Obama Talks to Humans of New York About 'Broken' Past

Obama Talks to Humans of New York About 'Broken' Past

"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," he said.

Published February 8, 2015

President Barack Obama put aside his words on public policy and health reform and, instead, spoke on a more personal note about when he felt "most broken" in his life. Meeting with 13-year-old student Vidal Chastanet, who was featured in the viral media photography project Humans of New York, Obama gave a testament of perseverance and success.

"I first ran for Congress in 1999, and I got beat. I just got whooped," he said. "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."

Obama then went on to explain that if one constantly questions ones capabilities and intentions, the end goal of success will be hard to come by: "If you're worrying about yourself — if you're thinking, 'Am I succeeding? Am I the right person? 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."

Elsewhere in the introspective interview, President Obama reveals how his mother has influenced him and discusses the importance of support and keeping an open mind. All of his responses can be read on Humans of New York's Facebook page.

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(Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images)

Written by Moriba Cummings

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