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Home » 125 Michelle Obama Quotes That Will Inspire You To Live By

125 Michelle Obama Quotes That Will Inspire You To Live By

Michelle Obama Quotes: These quotes by Michelle Obama highlight the highs and lows of her life, as well as the important lessons she has learned along the way, from her childhood all the way up until she became the first African-American First Lady of the United States. Have any of Michelle Obama’s quotes inspired you to consider the type of person you want to be? Everyone has something to say and a story to share with the rest of the world. You have the ability to voice your opinions and take steps in the direction of achieving your objectives, regardless of where you came from or where you want to go in life. You do not have to make a decision between your family and your career, or between your happiness and your success; you have the ability to be successful in all aspects of your life. You have complete control over everything.

Michelle Obama Quotes That Will Inspire You To Live By

Maintain your resolve and fight for the person you want to become. Which of the most powerful women in world history did you learn the most from, and what were those lessons? Which quotes are your favorites? The topics of self-worth, love, leadership, and inequality are discussed in 125 of her most famous quotes that we have compiled in this list. Check out this list, especially if you’re looking for some everyday reminders to keep you motivated and on track with your goals.

1. “I knew what mattered to me. I didn’t want to be some sort of well-dressed ornament who showed up at parties and ribbon cuttings. I wanted to do things that were purposeful and lasting.” — Michelle Obama

2. “I now tried out a new hypothesis—it was possible that I was more in charge of my happiness than I was allowing myself to be.” — Michelle Obama

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3. “Now that I’m an adult, I realize that kids know, at a very young age, when they’re being devalued, when adults aren’t invested enough to help them learn.” — Michelle Obama

4. “Dignity has always gotten us through. It was a choice, and not always the easy one, but the people I respected most in life made it, again and again, every single day.” — Michelle Obama

5. “His money went largely toward books, which to him were like sacred objects, providing ballast for his mind.” — Michelle Obama

6. “You may not always have a comfortable life and you will not always be able to solve all of the world’s problems at once, but don’t ever underestimate the importance you can have because history has shown us that courage can be contagious and hope can take on a life of its own.” — Michelle Obama

Michelle Obama Quotes

7. “I’ve been lucky enough now in my life to meet all sorts of extraordinary and accomplished people—world leaders, inventors, musicians, astronauts, athletes, professors, entrepreneurs, artists and writers, pioneering doctors and researchers.” — Michelle Obama

8. “I endured misery for the sake of appearances.” — Michelle Obama

9. “What I notice about men, all men, is that their order is me, my family. God is in there somewhere, but me is first.” — Michelle Obama

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10. “For the first time in my adult lifetime, I am really proud of my country. And not just because Barack has done well, but because I think people are hungry for change. And I have been desperate to see our country moving in that direction.” — Michelle Obama

11. “Just do what works for you, because there will always be someone who thinks differently.” — Michelle Obama

12. “Don’t be afraid. Be focused. Be determined. Be hopeful. Be empowered.” — Michelle Obama

13. “I was deeply, delightfully in love with a guy whose forceful intellect and ambition could possibly end up swallowing mine.” — Michelle Obama

14. “If you don’t get out there and define yourself, you’ll be quickly and inaccurately defined by others.” — Michelle Obama

15. “Coexisting with Barack’s strong sense of purpose—sleeping in the same bed with it, sitting at the breakfast table with it—was something to which I had to adjust, not because he flaunted it, exactly, but because it was so alive.” — Michelle Obama

16. “For every door that’s been opened to me, I’ve tried to open my door to others.” — Michelle Obama

17. “Inspiration on its own was shallow; you had to back it up with hard work.” — Michelle Obama

18. “The realities are that, you know, as a black man, you know, Barack can get shot going to the gas station, you know.” — Michelle Obama

19. “Am I good enough? Yes, I am.” — Michelle Obama

20. “You don’t really know how attached you are until you move away, until you’ve experienced what it means to be dislodged—a cork floating on the ocean of another place.” — Michelle Obama

21. “I’d been raised to be confident and see no limits, to believe I could go after and get absolutely anything I wanted. And I wanted everything.” — Michelle Obama

22. “And Barack and I were raised with so many of the same values—like, you work hard for what you want in life; that your word is your bond; that you do what you say you’re going to do; that you treat people with dignity and respect, even if you don’t know them and even if you don’t agree with them.” — Michelle Obama

23. “Now, I think it’s one of the most useless questions an adult can ask a child, ‘What do you want to be when you grow up?’ As if growing up is finite. As if at some point you become something and that’s the end.” — Michelle Obama

