Dan Millman presents The Peaceful Warrior's Way

Re: President Barack Obama

Aug 12, 2011

Greetings Peaceful Warriors:

Recently, given today’s political and economic climate, U.S. President Barack Obama is being described, deconstructed, and analyzed by columnists, politicians, pundits.

So it seems timely to offer a fresh view of Barack Obama based upon the Life Purpose System presented in my book, The Life You Were Born to Live (distilled in my newest book, The Four Purposes of Life).

The insights provided about President Obama (or any other human being) help us understand with compassion, recognizing that each human being has strengths and challenges, and their own particular mountain to climb.

Barack Obama (along with his wife, Michelle, as well as millions of other people) is working the 29/11 life path, one of 43 possible destiny paths for people living today — each expressing the strengths and hurdles of this path in their own unique way.

Potential strengths of the 29/11:

(2) Big-hearted: a drive to help and to support others

(9) Charisma, charm and “Pied Piper” energy; leads by example; demonstrates not only knowledge, but wisdom and integrity

(1) Creative energy – the potential ability to think out of the box and come up with fresh solutions.

Potential challenges of 29/11:

(2) Over-cooperating: taking responsibility for more than is appropriate

(9) Overly-sensitive to the opinions of others, making it more difficult to find one’s center and heed the counsel of one’s own heart.

(1) Insecurity: a need to prove oneself.

Most 29/11s show a blend of both strengths and challenges (as explained in more detail in The Life You Were Born to Live).

Getting more specific: Taking on the role, duties, and burdens of President of the United States is a form of voluntary adversity on a grand scale. Despite its privileges and possible insulation, few people are subjected to more pressure than in the rarified air of the oval office or situation room. For a spot-on satirical piece, see the short piece in The Onion titled, “Black Man Gets Worst Job in U.S.”

And talk about having to prove oneself! The saying comes to mind, “Be careful what you ask for . . .” His charm and charisma are clearly in the positive, and his manner of deeply contemplating complex issues, and seeking the counsel of sagacious experts in the field testifies to wisdom so needed today.

If you click on “Life Purpose” and put in President Obama’s date of birth — August 4, 1961 — it will show the life path number of 29/11 and a brief introductory paragraph that says:

Those on the 29/11 life path are here to combine creative energy with higher principles and integrity, finding ways to apply their creativity in service of others, aligned with higher wisdom. Such higher wisdom is revealed by spiritual laws, especially the laws 29/11s are here to live and learn. All 29/11s, along with other double 1s, have tremendous creative potential. But because their primary life purpose represents a kind of mountain to climb, they may not feel as creative as others who aren’t working 1 energy and who have few pressing issues or obstacles in that arena. Some 29/11s are still “stuck” working the 2 or 9 issues that precede the 11, which may block their awareness of the abundant energy available to them. Many 29/11s are extremely creative, but they have trouble handling the energy. Before 29/11s can open the floodgates of their inborn creative potential, they have to find themselves — their center, identity, balance, and boundaries. 29/11s display extraordinary potential; when they face their issues with awareness and commitment, they are among the most creative people on the planet. The energy of 2 entails a form of cooperation with others, and 29/11s are born to support humanity in ways both large and small. Whether businesspeople or healers, construction workers or hairdressers, mail clerks or athletes, they have the potential to bring the spark of creativity to life through their work, their hobbies, or their family life.

Bear in mind that the above summary material is not only about the 44th U.S. President — it describes millions of other people on that same life path — but Barack Obama is not millions of others; he is our president who was inaugurated in a time of nearly unprecedented difficulties — to use one metaphor, if our nation was a car, it was rapidly approaching a fatal abyss. He found himself an ambulance driver who picked up a critically-injured patient who was bleeding out, got that patient stabilized, and now slowly recovering in the hospital. A long recovery.

Coming up with creative solutions to the nation’s problems was never more need in the executive branch of our government. However, what we are here to do — fulfilling our life-path — is not what comes easiest. He, like so many other 29/11s, needs to overcome insecurity and willing to take the risk to be different, to stand out — not to fit in or be liked (or even re-elected), but to find the will to be different, to think outside the box, to be bold and strong and forthright, and to show integrity by example, to speak for the “common person” (whoever that may be).

In many ways, he has done an admirable job; in other ways, less so. There is still time for him to rise to the occasion; these first years, attempting to be conciliatory and bipartisan, have not reaped the results he might have (audaciously) hoped for.

The time for hope has passed. Now is time for decisive action, standing up for what he believes in (which is why he was elected). He is not here to be “Democrican” or “Republocrat” — he is here to apply his incisive intelligence to articulate what he stands for; not to timidly hoist a flag to see how many across the aisle are willing to salute it.

I once saw a video clip of a little boy asking the President, “Why do people hate you?” The clip didn’t include the President’s response, but from the expression on his face, that question seemed to hit him like a punch in the belly. There are few issues more difficult for a 29/11 than knowing that his every decision will bring the applause of some and the derision and anger of others.

No doubt the President wants to be liked and approved of (as do we all, but 29/11s all the more so), so this is a major hurdle he must overcome to achieve the integrity he is here to embody.

Whether or not one agrees with the decisions, priorities or policies of Barack Obama, remember Plato’s words, “Be kind, for every one of us is fighting his own battle.” We are all peaceful warriors in training, including our President.

I hope these brief comments lend insight into a few facets, challenges, and strengths of Barack Obama — the man and the President.


George Washington 1732-02-22 19/10
John Adams 1735-10-30 20/2
Thomas Jefferson 1743-04-13 23/5
James Madison 1751-03-16 24/6
James Monroe 1758-04-28 35/8
John Quincy Adams 1767-07-11 30/3
Andrew Jackson 1767-03-15 30/3
Martin Van Buren 1782-12-05 26/8
William Henry Harrison 1773-02-09 29/11
John Tyler 1790-03-29 31/4
James Knox Polk 1795-11-02 26/8
Zachary Taylor 1784-11-24 28/10
Millard Fillmore 1800-01-07 17/8
Franklin Pierce 1804-11-23 20/2
James Buchanan 1791-04-23 27/9
Abraham Lincoln 1809-02-12 23/5
Andrew Johnson 1808-12-29 31/4
Ulysses S. Grant 1822-04-27 26/8
Rutherford B. Hayes 1822-10-04 18/9
James Abram Garfield 1831-11-19 25/7
Chester A. Arthur 1829-10-05 26/8
Grover Cleveland 1837-03-18 31/5
Benjamin Harrison 1833-08-20 25/7
William McKinley 1843-01-29 28/10
Theodore Roosevelt 1858-10-27 32/5
William Howard Taft 1857-09-15 36/9
Woodrow Wilson 1856-12-28 33/6
Warren G Harding 1865-11-02 24/6
Calvin Coolidge 1872-07-04 29/11
Herbert Clark Hoover 1874-08-10 29/11
Franklin D Roosevelt 1882-01-30 23/5
Harry S. Truman 1884-05-08 34/7
Dwight D Eisenhower 1890-10-14 24/6
John F Kennedy 1917-05-29 34/7
Lyndon Baines Johnson 1908-08-27 35/8
Richard Milhous Nixon 1913-01-09 24/6
Gerald Rudolph Ford 1913-07-14 26/8
James Earl (Jimmy) Carter 1924-10-01 18/9
Ronald Wilson Reagan 1911-02-06 20/2
George Herbert Walker Bush 1924-06-12 25/7
William Jefferson (Bill) Clinton 1946-08-19 38/11
George Walker Bush 1946-07-06 33/6
Barack Hussein Obama 1961-08-4 29/11