Michelle Obama’s Life Lessons To Live By

We look back at the former First Lady's wisest of words

Michelle Obama

Photo: Getty

1.

“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.” –CNN

2.

“The difference between a broken community and a thriving one is the presence of women who are valued.” –State Department Women of Courage Awards 2009

3.

“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.” -2014 Topeka High School commencement speech

4.

“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.”-Campaigning in Phoenix in 2011

5.

“No country can ever truly flourish if it stifles the potential of its women and deprives itself of the contributions of half its citizens.”-At the Summit of the Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders 2014

Michelle Obama, Barack Obama, Malia Obama

Photo: Rex Arbogast / AP / Rex / Shutterstock

6.

“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.” G20 Summit

Related article: Michelle Obama Says You Shouldn’t Rely On A Partner To Make You Happy

7.

“When girls are educated, their countries become stronger and more prosperous.” visiting Africa in 2013

8.

“Whether you come from a council estate or a country estate, your success will be determined by your own confidence and fortitude.” G20 Summit

Michelle Obama, Barack Obama,

Photo: Getty

9.

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

10.

“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.”– Democratic National Convention 2012

Michelle Obama, Barack Obama,

Photo: Getty

11.

“My most important title is “mom-in-chief”. My daughters are still the heart of my heart and the centre of my world.”– Democratic National Convention 2012

12.

“Strong men, men who are truly role models, don’t need to put down women to make themselves feel powerful.”-During a 2016 speech

Related article: 10 Films To Watch For A Hit Of Girl Power

13.

“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.”-At a Democratic National Convention in 2016

14.

“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.”– During her final speech as a first lady

Michelle Obama

Photo: Michelle Obama

15.

“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.”Democratic National Convention 2016

16.

“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.”Convention Speech 2012

17.

“That whole ‘so you can have it all.’ Nope, not at the same time. That’s a lie. And it’s not always enough to lean in, because that shit doesn’t work all the time.” – On her book tour for ‘Becoming’

18.

“Your story is what you have, what you will always have. It is something to own.” An extract from her book, ‘Becoming’

19.

“Am I good enough? Yes I am.”- An extract from her book, ‘Becoming’

This article originally appeared on Harper’s BAZAAR UK.

Related article: Barack Obama Tells Us How Each Of Us Can Make A Difference

More From

Life