24. “We live by the paradigms we know.” — Michelle Obama

25. “This was not me and never would be. I could be supportive, but I couldn’t be a robot.” — Michelle Obama

26. “I let his voice be my comfort. It bore no trace of pain or self-pity, carrying only good humor and softness and just the tiniest hint of jazz. I lived on it as if it were oxygen. It was sustaining, and it was always enough.” — Michelle Obama

27. “For me, becoming isn’t about arriving somewhere or achieving a certain aim. I see it instead as forward motion—a means of evolving, a way to reach continuously toward a better self. The journey doesn’t end.” — Michelle Obama

28. “We choose love. Our love for our children. Our commitment to leaving them a better world.” — Michelle Obama

29. “The lesson being, that in life, you control what you can.” — Michelle Obama

30. “Even if we didn’t know the context, we were instructed to remember that context existed.” — Michelle Obama

31. “I was determined to be someone who told the truth, using my voice to lift up the voiceless when I could, and to not disappear on people in need.” — Michelle Obama

32. “It felt perverse—how the world just carried on. How everyone was still here, except for my Suzanne?” — Michelle Obama

33. “They aren’t bad kids. They’re just trying to survive bad circumstances.” — Michelle Obama

34. “We understood, in other words, how ridiculously fortunate we were, and we both felt an obligation not to be complacent.” — Michelle Obama

35. “It’s all a process—steps along a path. Becoming requires equal parts patience and rigor. Becoming is never giving up on the idea that there’s more growing to be done.” — Michelle Obama

36. “It’s a curious thing to realize the in-betweenness one feels being African American in Africa. It gave me a hard-to-explain feeling of sadness, a sense of being unrooted in both lands.” — Michelle Obama

37. “This may be the fundamental problem with caring a lot about what others think—It can put you on the established path—the my-isn’t-that-impressive path—and keep you there for a long time.” — Michelle Obama

38. “Empower yourselves with a good education, then get out there and use that education to build a country worthy of your boundless promise.” — Michelle Obama

39. “I didn’t want them ever to believe that life began when the man of the house arrived home. We didn’t wait for Dad. It was his job now to catch up with us.” — Michelle Obama

40. “Failure is a feeling long before it’s an actual result.” — Michelle Obama

41. “America is not a simple place. Its contradictions set me spinning.” — Michelle Obama

42. “A happy marriage can be a vexation—that it’s a contract best renewed and renewed again, even quietly and privately—even alone.” — Michelle Obama

43. “It’s vulnerability that breeds with self-doubt and then is escalated, often deliberately, by fear.” — Michelle Obama

44. “Trust your instincts. Good relationships feel good. They feel right. They don’t hurt. They’re not painful. That’s not just with somebody you want to marry, but it’s with the friends that you choose. It’s with the people you surround yourselves with.” — Michelle Obama

45. “Everyone seemed to fit in, except for me. I look back on the discomfort of that moment now and recognize the more universal challenge of squaring who you are with where you come from and where you want to go.” — Michelle Obama

46. “The burden of assimilation is put largely on the shoulders of minority students.” — Michelle Obama

47. “Her goal was to push us out into the world. ‘I’m not raising babies,’ she’d tell us. ‘I’m raising adults.’” — Michelle Obama

48. “We should always have three friends in our lives—one who walks ahead who we look up to and follow; one who walks beside us, who is with us every step of our journey; and then, one who we reach back for and bring along after we’ve cleared the way.” — Michelle Obama

49. “Changing the big picture takes time and the best things to do is focus on the things that we can make in our lives if we’re doing all that. That becomes the collage of real change.” — Michelle Obama

50. “You may live in the world as it is, but you can still work to create the world as it should be.” — Michelle Obama

51. “I’m not loud, I just have a lot to say.” — Michelle Obama

52. “Dominance, even the threat of it, is a form of dehumanization. It’s the ugliest kind of power.” — Michelle Obama

53. “I just wanted to achieve, or maybe I didn’t want to be dismissed as incapable of achievement.” — Michelle Obama

54. “I wanted Americans to understand that words matter—that the hateful language they heard coming from their TVs did not reflect the true spirit of our country and that we could vote against it.” — Michelle Obama

55. “I’ve wanted to ask my detractors which part of that phrase matters to them the most—is it ‘angry’ or ‘black’ or ‘woman’?” — Michelle Obama

56. “Women endure entire lifetimes of these indignities—in the form of catcalls, groping, assault, oppression. These things injure us. They sap our strength.” — Michelle Obama

57. “I have had to learn that my voice has value. And if I don’t use it, what’s the point of being in the room?” — Michelle Obama

