30 Best Michelle Obama Quotes to Celebrate Her Birthday With

From humble beginnings on the South Side of Chicago to becoming First Lady and a bestselling author, Michelle Obama has inspired millions. Her words glisten with a buoyant optimism, but that does not mean she’s afraid to speak hard truths. For this reason, Michelle Obama quotes have become exceedingly popular because they resonate so deeply with us. After leaving the White House, the former first lady published her memoir Becoming, a Netflix documentary of the same name, and another incredible book entitled The Light We Carry: Overcoming in Uncertain Times.

Through these works, speaking engagements, and interviews, this hopeful visionary has said so many things that are worth repeating, even daily! We wanted to round up some Michelle Obama quotes that have stuck with us through the years to share them with you. Today, January 17, she turns 59 years old. We can think of no better way to celebrate than to take her brilliant remarks to heart.

On the Meaning of ‘Becoming’

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“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

On Being Present and Listening

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“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

On Being at Peace with Not ‘Having It All’

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“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 s*#t doesn’t work all the time.” — Michelle Obama

On Writing Your Own Story

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

On Knowing You Are Enough

michelle obama quotes

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

On Using Your Voice

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

On Learning from Adversity

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“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

On Prioritizing One’s Self

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“We need to do a better job of putting ourselves higher on our own ‘to-do’ list.” — Michelle Obama

On the Power of Staying Positive

michelle obama quotes

“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

On Defining Success

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

On Uplifting Others

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“When you’ve worked hard, and done well, and walked through that doorway of opportunity, you do not slam it shut behind you.” — Michelle Obama

RELATED: Michelle Obama Gives Sound Advice on Marriage and Relationships While Promoting Her Newest Book Titled ‘The Light We Carry’

On Finding Your People

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

On Defining Success by Inspiration

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“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. That’s what it means to be true to yourself.” — Michelle Obama

On Supporting Other Women

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“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

On Being Fair and Lending a Helping Hand

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

On Living by Personal Morality

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“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

On Not Giving Up

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“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

On Taking the Higher Road

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“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

On Leading With Hope

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“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

On Not Fearing Failure

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

On Being Authentic and Heard

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“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.” — Michelle Obama

On Turning Hardships Into Power

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“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

On Male Strength

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

On Being Actively Protective of Freedoms

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“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

On Empowering Women

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“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

On Agency

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

On Uplifting Youths

michelle obama quotes

“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

On Not Listening to the Noise

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“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

On Valuing Family

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“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

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On Leveling the Playing Field

michelle obama quotes

“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

There you go! Aren’t these Michelle Obama quotes dynamite? We think they should be required reading. For even more uplifting quotes, keep reading. We’ve got dozens of quotes about keeping a positive attitude and remaining hopeful to share with you.

It Can Do Wonders

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“A strong positive attitude will create more miracles than any wonder drug.” — Patricia Neal

About That Greener Grass

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“I’m too busy working on my own grass to see if yours is greener.” – Unknown

A Positive Attitude Quote About Peace for Your Soul

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 “Positivity brings about a peace of mind which in turn relaxes your whole being.” — Suman Arora

Convincing Yourself to Feel Better

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“Convince yourself every day that you are worthy of a good life. Let go of stress, breathe. Stay positive, all is well.” — Germany Kent

A Positive Attitude Quote Can Be Your Passport

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“A positive attitude is a person’s passport to a better tomorrow.” — Jeff Keller

Positivity Is the Only Option

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“A positive attitude may not solve all our problems but that is the only option we have if we want to get out of problems.” — Subodh Gupta

To the Fullest

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“Live life to the fullest, and focus on the positive.” — Matt Cameron

A Positive Attitude Quote About Opportunity Finding You

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“I will always find a way and a way will always find me.” ― Charles F. Glassman

Our Belief in Good Outcomes Will Yield Those Outcomes

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“Our beliefs about what we are and what we can precisely determine what we can be.” ― Tony Robbins

Believe In Your Own Power

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“Never underestimate the power you have to take your life in a new direction.” ― Germany Kent

It Pays to Be Positive

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“Believing in negative thoughts is the single greatest obstruction to success.” ― Charles F. Glassman

Try to Remember to Strike a Balance

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“What is the difference between an obstacle and an opportunity? Our attitude toward it. Every opportunity has a difficulty, and every difficulty has an opportunity.” ― J. Sidlow Baxter

A Positive Attitude Quote to Remind You to Find Your Joy

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“When you are joyful when you say yes to life and have fun and project positivity all around you, you become a sun in the center of every constellation, and people want to be near you.” ― Shannon L. Alder

Be the Leader of Your Own Destiny

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“I do not believe in taking the right decision, I take a decision and make it right.” ― Muhammad Ali Jinnah

Remember What Really Matters

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“It does not matter how long you are spending on the earth, how much money you have gathered or how much attention you have received. It is the amount of positive vibration you have radiated in life that matters,” ― Amit Ray

Make Your Positivity a Signature Characteristic

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“Positive attitude serves as the foundation for optimism and is a shining characteristic of every positive person I have met.” – Vishal Pandey

9.

