Whether you think President Barack Obama has been a great president, or maybe not so much, it’s tough to argue with the fact that he’s gotten a lot done during his time in office — and that certainly wasn’t easy.
Obama has had an extraordinary life. His childhood circumstances were modest, and through hard work, a passion for learning, and a desire to make the world a better place, he eventually became a senator and ultimately the first African-American president of the United States. So, whether or not you’re one of the folks that feels like you’re really going to miss Obama being our president, perhaps there is something all of us can learn from a man with such an exceptional life and career.
Consider these quotes from the 44th U.S. president:
- “Focusing your life solely on making a buck shows a certain poverty of ambition. It asks too little of yourself. Because it’s only when you hitch your wagon to something larger than yourself that you realize your true potential.”
- “If you’re walking down the right path and you’re willing to keep walking, eventually you’ll make progress.”
- “We need to steer clear of this poverty of ambition, where people want to drive fancy cars and wear nice clothes and live in nice apartments but don’t want to work hard to accomplish these things. Everyone should try to realize their full potential.”
- “But what we can do, as flawed as we are, is still see God in other people, and do our best to help them find their own grace. That’s what I strive to do, that’s what I pray to do every day.”
- “Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.”
- “The future rewards those who press on. I don’t have time to feel sorry for myself. I don’t have time to complain. I’m going to press on.”
- “A good compromise, a good piece of legislation, is like a good sentence; or a good piece of music. Everybody can recognize it. They say, ‘Huh. It works. It makes sense.'”
- “I mean, I do think at a certain point you’ve made enough money.”
- “Now we’re in the midst of not just advocating for change, not just calling for change — we’re doing the grinding, sometimes frustrating work of delivering change — inch by inch, day by day.”
- “It’s not enough to train today’s workforce. We also have to prepare tomorrow’s workforce by guaranteeing every child access to a world-class education.”
- “The internet didn’t get invented on its own. Government research created the internet so that all the companies could make money off the internet. The point is, is that when we succeed, we succeed because of our individual initiative, but also because we do things together.”
- “We want everybody to act like adults, quit playing games, realize that it’s not just my way or the highway.”
- “We need to internalize this idea of excellence. Not many folks spend a lot of time trying to be excellent.”
- “A mother deserves a day off to care for a sick child or sick parent without running into hardship — and you know what, a father does, too. It’s time to do away with workplace policies that belong in a Mad Men episode.”
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