8 lessons we can glean from President Obama’s life and political success - Part 1 This article is apolitical.

It is also not a stamp of approval or disapproval on the moral or ethical values of President Obama. It is simply an insight into th e life of one of the most prominent men in the world today. Someone who achieved a feat, that was thought practically impossible four (4) years ago. An AfricanAmerican, who through his genius and communication skills literally blew open 20 0yrs of the American Political establishment,. I have watched and read excerpts from various political leading minds in America and no one gave him a chance at the onset. He was written off completely. His v ision, faith and strategy stands as one of the greatest feats so far in this gen eration. What laws can we learn from his life? What were the forces at play that he might not even have been conscious of nor was enacted by his intellect that helped him accomplish something so monumental? Here are some lessons that I have gleaned... First lesson is one of forgiveness President Obama by all natural standards should be an offended man. He experienc ed emotional abandonment, first from his father at a very early age when he left home and abandoned him with his mother who later on also left him with her pare nts (his grandparents) to pursue another relationship with someone else. He should have been bitter, but somehow he let go of all the pain and bitterness he could have held on to and still showed enormous respect and honour for his f ather in particular and his mother. He travelled all the way to the village his father was born in Kenya as a senator to discover his roots. He also wrote a boo k entitled the ‘dreams of my father’. He didn’t build his life around the offense that would probably have been created but rose above that challenge. He once said th e not having his father at home made him lack a sense of identity and direction which he found only when he committed himself to the service of others as a comm unity organiser in the South-Side of Chicago. The truth about life is this: an offended heart cuts your productivity and creat ivity by at least 50%. At worst case it can ruin your life altogether. Your hear t is the life force within you. It is the production centre of your life, the pl ace where ideas beyond the range of your consciousness float in. This is the pla ce where great composers have heard the music their fingers later played, great architects saw the buildings within their imaginations, Scientists cried out Eur eka in a flash of a moment, the seat where great dreams are born can get contami nated and ruined by hate. The exercise of the spiritual muscle called your heart is in forgiveness. As we get stronger naturally through physical exercise our hearts grow in its capacity to produce and we exercise ourselves in the act of forgiving. Scripture command s us to break up the fallow ground of our lives. This is through letting go of a ll hurts from our pasts and reconciling ourselves with those we dislike within o ur hearts so that our intent towards them is one of peace. Life would be difficu lt if you harbour an unforgiving attitude towards members of your first cell on the earth, your family. Second lesson is he is a great communicator President Obama was a man of the people. He has the ability to speak both to you and for you. This art of communication can only be discovered and developed thr ough intellectual and emotional honesty. What do I mean by this? That one is hon est with one’s self about where one really is in life and to understand that all r eal lessons can only be truly learnt in the context of your own personal experie nce. In communicating, the other party must feel one’s emotional honesty and this can o nly happen if one is able to speak to the feelings the other has, due to what th ey are experiencing in their lives at that present moment. The ability to do tha t only occurs when you speak truthfully from your own personal experiences. It h as been said that one can lack any of the qualities as an organizing leader with one exception and still be effective and successful. That exception is the art of communication. It does not matter what you know about anything if you cannot communicate to your people. In that event you are not even a failure. You’re just not there. You create your presence by being able to build a powerful narrative

from your own personal experience that gives insight to others about what they a re experiencing themselves. Insight always goes viral. Lesson 3: He believed in Education President Obama believed that education was the tool through which he would achi eve his dream. Nothing is more powerful than a disciplined, intelligent and comp assionate mind. He believed that knowledge is power and sought the path of knowl edge. What too many people of faith lack is an educated mind. They lack the know ledge of temporal things and a clear understanding of how the world truly works. The Jews have a saying that the greatest investment you can make is in yourself; educating yourself. They say if you take a loan to get an education, it is an a sset that can never be repossessed. It lives in you. It is the most powerful inv estment. Scripture teaches to your faith add virtue (character) and to that know ledge. It takes hardwork and discipline to acquire knowledge and to be education ally sound but if you do the hardwork life becomes easy through the application of knowledge. If you don’t do the work to acquire knowledge then life becomes labo rious. Many African-Americans in his generation saw sports or music as their ladder out of poverty, he embraced education. Make having an educated mind your goal in li fe and with that develop a pleasant personality. I once did a recording in a stu dio in New York; President Obama had used it during his campaigns. I asked the o wner of the studio what struck him most about him? He said he just seemed to kno w much more about life than the regular guy. Five (5) minutes with him showed hi m as a man of knowledge. Lesson 4: He was true to himself (A disciple of his own convictions) Whatever you think about the ideological slant of President Obama he has demonst rated himself to be a true disciple of his convictions. How the belief system wa s formed is not the point of this article or even whether they are right but tha t he has demonstrated oneness with himself. Through proper mentorship and his ability to interpret the events of his life in to a narrative discovering the essence of his personal experiences was to be of service, he committed himself with a singleness of purpose to public service. A graduate of Harvard Law School, he could have chosen to the join the wealthy ins ider world of corporate America, rather he chose the path of service earning $12 ,000 (dollars) a year with a $2,000(dollar) allowance for a car for 5years. While all his friends and classmates were heading to the Walls Street he headed to the South-Side of Chicago, one of the poorest and most dangerous areas in Ame rica. What could have led to that “crazy” decision? Just one thing; Clarity of Purpo se and the Strength of Character to pursue your dream; demonstrated by his abili ty to break with the “pack”. This is what true leaders are made of and this is where they are born. He knew where he was going and all the ships in his being were sailing in the sa me direction.