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114 Most Powerful Michelle Obama Quotes

Quote Graphic: If there’s one thing I’ve learned in life, it’s the power of using your voice. — Michelle Obama, Becoming

Michelle Obama — thrust into the global spotlight when she became First Lady of the United States — is celebrated for far more than her contributions during her time in the White House. 

A lawyer, writer, and advocate — her influence extends well beyond the conventional expectations of a First Lady. 

In her memoir, “Becoming,” Michelle Obama opened up about her life story, including deeply personal experiences like her journey with fertility, marriage, parenting, and life growing up — all of which resonated with countless individuals worldwide. 

Her reflections on navigating the complexities of life in the public eye, balancing her professional ambitions with her family life, and her continuous journey of self-discovery, have connected with people from all walks of life. 

In this article, we’ve curated a selection of Michelle Obama’s most impactful quotes. 

Whether you’re seeking inspiration, encouragement, or a deeper connection with the experiences and insights of one of the most influential figures of our time — these quotes from Michelle Obama are a profound source of guidance.

You might also like: The Best Barack Obama Quotes

The Best Michelle Obama Quotes

Famous Quotes

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

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

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

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

“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, Becoming

“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, Becoming‍

“Focus on what you can control. Be a good person every day. Vote. Read. Treat one another kindly. Follow the law. Don’t tweet nasty stuff.”
— Michelle Obama, in an interview

“Focus on what you can control. Be a good person every day. Vote. Read. Treat one another kindly. Follow the law. Don’t tweet nasty stuff.” — Michelle Obama, in an interview

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

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

“Failure is an important part of your growth and developing resilience. Don’t be afraid to fail.”
— Michelle Obama, in a panel

“Failure is an important part of your growth and developing resilience. Don’t be afraid to fail.” — Michelle Obama, in a panel

“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, Becoming

“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, Becoming

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

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

“If we want maturity, we have to be mature. If we want a nation that feels hopeful, then we have to speak in hopeful terms…We have to model what we want.”
— Michelle Obama, in an interview

“If we want maturity, we have to be mature. If we want a nation that feels hopeful, then we have to speak in hopeful terms…We have to model what we want.” — Michelle Obama, in an interview

“No matter what, you give everybody a fair shake, and when somebody needs a hand, you offer yours.”
— Michelle Obama, in a speech

“No matter what, you give everybody a fair shake, and when somebody needs a hand, you offer yours.” — Michelle Obama, in a speech

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

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

“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, in a speech

“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, in a speech

“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, Becoming

“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, Becoming

On Hope

“I began to understand that his version of hope reached far beyond mine: It was one thing to get yourself out of a stick place, I realized. It was another thing entirely to try and get the place itself unstuck.”
— Michelle Obama, Becoming

“I began to understand that his version of hope reached far beyond mine: It was one thing to get yourself out of a stick place, I realized. It was another thing entirely to try and get the place itself unstuck.” — Michelle Obama, Becoming

“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, Becoming

“Kids wake up each day believing in the goodness of things, in the magic of what might be. They’re uncynical, believers at their core. We owe it to them to stay strong and keep working to create a more fair and humane world. For them, we need to remain both tough and hopeful, to acknowledge that there’s more growing to be done.”
— Michelle Obama, Becoming

“Grief and resilience live together.”
— Michelle Obama, Becoming

“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, Becoming

“We have bumps in the road. We have ups and downs but I want our kids to move forward — I don’t care where they come from — with strength and with hope.”
— Michelle Obama, in an interview 

“We have bumps in the road. We have ups and downs but I want our kids to move forward — I don’t care where they come from — with strength and with hope.” — Michelle Obama, in an interview 

→ Read more quotes about hope

On Strength

“If there’s one thing I’ve learned in life, it’s the power of using your voice.”
— Michelle Obama, Becoming

“If there’s one thing I’ve learned in life, it’s the power of using your voice.” — Michelle Obama, Becoming

“When someone chooses to lift the curtain on a perceived imperfection in her story, on a circumstance or condition that traditionally might be considered to be a weakness, what she’s often actually revealing is the source code for her steadiness and strength.”
— Michelle Obama, The Light We Carry: Overcoming in Uncertain Times

“Strong men, strong men, men who are truly role models, don’t need to put down women to make themselves feel powerful.”
— Michelle Obama, in a speech

