Quotes from Michelle Obama

Michelle Obama

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. I

— Michelle Obama

Michelle Obama

The truth is, in order to get things like universal health care and a revamped education system, then someone is going to have to give up a piece of their pie so that someone else can have more.

— Michelle Obama

Michelle Obama

I began to understand that his version of hope reached far beyond mine: 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

Michelle Obama

It was like stepping onstage at your first piano recital and realizing that you’d never played anything but an instrument with broken keys. Your world shifts, but you’re asked to adjust and overcome, to play your music the same as everyone else.

— Michelle Obama

Michelle Obama

My daughters are the heart of my heart and the center of my world

— Michelle Obama

Michelle Obama

I can hurt you and get away with it. 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.

— Michelle Obama

Michelle Obama

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

Michelle Obama

But my first months at Whitney Young gave me a glimpse of something that had previously been invisible—the apparatus of privilege and connection, what seemed like a network of half-hidden ladders and guide ropes that lay suspended overhead, ready to connect some but not all of us to the sky.

— Michelle Obama

Michelle Obama

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. Their anger over it can manifest itself as unruliness. It’s hardly their fault.

— Michelle Obama

Michelle Obama

Inspiration on its own was shallow; you had to back it up with hard work.

— Michelle Obama

Michelle Obama

It felt perverse, how the world just carried on. How everyone was still here, except for my Suzanne.

— Michelle Obama

Michelle Obama

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

Michelle Obama

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

Michelle Obama

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

Michelle Obama

It hurts to live after someone has died. It just does.

— Michelle Obama

Michelle Obama

Since stepping reluctantly into public life, I’ve been held up as the most powerful woman in the world and taken down as an “angry black woman.” 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

Michelle Obama

The more popular you became, the more haters you acquired.

— Michelle Obama

Michelle Obama

Look how I’m managing, I wanted to say in those moments, to my audience of no one. Does everyone see that I’m pulling this off?

— Michelle Obama

Michelle Obama

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

Michelle Obama

And there’s grace in being willing to know and hear others. This, for me, is how we become.

— Michelle Obama

Michelle Obama

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

Michelle Obama

Most people were good people if you just treated them well.

— Michelle Obama

Michelle Obama

We explain when someone is cruel or acts like a bully, you do not stoop to their level. Our motto is when they go low, you go high.

— Michelle Obama

Michelle Obama

It’s easier to hold onto your own stereotypes and misconceptions, it makes you feel justified in your own ignorance. That’s America. So the challenge for us is, are we ready for change?

— Michelle Obama

Michelle Obama

No one, I realized, was going to look out for me unless I pushed for it.

— Michelle Obama

Michelle Obama

Even if we didn’t know the context, we were instructed to remember that context existed. Everyone on earth, they’d tell us, was carrying around an unseen history, and that alone deserved some tolerance.

— Michelle Obama

Michelle Obama

Am I good enough? Yes, I am.

— Michelle Obama

Michelle Obama

My most important title is still “mom-in-chief.” My daughters are still the heart of my heart and the center of my world.

— Michelle Obama

Michelle Obama

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

Michelle Obama

the burden of assimilation is put largely on the shoulders of minority students.

— Michelle Obama

Michelle Obama

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

Michelle Obama

I've learned that it's harder to hate up close.

— Michelle Obama

Michelle Obama

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

Michelle Obama

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

— Michelle Obama

Michelle Obama

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

Michelle Obama

You’ve got to be twice as good to get half as far.

— Michelle Obama

Michelle Obama

I tried not to feel intimidated when classroom conversation was dominated by male students, which it often was. 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

Michelle Obama

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

Michelle Obama

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

Michelle Obama

When they go low, we go high

— Michelle Obama

Michelle Obama

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. Maybe it stops you from swerving, from ever considering a swerve, because what you risk losing in terms of other people's high regard can feel too costly.

— Michelle Obama

Michelle Obama

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

Michelle Obama

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

Michelle Obama

I was deeply, delightfully in love with a guy whose forceful intellect and ambition could possibly end up swallowing mine.

— Michelle Obama

Michelle Obama

We all play a role in this democracy. We need to remember the power of every vote. I continue, too, to keep myself connected to a force that’s larger and more potent than any one election, or leader, or news story—and that’s optimism. For me, this is a form of faith, an antidote to fear.

