Barack Obama’s advice to Hillary Clinton: ‘Work smart, not just hard’

Hillary Clinton, 2016 Democratic presidential nominee, right, and U.S. President Barack Obama wave to the crowd during a campaign event in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S., on Monday, Nov. 7, 2016.
Charles Mostoller | Bloomberg via Getty Images

Half of all workers in the United States, regardless of industry, are burned out, according to research by Stanford psychologist Emma Seppälä. And, as Hillary Clinton writes in her recently released book, she wasn't exempt.

As she campaigned for the 2016 presidential race, former president Barack Obama had a few words of advice for her: "Work smart, not just hard."

That's according to "What Happened," Clinton's book, which details a behind-the-scenes look at her presidential campaign. In it, she calls her race against Donald Trump "a marathon run at the pace of a sprint."

"Every day, every hour, every moment counts," Clinton writes. "But there are so many days — nearly six hundred, in the case of the 2015 - 2016 campaign — that you have to be careful not to burn out before hitting the finish line."

Clinton admits that her own burnout was observable even by her former competitor and political ally Obama, who "drilled this point home" when she was getting ready to run.

US Democratic presidential candidate Illinois Senator Barack Obama and New York Senator Hillary Clinton address supporters in Orlando, Florida, October 20, 2008.

At the time, Obama reminded Clinton of when they campaigned against each other over eight years before. In 2008, they often wound up lodging in the same hotels while in Iowa or New Hampshire.

"He said his team would be finished with dinner and getting ready to call it a night when we finally got there, completely spent," Clinton writes. "By the time he woke up the next morning, we'd be long gone. In short, he thought we overdid it."

Recalling this time in both their lives, Obama offered her advice: "'Hillary,' he said, 'you've got to pace yourself this time. Work smart, not just hard,'" Clinton writes.

He would repeat the same advice her whenever they saw each other, Clinton writes, adding that he would also ask John Podesta and Huma Abedin to pass the message along to Clinton.

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton with former US president Barack Obama at the 2016 Democratic National Convention.
Alex Wong | Getty Images

"I tried to follow his advice. After all, he won twice," Clinton writes.

Therefore, she decided to change her approach to her overall wellness. "At the beginning, I put some routines in place to keep my traveling team and me as healthy and productive as possible through one of the hardest things any of us would ever do," Clinton writes.

To top it off, Clinton says she urged everyone on the campaign to try their "best to savor every moment" that went their way and simultaneously "find joy and meaning in the daily grind of campaigning."

"Not a day went by when we didn't," Clinton writes.

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