50 Best Michelle Obama Quotes

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michelle obama quotes

Michelle Obama is not just the first black first lady of the United States. As you'll realize from our list of the best Michelle Obama quotes below, she is also the most academically educated first lady in the history of the United States.

Michelle Obama revolutionized what it means to be the first lady. She didn’t just stand behind Obama and watch him lead the free world. She led beside him.

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Michelle championed the “Let's Move!” program to implement stricter nutritional guidelines for schools to reduce childhood obesity and "Reach Higher Initiative” to make post-secondary education more accessible for everyone — all while she was the first lady. Obama actively worked to make America a better place.

Before Michelle Obama was the first lady or Barack Obama’s wife, she was Michelle Robinson — a successful woman in her own right. She didn’t just get a college degree, Michelle excelled at two ivy league institutions, Princeton and Harvard Law School. At one point, her career was more successful than Obama’s.

Michelle Obama was raised in the south side of Chicago by blue-collar parents, proving that everything she achieved was a result of her hard work, perseverance, and determination. She did not allow the fact that she was a woman, a minority, or of a lower class stop her from dreaming big or achieving success.

Now that Michelle Obama has amounted to such great success, she wrote a memoir called Becoming. It’s her way of authentically sharing her story to positively impact the lives of others. The memoir highlights both her triumphs and downfalls in a way that lets you know that both go hand and hand on the road to success.

Due to the amazing success of Michelle Obama’s memoir, Becoming, Netflix is releasing a documentary tomorrow, May 6, 2020. The documentary will feature Michelle on her book tour and it will likely go deeper into the topics discussed in Becoming

If you’re in need of inspiration and motivation, check out our picks of the best Michelle Obama quotes from interviews and her bestselling book, Becoming.

1. Becoming is about self-evolution.

"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

2. You determine your success.

"Whether you come from a council estate or a country estate, your success will be determined by your own confidence and fortitude.” ― Michelle Obama

3. Be a strong, clear voice.

"You cannot take your freedoms for granted. Just like generations who have come before you, you have to do your part to preserve and protect those freedoms... you need to be preparing yourself to add your voice to our national conversation," ― Michelle Obama

4. Always take the high road.

"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." ― Michelle Obama

5. Success is about the difference you're making in society.

“Success isn’t about how much money you make, it’s about the difference you make in people’s lives." ― Michelle Obama

6. Don’t underestimate how you can change the world.

“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

7. Success only means something when you worked for it.

"Success is only meaningful and enjoyable if it feels like your own." ― Michelle Obama

8. A country that oppressed can’t thrive at it’s fullest potential.

"No country can ever truly flourish if it stifles the potential of its women and deprives itself of the contributions of half its citizens." ― Michelle Obama

9. You are enough.

"Am I good enough? Yes I am." ― Michelle Obama

10. Let your hardships inspire you.

"Instead of letting your hardships and failures discourage or exhaust you, let them inspire you. Let them make you even hungrier to succeed," ― Michelle Obama

11. When you succeed, your next step is to help those who are still behind.

"It was one thing to get yourself out of a stuck place, I realized. It was another thing entirely to try and get the place itself unstuck," ― Michelle Obama

12. We create a better history by speaking up.

"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." ― Michelle Obama

13. Make decisions form a place of hope.

“Don’t ever make decisions based on fear. Make decisions based on hope and possibility.” ― Michelle Obama

14. Strong men support strong women.

"Strong men, strong men, men who are truly role models, don’t need to put down women to make themselves feel powerful," ― Michelle Obama

15. Where you come from doesn’t dictate where you end up.

"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." ― Michelle Obama

16. There is significance in who you surround yourself with.

"I am an example of what is possible when from the very beginning of their lives are loved and nurtured by people around them." ― Michelle Obama

17. Your voice is powerful.

"If there's one thing I've learned in life, it's the power of using your voice." ― Michelle Obama

18. Educated women are a national asset.

"When are educated, their countries become stronger and more prosperous." ― Michelle Obama

19. Maintain your positivity.

“You have to fill your bucket with positive energy—and if you have people hanging around you that are bringing you down and not lifting you up, whether that’s your ‘boo’ or your best friend—you have to learn how to push these people to the side." ― Michelle Obama

