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In 2003, I ran for governor of California. During the televised debate, Arnold Schwarzenegger responded to one of my rebuttals by telling me to drink more decaf, a remark I cannot imagine him making that comment to a male candidate. When it was over, dozens of young women came forward to thank me for taking a stand and speaking my mind. It taught me a valuable lesson: as a culture, we’re still not comfortable accepting assertive women in positions of leadership. The experience reminded me why I’d run for office in the first place, and despite the bruising moments, I was glad I did.

Has there been a time in your life when a difficult situation highlighted your ambitions for you? Recount the experience and look more closely at it.

–Arianna Huffington

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