21 of Michelle Obama's most inspiring quotes on work, success, and relationships

Charles Sykes/AP ImagesMichelle Obama is known for her advice.
  • Former First Lady Michelle Obama is an inspiration to many.
  • With a history of impressive jobs, efforts to create change nationwide and worldwide, and memorable advice, Obama has become a role model to many.
  • We collected some of her most inspiring quotes throughout the years.
  • Visit BusinessInsider.com for more stories.

Michelle Obama is a modern-day revolutionary woman.

She’s encouraged education for girls, championed for equal rights, advocated for American families in poverty, and pushed for healthy living.

And that’s not to mention the history of titles she’s held that make for an impressive resume: first lady, lawyer, mum, style icon, and bestselling author, thanks to her memoir “Becoming.”

As husband Barack Obama said in his presidential farewell address, she’s done everything “with grace and with grit and with style and good humour.”

It’s easy to see how Michelle has become a role model for girls and women everywhere, especially when you consider the advice she’s given over the years. Her words have served as soundboard on everything from work and success to relationships and identity.

In honour of International Women’s Day, we’ve rounded up some of her most inspiring and memorable quotes and wisdom, both serious and lighthearted.


On success:

Donn Jones/AP;Yutong Yuan/Business Insider

Source: Oregon State University Commencement Speech


On creating global change:

Susan Walsh/AP;Yutong Yuan/Business Insider

Source: “Becoming”


On learning to love yourself:

Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP;Yutong Yuan/Business Insider

Source: Interview with Oprah Winfrey for the United State of Women


On making a difference:

Ed Andrieski/AP;Yutong Yuan/Business Insider

Source: Young African Women Leaders Forum


On having it all:

Dario Lopez Mills/AP;Yutong Yuan/Business Insider

Source: Interview with Oprah Winfrey for the United State of Women


On the power of time:

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Source: “Becoming”


On creating opportunities for yourself and others:

Gerald Herbert/AP;Yutong Yuan/Business Insider

Source: 2012 Democratic National Convention


On marriage:

Annie Leibovitz/White House;Yutong Yuan/Business Insider

Source: 2011 White House luncheon


On the value of women:

Alex Brandon/AP;Yutong Yuan/Business Insider

Source: 2009 State Department Women of Courage Awards


On carving your own path:

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Source: “Becoming”


On decision-making:

Morry Gash/AP;Yutong Yuan/Business Insider

Source: “Michelle Obama in her Own Words: The Views and Values of America’s First Lady


On speaking up:

Gerald Herbert/AP;Yutong Yuan/Business Insider

Source: “Becoming”


On achievement:

David Zalubowski/AP;Yutong Yuan/Business Insider

Source: 2008 Democratic National Convention Keynote Address


On believing in yourself:

Charles Dharapak/AP;Yutong Yuan/Business Insider

Source: “Becoming”


On growing up:

Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP;Yutong Yuan/Business Insider

Source: “Becoming”


On accepting failure:

Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP;Yutong Yuan/Business Insider

Source: Glamour’s 2015“The Power of an Educated Girl” panel


On boys:

Ivan Sekretarev/AP;Yutong Yuan/Business Insider

Source: Glamour’s 2015“The Power of an Educated Girl” panel


On being the bigger person:

Danny Johnston/AP;Yutong Yuan/Business Insider

Source: 2016 Democratic National Convention


On female friendships:

Evan Agostini/AP;Yutong Yuan/Business Insider

Source: “Becoming”


On authenticity:

Jae C. Hong/AP;Yutong Yuan/Business Insider

Source: Marie Claire


On the future of youth:

Susan Walsh/AP;Yutong Yuan/Business Insider

Source: Final Speech as First Lady

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