When people take step towards their goal, it always seems impossible that goal will be achieved but those who show patience, be persistent and be determined can do anything.
Believing in yourself is an important factor in the life of successful people because when you believe that you can do it, you will get it.
Note: This post is one of a series, covering some of the most successful and influential people of our world.
Barack Hussein Obama II, the 44th President of the United States of America, and the first African President to hold office. Barack Obama was born August 4th 1961, in Honolulu, Hawaii to parents Ann Durham (a white American) and Barack Obama Sr. Barack’s Mother, Ann Durham grew up in Wichita, Kansas, but moved to Hawaii through her parents work during the great depression and the Second World War (following the attack on Hawaii’s Pearl Harbour).
Barack Obama Sr., Obama’s father, was born of Luo Ethnicity in Nyanza Province, Kenya and grew up herding goats. Regardless of the lack of his father, as well as the bullying he injured at school as a Black-American, Obama Jr. Following law school, he returned to Chicago to practice as a civil rights lawyer and joined the firm Miner, Barnhill and Galland, while also teaching part-time at the University of Chicago Law School. On October 3rd 1992, Barack and Michelle married and would go on to welcome two daughters into their lives several years later. Following the publication of his first book Dreams from my Father (a book I’m currently reading and recommend!) in 1995, Obama ran for a seat in the Illinois State Senate. In 2007, Obama made headlines by announcing his candidacy for the 2008 Democratic Presidential election. Obama went on to inherit a global economic recession, two global foreign wars and several other issues including an energy crisis and healthcare issues.
He since went on to accomplish and pass many achievements in his first presidency; including the extraction of troops from Iraq, the beginning of the extraction of troops from Afghanistan, and the stabilisation and small turn around of the US economy, not to mention the discovery, defeat and killing of Osama Bin Laden in 2011. Barack Obama is still currently president at the time of writing this, in his 2nd and final term. With 3 more years left in this last and final term, I am sure we are yet to see more progress and achievement by the president. On reflection of the extraordinary life story of Obama and reading though the large number quotes he has famously said over years, I feel there are two key lessons that stand out from the rest to be learnt from him and his life.
He once said, “If your walking down the right path and you’re willing to keep walking, eventually you’ll make progress.” And for me, this quote sums up his life and his quite distinct political actions well. The idea of working for progress and excellence is easily notable in the life of Obama and the way he’s progressed and achieved.
And with this, I feel and so would Barack, that anyone can eventually reach that position of achievement and success. The second lesson in his life is one not necessarily relatable for everybody in the way it was to Obama, but it is one that I feel we should all recognise and understand. Obama famously once said in his pre-election speech, “This is not liberal America and a conservative America – there is the United States of America.
Our communities, our work places, our countries and our world are not and should no longer be, segregated groups of people. And it is proved, by bringing different people together, we humans produce great things… and perhaps, that’s not just proven in the story of Obama, but proven in the story of America. Get any avid reader to talk about the horror books they read and you’ll more than likely find the name Stephen King crops up in association. In his lifetime, King has sold more than 350 million copies of books globally, many of which have been adapted into films such as ‘The Shawshank Redemption’ and ‘The Green Mile’ to name two of my favourites.
Stephen King was born in 1947 in Maine, USA; a place where he still lives today and sets many of his novels. Steven took the advice and sold the story to his mother and her friends for a quarter each whilst recovering from an illness that put him back a year in school.
Stephen went through school publishing short stories in Dave’s Rag, his brother’s school magazine and selling stories independently to his peers. Whilst in the process of graduating from the University of Maine with a B.A in English, Stephen met his future wife Tabitha Spruce at a library within his school where they both worked.

