Barack Obama has opened up about the time he wondered if he was "cut out" for politics at all after an unsuccessful run for Congress in 1999, in an interview with Humans of New York.
The man behind the blog, Brandon Stanton, was at the White House with 13-year-old student Vidal Chastanet, who went viral when he appeared on Humans of New York (HONY) last month in a post where he paid tribute to his inspiring principal Nadia Lopez.
The post led to $1 million being raised for Chastanet's school, Mott Hall Bridges Academy, and an invitation to the White House.
While visiting, Stanton gave Obama the HONY treatment, with the President revealing when he felt "most broken" , in an anecdote which shows why you should never give up.
I first ran for Congress in 1999, and I got beat. I just got whooped. I had been in the state legislature for a long time, I was in the minority party, I wasn’t getting a lot done, and I was away from my family and putting a lot of strain on Michelle. Then for me to run and lose that bad, I was thinking maybe this isn’t what I was cut out to do. I was forty years old, and I’d invested a lot of time and effort into something that didn’t seem to be working.
But the thing that got me through that moment, and any other time that I’ve felt stuck, is to remind myself that it’s about the work. Because if you’re worrying about yourself—if you’re thinking: ‘Am I succeeding? Am I in the right position? Am I being appreciated?’ --- then you’re going to end up feeling frustrated and stuck. But if you can keep it about the work, you’ll always have a path. There’s always something to be done.