20. View your disadvantages as opportunities.

"You should never view your challenges as a disadvantage. Instead, it's important for you to understand that your experience facing and overcoming adversity is actually one of your biggest advantages." ― Michelle Obama

21. Use your past as a measure of how far you’ve come.

"I wake up every morning in a house that was built by slaves. And I watch my daughters, two beautiful, intelligent, black young women playing with their dogs on the White House lawn." ― Michelle Obama

22. Don’t close the doorway of opportunity once you succeed.

"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." ― Michelle Obama

23. Self-care is essential.

"We need to do a better job of putting ourselves higher on our own 'to do' list." ― Michelle Obama

24. Own your story.

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

25. Welcome failure.

“Failure is an important part of your growth and developing resilience. Don’t be afraid to fail." ― Michelle Obama

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26. There are no limits.

“There is no limit to what we can accomplish.” ― Michelle Obama

27. True success is about how you feel.

“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." ― Michelle Obama

28. Always show good sportsmanship.

“No matter what, you give everybody a fair shake, and when somebody needs a hand, you offer yours." ― Michelle Obama

29. We need to uplift other women.

“We have to find a way to continue to lift other women up in our worlds and in our lives as much as possible."― Michelle Obama

30. Stay true to yourself and live by your expectations.

“I have learned that as long as I hold fast to my beliefs and values. And follow my own moral compass, then the only expectations I need to live up to are my own," ― Michelle Obama

31. Every girl has the right to develop her promise.

“Every girl, no matter where she lives, deserves the opportunity to develop the promise inside of her.” ― Michelle Obama

32. We’re all important.

“You’re important in your own right.” ― Michelle Obama

33. Positions of power don’t change you.

“Being president doesn’t change who you are – it reveals who you are.” ― Michelle Obama

34. Education is a form of empowerment.

“Empower yourselves with a good education.” ― Michelle Obama

35. Worth ethic matters more than a paycheck.

“How hard you work matters more than how much you make.” ― Michelle Obama

36. Success comes with hard work.

“There is no magic to achievement. It’s really about hard work, choices, and persistence.” ― Michelle Obama

37. What you achieve is based on your dreams and your willingness to work.

“The only limit to the height of your achievements is the reach of your dreams and your willingness to work hard for them.” ― Michelle Obama

38. Work for the world you want to see.

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

39. The arts define our era.

“The arts are not just a nice thing to have or to do if there is free time or if one can afford it. Rather, 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

40. We need three kinds of friends in our lives.

“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

41. Friendship is built on kindness.

“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

42. You practice success so you can be successful.

“You have to practice success. Success doesn't just show up. If you aren't practicing success today, you won't wake up in 20 years and be successful, because you won't have developed the habits of success, which are small things like finishing what you start, putting a lot of effort into everything you do, being on time, treating people well.” ― Michelle Obama

43. Time is a gift.

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

44. We’ll forever be a work in progress.

“At fifty-four, I am still in progress, and I hope that I always will be.”― Michelle Obama

45. It’s our responsibility to maintain the legacy.

“We've got a responsibility to live up to the legacy of those who came before us by doing all that we can to help those who come after us.” ― Michelle Obama

46. A women’s experience is one that is drastically different from a man’s.

“Women endure entire lifetimes of these indignities—in the form of catcalls, groping, assault, oppression. These things injure us. They sap our strength. Some of the cuts are so small they’re barely visible. Others are huge and gaping, leaving scars that never heal. Either way, they accumulate. We carry them everywhere, to and from school and work, at home while raising our children, at our places of worship, anytime we try to advance.”― Michelle Obama

47. Women can accomplish anything.

“Women and can do whatever they want. There is no limit to what we as women can accomplish.” ― Michelle Obama

48. Remember that change is gradual.

“We were planting seeds of change, the fruit of which we might never see. We had to be patient.”― Michelle Obama

49. She doesn't fear being heard.

“I admit it: I am louder than the average human being and have no fear of speaking my mind. These traits don't come from the color of my skin but from an unwavering belief in my own intelligence.” ― Michelle Obama

50. Know who you are and don’t allow others to distract you.

“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. And so when I hear about negative and false attacks, I really don't invest any energy in them, because I know who I am.”― Michelle Obama

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Tamara Sanon is a writer with a passion for covering topics about health and wellness, lifestyle, astrology, and relationships.