“Strong men, strong men, men who are truly role models, don’t need to put down women to make themselves feel powerful.” — Michelle Obama, in a speech

“I believe that each of us carries a bit of inner brightness, something entirely unique and individual. A flame that’s worth protecting. When we are able to recognize our own light, we become empowered to use it. When we learn to foster what’s unique in the people around us, we become better able to build compassionate communities and make meaningful change.”
— Michelle Obama, The Light We Carry

“It’s time to tell everyone who’s dealing with a mental-health issue that they’re not alone, and that getting support and treatment isn’t a sign of weakness — it’s a sign of strength.”
— Michelle Obama, in a speech

“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, in a speech

“Going high is about learning to keep the poison out and the power in. It means that you have to be judicious with your energy and clear in your convictions. You push ahead in some instances and pull back in others, giving yourself opportunities to rest and restore. It helps to recognize that you are operating on a budget, as all of us are. When it comes to our attention, our time, our credibility, our goodwill toward and from others, we work with a limited but renewable set of resources.”
— Michelle Obama, The Light We Carry

“I am coming down from the mountaintop to tell every young person that is poor and working class, and has been told regardless of the color of your skin that you don’t belong, don’t listen to them. They don’t even know how they got at those seats.”
— Michelle Obama, in Netflix documentary, Becoming

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

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

→ Read more quotes about staying strong

On Education

“Plenty of folks — including me and my husband — started out with very little. But with a good education and a lot of hard work, anything is possible.”
— Michelle Obama, in a speech

“Plenty of folks — including me and my husband — started out with very little. But with a good education and a lot of hard work, anything is possible.” — Michelle Obama, in a speech

“If my future were determined just by my performance on a standardized test, I wouldn’t be here. I guarantee you that.”
— Michelle Obama, in a speech 

“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, Becoming

“That’s why it is so important for more of our young people to live and study in each other’s countries. That’s how, student by student, we develop that habit of cooperation, by immersing yourself in someone else’s culture, by sharing your stories and letting them share theirs, by taking the time to get past the stereotypes and misperceptions that too often divide us.”
— Michelle Obama, in a speech

“We want to lift up the grassroots leaders in communities all over the world who are clearing away the hurdles that too many girls face, because the evidence is clear: educating girls isn’t just good for the girls, it’s good for all of us.”
— Michelle Obama, in an interview

“When girls are educated, their countries become stronger and more prosperous.”
— Michelle Obama, remarks

“When girls are educated, their countries become stronger and more prosperous.” — Michelle Obama, remarks

“I want our young people to know that they matter, that they belong. So don’t be afraid — you hear me, young people? Don’t be afraid. Be focused. Be determined. Be hopeful. Be empowered. Empower yourselves with a good education, then get out there and use that education to build a country worthy of your boundless promise. Lead by example with hope, never fear.”
— Michelle Obama, in a speech

“You have to stay in school. You have to. You have to go to college. You have to get your degree. Because that’s the one thing people can’t take away from you is your education. And it is worth the investment.”
— Michelle Obama, in a speech

“I was too worried about the grades and I should have been more worried about learning.”
— Michelle Obama

“I was too worried about the grades and I should have been more worried about learning.” — Michelle Obama

On Relationships

“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, Becoming

“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, Becoming

“Reach for partners that make you better. Do not bring people into your life who weigh you down. 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, in a panel

“Let’s just be clear, you don’t want to be with a boy who’s too stupid to know and appreciate a smart young lady.”
— Michelle Obama, in a panel

“If you choose to try to make a life with another person, you will live by that choice. You’d find yourself having to choose again and again to remain rather than run. It helps if you enter into a committed relationship prepared to work, ready to be humbled and willing to accept and even enjoy living in that in-between space, bouncing between the poles of beautiful and horrible, sometimes in the span of a single conversation, sometimes over the course of years. And inside of that choice and those years you’ll almost certainly come to see that there is no such thing as a 50-50 balance, instead it will be like beads on an abacus, sliding back and forth, the maths rarely tidy, the equation never quite solved…”
— Michelle Obama, The Light We Carry

“A successful partnership is like a winning basketball team made up of two deaf individuals with fully developed and interchangeable sets of skills. Each player has to know not just how to shoot but also how to dribble, pass and defend. That doesn’t mean there aren’t weaknesses or differences you will compensate for in each other. It’s just that together you’ll have to cover the full court keeping yourselves versatile over time.”
— Michelle Obama, The Light We Carry

