Obama sat down in the White House's Oval Office with Chastanet, his principal, Nadia Lopez, and Humans of New York photographer Brandon Stanton. During the visit, documented on the Humans of New York Facebook page, Obama answered questions about the challenges he's faced in life, including the moment when he felt "most broken."
“I first ran for Congress in 1999, and I got beat. I just got whooped," Obama 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. 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."
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Obama also described the influence his mother has had on his life: