war, Obama believes that this war should be well justified, as war can have huge implications on the nation and its citizens. As the Bush administration was declaring war on Iraq, which had soon become one of the most unpopular wars in history, Obama was pushing for anti-war rallies in his home state of Illinois. So what happened to the so-called weapons of mass destruction? We have not found any. We are now merely moderating someone else’s civil war.

4. Possibility

America is a nation where any person, regardless of where they came from could freely practice religion, politics, trade, and love.

My parents shared not only an improbable love, they shared an abiding faith in the possibilities of this nation. They would give me an African name, Barack, or blessed, believing that in a tolerant America your name is no barrier to success. ~Barack Obama

As Jewish immigrants from the former Soviet Union, my parents came to America to start a new life full of possibilities.  In Kiev where my parents lived, no matter their merit, they could not attend good Universities. “Jew” was like a scar written on their passports. America has always been the land of opportunity, and it is very encouraging that a politician can so openly relate to this, himself.

5. Future Forecasts for Today’s Efforts

Obama recognizes that nothing comes from nothing, that we must win small battles today in order to prevent greater problems in the future.

Poorly secured nuclear material in the former Soviet Union, or secrets from a scientist in Pakistan could help build a bomb that detonates in Paris. The poppies in Afghanistan become the heroin in Berlin. The poverty and violence in Somalia breeds the terror of tomorrow. ~Barack Obama

Any business owner or investor knows that it is extremely important to anticipate impending change before taking on projects. Bill Gates did not believe that the internet would become as ginormous an information medium as it has and had significantly lost on this bet. Owners of Blockbuster franchises may not have seen Netflix and HBO on demand revolutionizing where people get their movies. The government had not foreseen a global recession. Obama may have a lot on his hands right now, but he will work on it today for a better tomorrow.

6. Not taking Yourself Too Seriously

I kind of figured that anyone about to run a country would feel pretty important, but this “skinny guy from the South Side of Chicago with the funny name” was pleasantly surprised when he realized he was on high demand.

The fact that my 15 minutes of fame has extended a little longer than 15 minutes is somewhat surprising to me and completely baffling to my wife.~Barack Obama

When we take ourselves too seriously we are susceptible to a lot of insult. What I mean is that we perceive more as insult when, otherwise, it would be taken as light-hearted comments. When we take ourselves too seriously, we may also get more discouraged in the face of hardship because we would get hung up on our mistakes instead of coming up with solutions to the problem. Therefore, be conscious of what you worry about. Make sure it is worth it.

7. Unity

Obama focuses on what unites America and Americans, rather than their differences. The following was an excerpt from a speech that he delivered at the Democratic National Convention in 2004.

There is not a liberal America and a conservative America – there is the United States of America. There is not a black America and a white America and Latino America and Asian America – there’s the United States of America. ~Barack Obama

While this may not have always been a reality in America, and some of our forefathers wouldn’t necessarily agree, it is our ideal vision of America, and the dream that is slowly becoming a reality.

8. Perfection

We do not need to be inherently perfect in order to perfect ourselves every day.

We need to internalize this idea of excellence. Not many folks spend a lot of time trying to be excellent. ~Barack Obama

As someone who has spent so much time on improving herself, it is a marvel to me how so many people are completely okay with being mediocre. Mediocrity does not save people from hunger. It does not cure diseases and it does not write glorious symphonies. We must internalize excellence and make it a part of our identity.

9. Ambition

If there is one great opportunity for people today it is an abundance of resources. Before the internet, people had excuses when they had no way to find something out. Today, not only can we find answers to almost all of our questions, but we can expose ourselves to millions of people who are looking to build knowledge, skills, and social networks. Today, we have no excuse for why we can’t do something. This also means that we can take on social responsibility. The problem is that many people don’t have the drive to balance the available information.

Focusing your life solely on making a buck shows a certain poverty of ambition. It asks too little of yourself. Because it’s only when you hitch your wagon to something larger than yourself that you realize your true potential. ~Barack Obama

People can only tackle greatness when they set high standards for themselves and their lives.

Now, I ask you, what do you admire about Barack Obama and what can we learn from that?

Article written by Marina Tsipenyuk, a conscious thinker, singer, writer, and straight A student at Rutgers Business School for Finance.