“A partnership doesn’t actually change who you are even as it challenges you to be accommodating of another person’s needs… The change is in what is between us, the million small adjustments, compromises and sacrifices, we’ve each made in order to accommodate the close presence of the other.”
— Michelle Obama, The Light We Carry

“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, in a panel

“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, in a panel

On Family, Parenting, & Motherhood

“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.”
— Michelle Obama, in a speech

“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.” — Michelle Obama, in a speech

“I grew up with a disabled dad in a too-small house with not much money in a starting-to-fail neighborhood, and I also grew up surrounded by love and music in a diverse city in a country where an education can take you far. I had nothing or I had everything. It depends on which way you want to tell it.”
— Michelle Obama, Becoming

“My most important title is mom-in-chief. My daughters are still the heart of my heart and the center of my world.”
— Michelle Obama, in a speech

“Being a mother has been a master class in letting go. Try as we might, there’s only so much we can control. And, boy, have I tried — especially at first. As mothers, we just don’t want anything or anyone to hurt our babies. But life has other plans. Bruised knees, bumpy roads and broken hearts are part of the deal. What’s both humbled and heartened me is seeing the resiliency of my daughters.”
— Michelle Obama, in a speech

“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, in a speech

“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, in a speech

“My mother maintained the sort of parental mindset that I now recognize as brilliant and nearly impossible to emulate — kind of unflappable Zen neutrality… She wasn’t quick to judge and she wasn’t quick to meddle. Instead, she monitored our moods and bore benevolent witness to whatever travails or triumphs a day might bring… When we’d done something great, we received just enough praise to know she was happy with us, but never so much that it became the reason we did what we did.”
— Michelle Obama, Becoming

“When I get up and work out, I’m working out just as much for my girls as I am for me, because I want them to see a mother who loves them dearly, who invests in them, but who also invests in herself. It’s just as much about letting them know as young women that it is okay to put yourself a little higher on your priority list.”
— Michelle Obama, in an interview

“When it came to the home-for-dinner dilemma, I installed new boundaries, ones that worked better for me and the girls. We made our schedule and stuck to it… It went back to my wishes for them to grow up strong and centered and also unaccommodating to any form of old-school patriarchy: 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, Becoming

“It’s about leaving something better for our kids. That’s how we’ve always moved this country forward, by all of us coming together on behalf of our children, folks who volunteer to coach that team, to teach that Sunday school class, because they know it takes a village.”
— Michelle Obama, in a speech

“So the next time we battle with our kids over those vegetables, or they refuse to join us for a walk to the park, the next time we struggle to change our schools or communities, we need to remind ourselves that parents everywhere are going through exactly the same thing. We have to remember that we’re all in this together.”
— Michelle Obama, in a speech

“One light feeds another. One strong family lends strength to more. One engaged community can ignite those around it. This is the power of the light we carry.”
— Michelle Obama, The Light We Carry

“One light feeds another. One strong family lends strength to more. One engaged community can ignite those around it. This is the power of the light we carry.” — Michelle Obama, The Light We Carry

On Friendships

“Choose people who lift you up. Find people who will make you better.”
— Michelle Obama, in an interview

“Choose people who lift you up. Find people who will make you better.” — Michelle Obama, in an interview

“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, Becoming

“Life has shown me that strong friendships are most often the result of strong intentions. Your table needs to be deliberately built, deliberately populated, and deliberately tended to. Not only do you have to say I am curious about you to someone who might be a friend, but you should also invest in that curiosity — setting aside time and energy for your friendship to grow and deepen, privileging it ahead of the things that will pile up and demand your attention in ways that friendship seldom does.”
— Michelle Obama, The Light We Carry

“The fact is, with every friendship you make, and every bond of trust you establish, you are shaping the image of America projected to the rest of the world. That is so important. So when you study abroad, you’re actually helping to make America stronger.”
— Michelle Obama, in a speech

“I lean on each individual at different times and in different ways. Which is another thing worth recognizing about friendship. No one person, no one relationship will fulfill your every need. Not every friend can offer you safety or support on every day. Not every one can or will show up precisely when or how you need them to. And this is why it’s good to continue always making room at your table, to keep yourself open to gathering more friends. You will never not need them, and you will never stop learning from them.”
— Michelle Obama, The Light We Carry

