Obama’s 2009 Commencement Speech at Arizona State

My part time work consists of working with and viewing mobile apps. One app was about quotes. I really liked the quote, taken from President Obama’s 2009 Commencement Speech, the issue was that the app misquoted him…so I Googled the speech script, and read it…and with you I share what I think were the best quotes.

My favorite quotes…!

“I come to embrace the notion that I haven’t done enough in my life; I heartily concur; I come to affirm that one’s title, even a title like President of the United States, says very little about how well one’s life has been led — that no matter how much you’ve done, or how successful you’ve been, there’s always more to do, always more to learn, and always more to achieve.”RisetotheChallenge

“We too often let the external, the material things, serve as indicators that we’re doing well, even though something inside us tells us that we’re not doing our best; that we’re avoiding that which is hard, but also necessary; that we’re shrinking from, rather than rising to, the challenges of the age.”

“And let me be clear, when I say “young,” I’m not just referring to the date of your birth certificate. I’m talking about an approach to life — a quality of mind and quality of heart; a willingness to follow your passions, regardless of whether they lead to fortune and fame; a willingness to question conventional wisdom and rethink old dogmas; a lack of regard for all the traditional markers of status and prestige — and a commitment instead to doing what’s meaningful to you, what helps others, what makes a difference in this world.”


“That’s a great motto for all of us — find somebody to be successful for. Raise their hopes. Rise to their needs.”

“… that’s what building a body of work is all about — it’s about the daily labor, the many individual acts, the choices large and small that add up over time, over a lifetime, to a lasting legacy. That’s what you want on your tombstone. It’s about not being satisfied with the latest achievement, the latest gold star — because the one thing I know about a body of work is that it’s never finished. It’s cumulative; it deepens and expands with each day that you give your best, each day that you give back and contribute to the life of your community and your nation. You may have setbacks, and you may have failures, but you’re not done — you’re not even getting started, not by a long shot.”

Share your thoughts…did you like them? I think there are a lot of great takeaways from the Speech. 🙂 

You can check out the full script for yourself here…



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