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Focusing your life solely on making a buck shows a poverty of ambition. It asks too little of yourself. And it will leave you unfulfilled.
I know my country has not perfected itself. At times, we've struggled to keep the promise of liberty and equality for all of our people. We've made our share of mistakes, and there are times when our actions around the world have not lived up to our best intentions.
Acts of sacrifice and decency without regard to what's in it for you create ripple effects. Ones that lift up families and communities, that spread opportunity and boost our economy.
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.
If you're walking down the right path and you're willing to keep walking, eventually you'll make progress.
We too often let the material things serve as indicators that we're doing well, even though something inside us tells us that were not doing our best. That we are avoiding that which is hard, but also necessary. That we are shrinking from rather than vising to the challenges of the age.
Most people who meet my wife quickly conclude that she is remarkable. They are right about this. She is smart, funny and thoroughly charming. Often, after hearing her speak at some function or working with her on a project, people will approach me and say something to the effect of, you know, I think the world of you, Barack, but your wife, wow!
My wife has been my closest friend, my closest advisor. And.. she's not somebody who looks to the limelight, or even is wild about me being in politics. And that's a good reality check on me. When I go home, she wants me to be a good father and a good husband. And everything else is secondary to that.
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