— Michelle Obama

Michelle Obama

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

Michelle Obama

Hearing them, I realised that they weren't all at 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

Michelle Obama

What I knew from working in professional environments—from recruiting new lawyers for Sidley & Austin to hiring staff at the White House—is that sameness breeds more sameness, until you make a thoughtful effort to counteract it.

— Michelle Obama

Michelle Obama

The easiest way to disregard a woman’s voice is to package her as a scold.

— Michelle Obama

Michelle Obama

Do not bring people in your life who weigh you down, and trust your insticts. 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 you choose. It's with the people you surround yourself with.

— Michelle Obama

Michelle Obama

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. Maybe it stops you from swerving, from ever even considering a swerve, because what you risk losing in terms of other people’s high regard can feel too costly.

— Michelle Obama

Michelle Obama

Grief and resilience live together.

— Michelle Obama

Michelle Obama

Good relationships feel good. They feel right. They don't hurt.

— Michelle Obama

Michelle Obama

Life was teaching me that progress and change happen slowly. Not in two years, four years, or even a lifetime. We were planting seeds of change, the fruit of which we might never see. We had to be patient.

— Michelle Obama

Michelle Obama

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

Michelle Obama

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

Michelle Obama

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

Michelle Obama

[Y]ou may live in the world as it is, but you can still work to create the world as it should be.

— Michelle Obama

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

Michelle Obama

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

Michelle Obama

People who are truly strong lift others up. People who are truly powerful bring others together.

— Michelle Obama

Michelle Obama

Failure is a feeling long before it becomes an actual result

— Michelle Obama

Michelle Obama

just do what works for you, because there will always be someone who think diffenrently...

— Michelle Obama

Michelle Obama

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

Michelle Obama

Dominance, even the threat of it, is a form of dehumanization. It’s the ugliest kind of power.

— Michelle Obama

Michelle Obama

Bullies were scared people hiding inside scary people.

— Michelle Obama

Michelle Obama

The lesson being that in life you control what you can.

— Michelle Obama

Michelle Obama

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

Michelle Obama

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

Michelle Obama

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

The choice, as he saw it, was this: You give up or you work for change. “What’s better for us?” Barack called to the people gathered in the room. “Do we settle for the world as it is, or do we work for the world as it should be?

— Michelle Obama

Michelle Obama

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

Michelle Obama

We were planting seeds of change, the fruit of which we might never see. We had to be patient.

— Michelle Obama

Michelle Obama

Even if we didn't know the context, we were instructed to remember that context existed. Everyone on earth, they'd tell us, was carrying around an unseen history, and that alone deserved some tolerance.

— Michelle Obama

Michelle Obama

When they go low, we go high.

— Michelle Obama

Michelle Obama

His money went largely toward books, which to him were like sacred objects, providing ballast for his mind.

— Michelle Obama

Michelle Obama

At fifty-four, I am still in progress, and I hope that I always will be.

— Michelle Obama

Michelle Obama

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

Michelle Obama

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. Their anger over it can manifest itself as unruliness. It’s hardly their fault. They aren’t “bad kids.” They’re just trying to survive bad circumstances.

— Michelle Obama

Michelle Obama

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

Michelle Obama

Time, as far as my father was concerned, was a gift you gave to other people.

— Michelle Obama

Michelle Obama

Everyone on Earth, they'd tell us, was carrying around an unseen history, and that alone deserved some tolerance.

— Michelle Obama

Michelle Obama

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

Michelle Obama

Your story is what you have, what you will always have. It is something to own.

— Michelle Obama

Michelle Obama

failure is a feeling long before it’s an actual result.

— Michelle Obama

Michelle Obama

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.

— Michelle Obama

Michelle Obama

Failure is a feeling long before it becomes an actual result. It’s vulnerability that breeds with self-doubt and then is escalated, often deliberately, by fear.

— Michelle Obama

Michelle Obama

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

Michelle Obama

Do we settle for the world as it is, or do we work for the world as it should be?

— Michelle Obama

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

Michelle Obama

You can't make decisions based on fear and the possibility of what might happen.

— Michelle Obama

Michelle Obama

If you don’t get out there and define yourself, you’ll be quickly and inaccurately defined by others.

— Michelle Obama

Michelle Obama

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