58. “There’s power in allowing yourself to be known and heard, in owning your unique story, in using your authentic voice. And there’s grace in being willing to know and hear others. This, for me, is how we become.” — Michelle Obama

59. “When they go low, we go high.” — Michelle Obama

60. “The easiest way to disregard a woman’s voice is to package her as a scold.” — Michelle Obama

61. “It’s hard to put into words what sometimes you pick up in the ether, the quiet, cruel nuances of not belonging—the subtle cues that tell you to not risk anything, to find your people and just stay put.” — Michelle Obama

62. “Minority and underprivileged students rise to the challenge all the time—but it takes energy.” — Michelle Obama

63. “I knew from my own life experience that when someone shows genuine interest in your learning and development, even if only for ten minutes in a busy day, it matters. It matters especially for women, for minorities, for anyone society is quick to overlook.” — Michelle Obama

64. “Time, as far as my father was concerned, was a gift you gave to other people.” — Michelle Obama

65. “Most people were good people if you just treated them well.” — Michelle Obama

66. “Friendships between women, as any woman will tell you, are built of a thousand small kindnesses, swapped back and forth and over again.” — Michelle Obama

67. “Everyone on earth, they’d tell us, was carrying around an unseen history, and that alone deserved some tolerance.” — Michelle Obama

68. “Your story is what you have—what you will always have. It is something to own.” — Michelle Obama

69. “At I am still in progress, and I hope that I always will be.” — Michelle Obama

70. “Paintings and poetry, music and fashion, design and dialogue—they all define who we are as a people and provide an account of our history for the next generation.” — Michelle Obama

71. “My early successes in life were, I knew, a product of the consistent love and high expectations with which I was surrounded as a child, both at home and at school.” — Michelle Obama

72. “Even white people were recognizing him now.” — Michelle Obama

73. “In the presence of his certainty, his notion that he could make some sort of difference in the world, I couldn’t help but feel a little bit lost by comparison. His sense of purpose seemed like an unwitting challenge to my own.” — Michelle Obama

74. “We choose excellence. We choose to tune out all the noise and strive for excellence in everything we do. No cutting corners, no taking shortcuts, no whining.” — Michelle Obama

75. “We simply do not allow space in our hearts, minds, or souls for darkness. Instead, we choose faith. Faith in ourselves and the power of hard work.” — Michelle Obama

76. “We give every single time, because excellence is the most powerful answer you can give to the doubters and the haters. It’s also the most powerful thing you can do for yourself.” — Michelle Obama

77. “When someone is cruel or acts like a bully, you do not stoop to their level.” — Michelle Obama

78. “As Americans obsessed over the threat of terrorism, many were overlooking the racism and tribalism that were tearing our nation apart.” — Michelle Obama

79. “It was dignity I wanted to make an appeal for—the idea that as a nation, we might hold on to the core thing that had sustained my family, going back generations.” — Michelle Obama

80. “I hate diversity workshops. Real change comes from having enough comfort to be really honest and say something very uncomfortable.” — Michelle Obama

81. “In my blinding drive to excel, in my need to do things perfectly, I’d missed the signs and taken the wrong road.” — Michelle Obama

82. “The more popular you became, the more haters you acquired.” — Michelle Obama

83. “You can’t make decisions based on fear and the possibility of what might happen.” — Michelle Obama

84. “The choice, as he saw it, was this—you give up or you work for change.” — Michelle Obama

85. “At the root of this dilemma is the way we view mental health in this country. Whether an illness affects your heart, your leg or your brain, it’s still an illness, and there should be no distraction.” — Michelle Obama

86. “I’ve smiled for photos with people who call my husband horrible names on national television, but still want a framed keepsake for their mantle.” — Michelle Obama

87. “As the first African-American family in the White House, we were being viewed as representatives of our race. Any error or lapse in judgment, we knew, would be magnified—read as something more than it was.” — Michelle Obama

88. “You’ve got to be twice as good to get half as far.” — Michelle Obama

89. “Our afternoons together taught me that there was no formula for motherhood. No single approach could be deemed right or wrong. This was useful to see. Regardless of who was living which way and why, every small child in that playroom was cherished and growing just fine.” — Michelle Obama

90. “Because the process of striving and struggling, and pushing yourself to new heights—that’s how you develop your God-given talent. That’s how you make yourself stronger, and smarter, and more able to make a difference for others.” — Michelle Obama

91. “He’s always asking, ‘Is that new? I haven’t seen that before.’ It’s like, why don’t you mind your own business? Solve world hunger. Get out of my closet.” — Michelle Obama

