These thought-provoking, Michelle Obama quotes will have you considering a few things in your life. First Lady, mother, lawyer, author, and wife are some of the amazing roles she has played (and, in some cases, continues to do so).
Michelle Obama is an amazing role model for young women and people around the world. Her words in the quotations below reflect that.
Best Michelle Obama Quotes
Here are some of our favorite Michelle Obama quotes.
When they go low we go high.
In an interview with Blavity, Obama backed up her quote-turned-motto, “I absolutely still believe that we’ve got to go high — always and without exception. It’s the only way we can keep our dignity. Because if we lose our dignity, what do we have left?” Obama said. “I know that when someone calls you a name, it’s a lot easier to call them one back than to hold your tongue.”
Success doesn’t count unless you earn it fair and square.
This is one of those Michelle Obama quotes that speak to justice. Gains must be earned fairly to qualify as successful. There’s no elevator to success, take the stairs.
Success isn’t about how much money you make, it’s about the difference you make in people’s lives.
Another great Michelle Obama quote on success, it speaks to the higher goal of being a difference-maker. Success is just graded on what car you drive or the size of your bank account. The bigger question remains: are you helping others?
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One of the lessons that I grew up with was to always stay true to yourself and never let what somebody says distract you from your goals.
Staying focused on your dreams and goals is incredibly important today. There are so many distractions and sideshows that can get a one-off track. Keep your eye on the prize. Of all the famous Michelle Obama quotes, this one might have the most meaning to her fans.
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With every word we utter, with every action we take, we know our kids are watching us. We as parents are their most important role models.
In this Michelle Obama quote on parenting, she captures the essence of the job: be a strong role model. Kids are better at mimicking behavior than they are at following directions. Be that mom or dad who shows them the way; not the one who just tells them.
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Michelle Obama Quotes On Education
When girls are educated, their countries become stronger and more prosperous.
Empower yourselves with a good education.
Through my education, I didn’t just develop skills, I didn’t just develop the ability to learn but I developed confidence.
If your family doesn’t have much money, I want you to remember that in this country, plenty of folks, including me and my husband. We started out with very little. But with a lot of hard work and a good education, anything is possible—even becoming President. That’s what the American Dream is all about.
Get out there and use that education to build a country worthy of your boundless promise. Lead by example with hope, never fear, and know that I will be with you, rooting for you and working to support you for the rest of my life.
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There are still many causes worth sacrificing for, so much history yet to be made.
People who are truly strong lift others up. People who are truly powerful bring others together.
You see, our glorious diversity — our diversity of faiths, and colors and creeds ― that is not a threat to who we are, it makes us who we are.
Choose people who lift you up.
If my future were determined just by my performance on a standardized test, I wouldn’t be here. I guarantee you that.
Notable Quotes from Michelle Obama
There is no limit to what we can accomplish.
The problem is when that fun stuff becomes a habit. And I think that’s what’s happened in our culture. Fast food has become the everyday meal.
I am an example of what is possible when girls from the very beginning of their lives are loved and nurtured by people around them. I was surrounded by extraordinary women in my life who taught me about quiet strength and dignity.
Real men treat the janitor with the same respect as the CEO.
Find people who will make you better.
The realities are that, you know, as a black man, you know, Barack can get shot going to the gas station, you know.
When someone is cruel or acts like a bully, you don’t stoop to their level. No, our motto is, when they go low we go high.
It’s the hopes of folks like my dad, who got up every day, do his job at the city water plant; the hope that one day his kids would go to college and have opportunities he never dreamed of. That’s the kind of hope that every single one of us—politicians, parents, preachers, all of us—need to be providing for our young people. Because that is what moves this country forward every single day: our hope for the future and the hard work that hope inspires.
To the young people here and the young people out there: do not ever let anyone ever make you feel like you don’t matter or like you don’t have a place in our American story — because you do. And you have a right to be exactly who you are. But I also want to be very clear: this right isn’t just handed to you. No, this right has to be earned every single day. You cannot take your freedoms for granted.
The Power of Hope
It is our fundamental belief in the power of hope that has allowed us to rise above the voices of doubt and division, of anger and fear that we have faced in our own lives and in the life of this country. Our hope that if we work hard enough and believe in ourselves, then we can be whatever we dream, regardless of the limitations that others may place on us.
When you are struggling and you start thinking about giving up, I want you to remember something that my husband and I have talked about since we first started this journey nearly a decade ago—something that has carried us through every moment in this White House and every moment of our lives—and that is the power of hope. The belief that something better is always possible if you’re willing to work for it and fight for it.
The difference between a broken community and a thriving one is the presence of woman who is valued.
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.
Do not bring people in your life who weigh you down, and trust your instincts. Good relationships feel good. They feel right. They don’t hurt.
We learned about gratitude and humility – that so many people had a hand in our success, from the teachers who inspired us to the janitors who kept our school clean… and we were taught to value everyone’s contribution and treat everyone with respect.
Every day, you have the power to choose our better history — by opening your hearts and minds, by speaking up for what you know is right.
Success isn’t about how your life looks to others. It’s about how it feels to you. We realized that being successful isn’t about being impressive, it’s about being inspired. That’s what it means to be true to yourself.
We need to fix our souls. Our souls are broken in this nation. We have lost our way. And it begins with inspiration. It begins with leadership.
How hard you work matters more than how much you make.
We learned about dignity and decency – that how hard you work matters more than how much you make… that helping others means more than just getting ahead yourself.
Every day, you have the power to choose.
When you’ve worked hard, and done well, and walked through that doorway of opportunity, you do not slam it shut behind you. You reach back, and you give other folks the same chances that helped you succeed.
Strong men, men who are truly role models, don’t need to put down women to make themselves feel powerful.
Barack and I were both raised by families who didn’t have much in the way of money or material possessions but who had given us something far more valuable – their unconditional love, their unflinching sacrifice, and the chance to go places they had never imagined for themselves.
For me, being a mother made me a better professional because coming home every night to my girls reminded me what I was working for. And being a professional made me a better mother because by pursuing my dreams, I was modeling for my girls how to pursue their dreams.
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In our house, we don’t take ourselves too seriously, and laughter is the best form of unity, I think, in a marriage.
My most important title is “mom-in-chief.” My daughters are still the heart of my heart and the center of my world.
On Oct. 3, 1992, Barack and I were married, and every day since, I’ve grown prouder and more in love with him.
My father’s life is a testament to that basic American promise that no matter who you are or how you started out, if you work hard, you can build a decent life for yourself and an even better life for your kids.
By Sara Olson
Sara is a writer who lives in Bloomington, Minnesota.
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