In 1973 King’s mother died but the following year, his first novel ‘Carrie’ was published with enough sales to allow him to quit teaching and write full-time. Between the years 1977 and 1985 Stephen King wrote five books under the name of Bachman; one of which, Rage, is banned from print in the USA. In the end he was uncovered by a bookstore Clerk who noticed similarities in the writing styles of Bachman and King and located publisher’s recorders which included a document naming Stephen as the author of a Bachman novel.
He admitted full responsibility in an essay published in the book to follow named ‘Thinner’.
It just goes to show that nothing can stop creators from creating, if they believe in what they do. Not surprisingly King has won many awards in his career, including best novel from the Horror Writers Association and the Locus awards. Stephen King himself experienced a near-death car accident in 1999 where he was hit by a van, out on a walk around his summer house in western Maine.
After five operations and physical therapy, he returned to carry on working on his non-fiction novel the following month, after he was left with many broken bones, bound to a wheelchair and in a condition where sitting up at a desk was physically and mentally excruciating. After Stephen was left close to fatality after his car accident in 1999, he had lost all hope. She spent hours helping him make a desk that suited his needs and allowed him to do what he must do, proving that it’s important to have a life outside your art; particularly in human moments when the world is painful or uninspiring. Anything creative that you dream of feeding to the world has to have the mindset, the push and support behind it to make it into a reality. He eventually earned a scholarship to purse his dreams of college in the states, where he met his wife-to-be Ann Durham.
After relocating to Massachusetts to pursue a PH.D in economics at Harvard University, he moved back to Nairobi, Kenya with the hope of helping to revitalise Kenya’s poor economy. He ran as a Democrat and won election in 1996… this was the beginning of his to become great political career. On November 4th 2008, Barack defeated republican John McCain winning the election as the 44th president of the United States of America and as the first African-American to hold office. Obama summarized these in his inauguration speech saying, “Today I say to you that the challenges we face are real. He continues to direct the US economy forwards, extract troops from Afghanistan and introduce an act of reform in the healthcare sector. Specifically the way he worked on and on throughout his life, down the path for excellence.
But I also believe it’s an idea that should not be lost apart for the ‘special few’ and is something that we should all implemented in our own lives. There is not a black America and a white America and Latino America and Asian America – there’s the United States of America.” And this, although oomph’ed up for the speech, reflects well to me the views of Obama and is in fact the view I feel we should all take on our world and the results of globalisation on it. Whether based on race, or age, gender or profession, the worlds groups of different people really should work together for the future, to produce the best world we can. But more importantly than this, are the lessons that we can learn from the challenges and experiences he has faced.
And by relating to the people regardless of politics, race or gender and by progressing to a level of greatness and excellence by relentlessly working and moving along the path he and we can all do things great… Yes We Can! That’s because King is one of the most creative, productive and therefore successful writers in the world today.
Even from the start with Carrie there was no denying that the quality of his written work was un-replicatable and genius. His parents separated when he was just a toddler, thus he was raised by his mother on her own along with his brother David.
His mother was his first reader, and after reading a version of Combat Casey in first grade she convinced Stephen to try writing a story for himself.
When the teacher discovered that Stephen was selling his work on school premises, they did not celebrate the initiative but ban it. Stephen was unable to find a teaching job until 1971 and instead worked in an industrial laundry, selling short stories to magazines.
The novel, once had to be pulled out the trash bin by his wife in the early days, after King had been certain that that’s where it belonged.

The aim behind these books was to test if he could replicate his success again and to see if his popularity was genuine.
The following is a quote to the book from King, “My ‘Stephen King publishers’ were like a frigid wifey who only wants to put out once or twice a year, encouraging her endlessly horny hubby to find a call girl. With the help and support from his wife and the determination that came from his belief in what he did.
After all without Kings wife there would be no Carrie (the start to it all) and probably no ‘thirty six novels, novellas and essays’ to follow the accident. But it’s important to understand that you write for the people and that you are human too. He kept his door shut whilst he worked, kept his focus within, and shared with those around him the troubles he faced. Time, money, and energy is not an excuse for you, you don’t get prestige just through being talented. He later died in a fatal car accident here in Nairobi on the 24th November 1982, at which point Barack Obama Jr. Exceling in basketball and graduating with academic honours in 1979, he went on to study at Occidental College in Los Angeles for two years, after which he transferred to Columbia University in New York.
From here he met Michelle Robinson; an Associate of a Chicago Law Firm, while on an internship with the company. It’s proven by the story of Obama; anyone can achieve and succeed in life through a conscious effort to keep walking down the path they are on, making a conscious effort as they go to excel and be great in everything that they do.
He gained quite a selection of rejection slips during this time, hanging them from a spike on his bedroom wall.
But the death of his mother had hit him hard and through-out his writing career King struggled with addictions to drugs and alcohol. Because things have a habit of falling into place when you make the first move as long as your hearts in it and your willing to work to make it work.
Being a human is not just about having a talent, or the determination to put forward this talent and the dreams you have into a reality.
There will be times when it’s hard to carry on, just make sure you have someone there to help you get back on track and remind you why you’re sat at your desk at this time of night. You have to earn your respect and gain your success by getting things done and providing ‘honestly’ to the people.
Make no excuses and just persevere, even when your inspirations and motivation is knocked down. You shouldn’t be fear on anything or any failure in your way because real success comes after failing from many times. So those people who want to be successful should do something new on each day and learn from doing and try again and again. In February 1990, Obama was elected the first African-American editor of the Harvard Law Review. In fact he doesn’t even remember writing ‘Cujo’, which is considered one of his better novels.
As a creative person, I know there are days when you may sit at your desk and wish you were somewhere else. But it’s about having support around you too, so that you can share your greatest moments, your worst problems and get a fresh perspective on your work. It is said that beginning is always hard and difficult but those who overcome fear of beginning and take risks get success. Because although the man rightly preaches that “art is a support for life, not the other way around” there is no denying that sometimes it’s our art, our talents, our beliefs in the future that keep us going and keep our mind off any pain we feel. But even the smallest of steps count and once he’d started, the words flowed more and more easily.

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