92. “I had learned through my years of trying to find balance in my life that it was okay to flip those priorities and care only for ourselves once in a while.” — Michelle Obama

93. “You find ways to adapt. If you’re in it forever, there’s really no choice.” — Michelle Obama

94. “Everything was not lost. This was the message we needed to carry forward. It’s what I truly believed. It wasn’t ideal, but it was our reality—the world as it is. We needed now to be resolute, to keep our feet pointed in the direction of progress.” — Michelle Obama

95. “They weren’t striving for perfection, but managed somehow to be always excellent.” — Michelle Obama

96. “For me, marriage was more like a full-on merger, a reconfiguring of two lives into one, with the well-being of a family taking precedence over any one agenda or goal.” — Michelle Obama

97. “As a kid, you learn to measure long before you understand the size or value of anything. Eventually, if you’re lucky, you learn that you’ve been measuring all wrong.” — Michelle Obama

98. “I’d been lucky to have parents, teachers, and mentors who’d fed me with a consistent, simple message—you matter. As an adult, I wanted to pass those words to a new generation.” — Michelle Obama

99. “It felt like that’s exactly what she was planting—a suggestion of failure long before I’d even tried to succeed.” — Michelle Obama

100. “No one, I realized, was going to look out for me unless I pushed for it.” — Michelle Obama

101. “Women, in particular, need to keep an eye on their physical and mental health because if we’re scurrying to and from appointments and errands, we don’t have a lot of time to take care of ourselves. We need to do a better job of putting ourselves higher on our own to-do list.” — Michelle Obama

102. “Here’s a memory, which like most memories is imperfect and subjective—collected long ago like a beach pebble and slipped into the pocket of my mind.” — Michelle Obama

103. “One of the lessons that I grew up with was to always stay true to yourself and never let what somebody else says distract you from your goals.” — Michelle Obama

104. “He was like a wind that threatened to unsettle everything.” — Michelle Obama

105. “Life was teaching me that progress and change happen slowly. Not in two years, four years, or even a lifetime.” — Michelle Obama

106. “But Barack arrived in my life a wholly formed person. From our very first conversation, he’d shown me that he wasn’t self-conscious about expressing fear or weakness and that he valued being truthful.” — Michelle Obama

107. “All this inborn confidence was admirable, of course, but honestly, try living with it.” — Michelle Obama

108. “Marriage, he told me early on, struck him as an unnecessary and overhyped convention.” — Michelle Obama

109. “Do we settle for the world as it is, or do we work for the world as it should be?” — Michelle Obama

110. “Barack was just different. He was dialed into the day-to-day demands of his life, but at the same time, especially at night, his thoughts seemed to roam a much wider plane.” — Michelle Obama

111. “Just as I never wondered what it was like for my mother to be a full-time, at-home mother, I never wondered then what it meant to be married.” — Michelle Obama

112. “I wasn’t going to let one person’s opinion dislodge everything I thought I knew about myself. Instead, I switched my method without changing my goal.” — Michelle Obama

113. “Fulfillment, I’m sure, struck her as a rich person’s conceit.” — Michelle Obama

114. “I’ve learned that it’s harder to hate up close.” — Michelle Obama

115. “Kids will invest more when they feel they’re being invested in.” — Michelle Obama

116. “It takes energy to be the only black person in a lecture hall or one of a few nonwhite people trying out for a play or joining an intramural team. It requires effort, an extra level of confidence, to speak in those settings and own your presence in the room.” — Michelle Obama

117. “When voters got to see me as a person, they understood that the caricatures were untrue.” — Michelle Obama

118. “There’s no straight line between effort and reward.” — Michelle Obama

119. “People who are truly strong lift others up. People who are truly powerful bring others together.” — Michelle Obama

120. “Hearing them, I realized that they weren’t at all smarter than the rest of us. They were simply emboldened, floating on an ancient tide of superiority, buoyed by the fact that history had never told them anything different.” — Michelle Obama

121. “Whatever deficits I might have arrived with, coming from an inner-city high school, it seemed that I could make up for them by putting in extra time, asking for help when I needed it, and learning to pace myself and not procrastinate.” — Michelle Obama

122. “The arts are not just a nice thing to have or to do if there is free time or if one can afford it.” — Michelle Obama

123. “If there’s one thing I’ve learned in life, it’s the power of using your voice. I tried my best to speak the truth and shed light on the stories of people who are often brushed aside.” — Michelle Obama

124. “There are truths we face and truths we ignore.” — Michelle Obama

125. “When you’re First Lady, America shows itself to you in its extremes.” — Michelle Obama

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