If you enjoyed this article please give it a thumbs up on StumbleUpon. I’d appreciate it! 😉

Posted by in Featured, Personal Development | January 20, 2009 | Digg | | Stumble | Print | 14 comments

  • Clint Stonebraker

    I most admire his ability to represent what our country, and the world for that matter, crave more than anything…hope. Hope that anything is possible for anyone. The reminder that if opportunity is sought it will be found. The confirmation that there is strength in unity. I don’t pin my hope on one man. That is ridiculous. Obama’s election represents a significant shift in the psyche of our nation. For that I am excited. Great article.

  • Clint Marker

    I think that he is a tremendous role model for everyone. He shows that a kid from less than a perfect home can do what ever you set your mind to. Socioeconomic status does not need to be a limiting factor.

  • Lance

    Agree with Clint in the 2nd comment, he’s a great role model and a brilliant, critical thinker. Exactly what we need in a world leader. Obama is probably the only politican role model or “hero” that I’ve ever had.

  • Peter Normandia

    I admire someone who continues to walk down their own path regardless of what friends, family, or foes have to say about it. That is what is so attractive about him as a public figure. He is liberal, but he is bipartisan. He does not believe his way is always right, but rather that there is a right way. He also actually seems genuine about wanting to make a change for the better.

    I have to say, this is a wonderful list of inspiring quotes to back up the beliefs Obama preaches. It is also an excellent way to understand that our job is not to root for Obama, but rather to follow his lead on the path to excellence.

  • David Wenger-Keller

    These principles partially describe the kind of person I am working to be every day. If I don’t do so well one day, I will re-double my efforts the next. You all do it, too. We can, if we believe it.

  • Alex Shalman

    @Clint Stoneraker- You’re right, hope can make any situation seem not so bad. That’s the stuff that humanity is made for, and by marketing himself in a specific way, Obama’s promises seem to elicit a great deal of hope from the American people.

    @Clint Maker- Good point. Obama is definitely a role model of the American dream, and shows that it is a land of opportunities for everyone.

    @Peter- I like how you put that it’s not our job to root for Obama. When looking at any role model, it is important to look for what they were looking for, instead of becoming just like them. It’s most likely the path that they’re on that we’re attracted to, instead of the person themselves.

    @David- seems like you’re exercising some great philosophies to self-improvement.

  • tom

    I have read a few other posts on other blogs about Obama and they were missing the point. They were basically stating how Obama will like move mountains and what not.

    The problem there is, sure he is a great leader but the change starts with us. Not sitting around and expecting others to solve our problems.

    And this article is excellent actually, because it points out critical points for all of us to go by.

    The worst we can do now is sit back and expect Obama to make these changes.

    Honestly, do you think another person has your best interest at heart? NOOO, you only have the best interest at heart for yourself.

  • Melissa

    I think our country just really needed someone to believe in right now. That will make all the difference :-)

  • tom

    Actually Melissa, If I may.

    We don’t need others to believe in our country, we need ourselves to believe first, in our selves. Believe we can make a difference for ourselves and others.

    Don’t believe too much, start doing something.

  • Phil Butler

    Well written! Truly, great possibility is at hand. I hope sincerely this man can do half of what everyone thinks he can.

    From the standpoint of relativity, I think some of his popularity is obviously due to who he is following, and so expectations are high, His problem will be in meeting these. A sort of “Elvis on a date” thing if you will. He may never live up to the legend with his new girlfriend, the American people.


  • Samuel Barns

    It certainly is an exciting time in which we live. As a person who loves to take on a challenge, I certainly am more than willing to except the Obama challenge.

  • Very Evolved

    Politics aside – The 9 points are a great guide to what we should be aiming for in all aspects of our personal lives.

    For example; I think you could cut and paste these into an excel spreadsheet and make a check list for using as a guide to writing.

    If we can’t tick most of the boxes then the question is: what value is the post providing for our readers?


  • B.Wilde

    I like how you put this together. The principles are timeless and can be applied in so many aspects of our lives. Great read.

  • Steve

    Great article! I personally loved the points regarding seeing possibilities no matter what the circumstances; taking the time to constantly improve; and working to perfect oneself on a daily basis. Thanks for showing us that we are all capable, if we decide and commit to raise our personal standards starting Today!