“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

“Friends will come and go, taking on more or less importance as you move through different phases of life.”
— Michelle Obama, The Light We Carry

“Friends will come and go, taking on more or less importance as you move through different phases of life.” — Michelle Obama, The Light We Carry

On Confidence

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

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

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

“You know, having your feelings hurt, having people say things about you that aren’t true… Life hits you, so over the course of living, you learn how to protect yourself in it. You learn to take in what you need and get rid of the stuff that’s clearly not true.”
— Michelle Obama, in an interview

“Don’t ever make decisions based on fear. Make decisions based on hope and possibility. Make decisions based on what should happen, not what shouldn’t.”
— Michelle Obama, Becoming

“I think as women and young girls, we have to invest that time in getting to understand who we are and liking who we are. Because I like me. I’ve liked me for a very long time… But you’ve got to work to get to that place. And if you’re going out into the world as a professional and you don’t know who you are, you don’t know what you want, you don’t know how much you’re worth, then you have to be brave. And then you have to count on the kindness and goodness of others to bestow that goodness on you when you should be working to get it on your own. Because you deserve it.”
— Michelle Obama, in an interview

“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, in an interview

“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, in an interview

“Do not ever let anyone 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.”
— Michelle Obama, in a speech

“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, in a speech

“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, in a speech

On Success

“Success isn’t about how much money you make; it’s about the difference you make in people’s lives.”
— Michelle Obama, in a speech

“Success isn’t about how much money you make; it’s about the difference you make in people’s lives.” — Michelle Obama, in a speech

“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, in a speech

“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, Becoming

“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, in a speech

“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, in a speech

“We realized that being successful isn’t about being impressive — it’s about being inspired. And that’s what it means to be your true self. It means looking inside yourself and being honest about what you truly enjoy doing. Because, graduates, I can promise you that you will never be happy plodding through someone else’s idea of success. Success is only meaningfu — and enjoyable — if it feels like your own.”
— Michelle Obama, in a speech

“I’ve been lucky enough now in my life to meet all sorts of extraordinary and accomplished people... Some (though not enough) of them are women. Some (though not enough) are black or of color. Some were born poor or have lives that to many of us would appear to have been unfairly heaped with adversity, and yet still they seem to operate as if they’ve had every advantage in the world. What I’ve learned is this: All of them have had doubters. Some continue to have roaring, stadium-sized collection of critics and naysayers who will shout I told you so at every little misstep or mistake. The noise doesn’t go away, but the most successful people I know have figured out how to live with it, to lean on the people who believe in them, and to push onward with their goals.”
— Michelle Obama, Becoming

“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, Becoming

“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, Becoming

On Leadership

“I’ve seen firsthand that being president doesn’t change who you are. It reveals who you are.”
— Michelle Obama

“I’ve seen firsthand that being president doesn’t change who you are. It reveals who you are.” — Michelle Obama

“When somebody walks up to me, don’t look around, don’t look beyond them. Look them in the eye, take in the story.”
— Michelle Obama, in Netflix documentary, Becoming

“At the end of the day, when it comes time to make that decision, as president, all you have to guide you are your values, and your vision, and the life experiences that make you who you are.”
— Michelle Obama

“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, Becoming

“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.”
— Michelle Obama, in a speech

“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.” — Michelle Obama, in a speech

On Love

“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.”
— Michelle Obama

“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.” — Michelle Obama

“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, Becoming

“The only love story I know, is the one I happen to live inside everyday. Your path towards certainty, if that’s even what you’re after, will look different from mine. Just as your conception of home and who belongs there with you, will always be unique to you. Only slowly do most of us figure out what we need in intimate relationships and what we’re able to give to them. We practice, we learn, we mess up. We sometimes acquire tools that don’t actually serve us… we obsess, overthink and misplace our energy… we retreat when hurt, we armor up when scared, we might attack when provoked, or yield when ashamed.”
— Michelle Obama, The Light We Carry

“Real and lasting love, I think, happens mostly in the realm of in-between. Together, you are answering the question: Who are we and who do we want to be?”
— Michelle Obama, Becoming

“Barack intrigued me. He was not like anyone I’d dated before, mainly because he seemed so secure. He was openly affectionate. He told me I was beautiful. He made me feel good. To me, he was sort of like a unicorn — unusual to the point of seeming almost unreal. He never talked about material things, like buying a house or a car or even new shoes. His money went largely toward books, which to him were like sacred objects, providing ballast for his mind.”
— Michelle Obama, Becoming