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“Nurture your mind with great thoughts, for you will never go any higher than you think.” – Benjamin Disraeli

A Positive Attitude Quote About Embracing the Day

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“Attitude is a way of life. We have a choice every day regarding the attitude we embrace for that day.” – Puneet Sharma

Never Let Fear Dictate How You Live Your Life

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“The purpose of life, after all, is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for a newer and richer experience.” – Eleanor Roosevelt

Your Success and Attitude Are Linked

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“Know that your success is based entirely on your attitude, your commitment, and self-discipline. You are the only person who can generate a new mindset.” – Ellen Mencap

Hope Is Vital to Success

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“Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement. Nothing can be done without hope and confidence.”– Helen Keller

A Positive Attitude Quote That Urges You to Ask Questions

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“Every day, it’s important to ask and answer these questions: ‘What’s good in my life?’ and ‘What needs to be done?’”– Nathaniel Branden

On Optimists Versus Pessimists

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“The pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; the optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.” – Winston Churchill

Don’t Let Your Failures Define You

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“It is our failure to become our perceived ideal that ultimately defines us and makes us unique. It’s not easy, but if you accept your misfortune and handle it right your perceived failure can become a catalyst for profound re-invention.”― Conan O’Brien

Keep Reading for Even More Positive Attitude Quotes

A Poignant Positive Attitude Quote

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“We who lived in concentration camps can remember the men who walked through the huts comforting others, giving away their last piece of bread. They may have been few in number, but they offer sufficient proof that everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms — to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.”― Viktor E. Frankl

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Attitude Is Everything

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“Ability is what you’re capable of doing. Motivation determines what you do. Attitude determines how well you do it.” ― Lou Holtz

A Positive Attitude Quote About the Importance of Optimism to Solve Problems

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“Having a positive attitude isn’t wishy-washy, it’s a concrete and intelligent way to view problems, challenges, and obstacles.” – Jeff Moore

A Truly Great Positive Attitude Quote from Gandhi

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“Keep your thoughts positive because your thoughts become your words. Keep your words positive because your words become your behavior. Keep your behavior positive because your behavior becomes your habits. Keep your habits positive because your habits become your values. Keep your values positive because your values become your destiny.” ― Mahatma Gandhi

Always Be Learning

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“Take the attitude of a student, never be too big to ask questions, never know too much to learn something new.” – Og Mandino

You Do Not Drive with a Flat Tire…

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“A bad attitude is like a flat tire, you won’t get nowhere ’til you change it.” – Unknown

Control What You Can

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“It is our attitude toward events, not events themselves, which we can control. Nothing is by its own nature calamitous — even death is terrible only if we fear it.” ― Epictetus

A Positive Attitude Quote to Remind You That It’s Key

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“Attitude is more important than the past, than education, than money, than circumstances, than what people do or say. It is more important than appearance, giftedness, or skill.” – WC Fields

You’re Never Fully Dressed Without a Positive Attitude

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“The most important thing you’ll ever wear is your attitude.” – Jeff Moore

Quite Nice, Actually

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“A positive attitude may not solve every problem but it makes solving any problem a more pleasant experience.” – Grant Fairly

Remember That It Is All About Perspective

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“Attitude is the frame in which you view the world, the hue in which people see you, the tone in which they hear you, and the mood for all your day’s activities.” – Unknown

Live a Life with No Regrets

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“I certainly don’t regret my experiences because, without them, I couldn’t imagine who or where I would be today. Life is an amazing gift to those who have overcome great obstacles, and attitude is everything!” – Sasha Azevedo

A Positive Attitude Quote On Why It Is Worth It

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“A positive attitude may not solve all your problems, but it will annoy enough people to make it worth the effort.” – Herm Albright

Take a Closer Look

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“If you look the right way, you can see that the whole world is a garden.” ― Frances Hodgson Burnett

Keep on the Sunny Side

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“Keep your face always toward the sunshine – and shadows will fall behind you.” ― Walt Whitman

Remember, It Is All About Attitude

positive attitude quotes

“Excellence is not a skill. It is an attitude.” – Ralph Marston

A Positive Attitude Quote About Acceptance

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“The most effective attitude to adopt is one of supreme acceptance.” – Robert Greene

Rethink Failure

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“With a positive attitude, it is possible to turn situations of failure into success.” – Dan Miller

Your Attitude Shapes Your Whole Life

positive attitude quotes

“You cannot have a positive life and a negative mind.” – Joyce Meyer

What a Positive Attitude Yields

positive attitude quotes

“Our attitude towards life determines life’s attitude towards us.” – John Mitchell

Your Attitude Is a Force of Its Own

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“Perpetual optimism is a force multiplier.” — Colin Powell

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A Positive Attitude Quote About Self-Confidence

positive attitude quotes

“Building a positive attitude begins with having confidence in yourself.” — Roger Fritz

There you have them! We hope you found these positive attitude quotes insightful and that you will take them to heart. At times, it can feel extremely difficult to tap into your positive, optimistic side. But, it’s not impossible! Revisit these quotes any time you need a pick-me-up.

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