10 Michelle Obama Quotes So Powerful They Might Change Your Life

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With just four days to go until we no longer have everyone’s favourite first lady, champion, advocate, lawyer, role model, Wonder Woman, and of course, fashion icon, in office, we can’t help but get a little nostalgic.

During her 8 years at the White House, Michelle Obama has been the epitome of grace and poise, one half of a power couple that has charmed the hearts of people across the globe. We loved her Mannequin Challenge with the Chicago Chevaliers, her hilarious carpool with James Corden, her legendary CVS run, and of course, her meeting with 106-year-old Virginia McLaurin that turned into an instant dance party.

But what she’ll be most remembered for, is being a tireless defender of women and LGBT rights, and a crusader for worldwide education, healthy living, good eating habits, and cross-racial tolerance.

A consummate professional, Michelle did all of this while raising two daughters, fulfilling her duties as First Lady, and maintaining a killer fashion sense and hair to die for.

Is there anything she cannot do?

To celebrate the end of our eight-year obsession, we’re rounding up some of the fiercest, most powerful, and insightful quotes from Michelle Obama’s endlessly noteworthy time as FLOTUS.

Obama

ON PARENTING 

“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…And when crisis hits, we don’t turn against each other. No, we listen to each other, we lean on each other, because we are always stronger together.”

Obama

ON THE IMPORTANCE OF WOMEN IN SOCIETY

“The difference between a broken community and a thriving one is the presence of women who are valued”

Obama

ON MAKING THE RIGHT CHOICES

“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. Faith in our God whose overwhelming love sustains us every single day. That’s what we choose.  We choose love. Our love for our children. Our commitment to leaving them a better world. Our love for our country which has given us so many blessings and advantages. Our love for our fellow citizens: parents working hard to support their kids, men and women in uniform who risk everything to keep us safe, young people from the toughest background who never stop believing in their dreams, some people like so many of you. That’s what we choose.

And 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. We give 120% 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. 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.”

Obama

ON SELF-WORTH

“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.”

Obama

ON BULLYING

“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.”

Obama

ON THE BLACK FEMALE VOICE

“When I was a girl, I had parents who loved me and believed in me, but those doubts still worked their way inside my head and my heart, and I was always worried about something. Does my hair look right? Am I too tall? Do I raise my hand too much in class? So when folks said that a girl like me shouldn’t aspire to go to the very best colleges in this country I thought, “Maybe they’re right.” But eventually I learned that each of those doubts were like a little test, a challenge, that either I could shrink away from or rise up to meet and I decided to rise.

Yes, I decided to rewrite those tired old scripts that define too many of us. I decided that I wasn’t bossy — I was confident and strong. I wasn’t loud — I was a young woman with something important to say and when I looked into the mirror I saw a tall, and smart and beautiful black girl. And that more than anything else is what I want for you, I want you to live life on your own terms… but anyone who’s achieved anything in life knows that challenges and failures are necessary components of success.

I need you to understand that we are the women who marched from cotton fields into fields of medicine … politics … entertainment. We have found a way to march into a White House.”

Obama

ON HOPE

“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.”

Obama

ON HER ROLE MODELS

“The first time I read Phenomenal Woman, I was struck by how she celebrated black women’s beauty like no one had ever dared to before. … For me, that was the power of Maya Angelou’s words — words so powerful that they carried a little black girl from the South Side of Chicago all the way to the White House.”

Obama

ON FINDING THE RIGHT PEOPLE 

“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. 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.”

Obama

ON EDUCATION

“You don’t want to be with a boy who is too stupid to appreciate a smart young lady. There is no boy who is cute enough or interesting enough to stop you from getting your education.”

Obama

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