“When it does work, it can feel like an actual, honest-to-god miracle, which is what love is, after all. That’s the whole point. Any long-term partnership, really, is an act of stubborn faith.”
— Michelle Obama, The Light We Carry

“When it does work, it can feel like an actual, honest-to-god miracle, which is what love is, after all. That’s the whole point. Any long-term partnership, really, is an act of stubborn faith.” — Michelle Obama, The Light We Carry

Short Quotes

“The one way to get me to work my hardest was to doubt me.”
— Michelle Obama

“The one way to get me to work my hardest was to doubt me.” — Michelle Obama

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

“I’m not done. I’m too young to stop.”
— Michelle Obama, in an interview 

“I’m not done. I’m too young to stop.” — Michelle Obama, in an interview 

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

“In life, you control what you can.”
— Michelle Obama

“Bullies were scared people hiding inside scary people.”
— Michelle Obama, Becoming

“There’s grace in being willing to know and hear others.”
— Michelle Obama, Becoming

“It’s okay to pace yourself, get a little rest, and speak of your struggles out loud. It’s okay to prioritize your wellness.”
— Michelle Obama, The Light We Carry

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

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

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

“I’ve always felt very alive using my gifts and talents to help other people. I sleep better at night. I’m happier.”
— Michelle Obama, in an interview

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

“There are still many causes worth sacrificing for, so much history yet to be made.”
— Michelle Obama

“There are still many causes worth sacrificing for, so much history yet to be made.” — Michelle Obama

→ Read more short quotes

More Quotes

“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, in a speech

“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, in a speech

“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, in an interview

“Our hurts become our fears. Our fears become our limits. For many of us, this can be a heavy inheritance, carried by generations. It’s a lot to try to push back against, to try to unlearn.”
— Michelle Obama, The Light We Carry

“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, in a speech

“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, Becoming

“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, Becoming

“When we allow ourselves to celebrate tiny victories as important and meaningful, we start to understand the incremental nature of change — how one vote can help change our democracy; how raising a child who is whole and loved can help change a nation; how educating one girl can change a whole village for the better.”
— Michelle Obama, The Light We Carry

“It’s remarkable how a stereotype functions as an actual trap. How many ‘angry black women’ have been caught in the circular logic of that phrase? When you aren’t being listened to, why wouldn’t you get louder? If you’re written off as angry or emotional, doesn’t that just cause more of the same?”
— Michelle Obama, Becoming

“I’ve been practicing stepping back and addressing my fear with familiarity, offering no more than a half-friendly shrug and a few easy words: Oh, hello. It’s you again. Thanks for showing up. For making me so alert. But I see you. You’re no monster to me.”
— Michelle Obama, The Light We Carry

“What truly makes our country great is its diversity. I’ve seen that beauty in so many ways over the years. Whether we are born here or seek refuge here, there’s a place for us all. We must remember it’s not my America or your America. It’s our America.”
— Michelle Obama, in a tweet

“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, Becoming

“We’re so afraid of each other… Color, wealth, these things that don’t really matter still play too much of a role in how we see one another. And it’s sad, because the thing that least defines us is the color of our skin.”
— Michelle Obama, in an interview 

“We’re so afraid of each other… Color, wealth, these things that don’t really matter still play too much of a role in how we see one another. And it’s sad, because the thing that least defines us is the color of our skin.” — Michelle Obama, in an interview

“For every door that’s been opened to me, I’ve tried to open my door to others. And here is what I have to say, finally: Let’s invite one another in. Maybe then we can begin to fear less, to make fewer wrong assumptions, to let go of the biases and stereotypes that unnecessarily divide us. Maybe we can better embrace the ways we are the same. It’s not about being perfect. It’s not about where you get yourself in the end. 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, Becoming

“Tell the truth, do your best by others, keep perspective, understand history and context. Stay prudent, stay tough, and stay outraged. But more than anything, don’t forget to do the work.”
— Michelle Obama, The Light We Carry

“Tell the truth, do your best by others, keep perspective, understand history and context. Stay prudent, stay tough, and stay outraged. But more than anything, don’t forget to do the work.” ‍— Michelle Obama, The Light We Carry

Article Details

January 14, 2024 3:28 PM
Quote Graphic: None of us can be liberated if other groups are not. — Gloria Steinem, in a speech

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