Condoleezza Rice recently told students at the University of Mobile that asking God for guidance has been the driving force of her career -- and that yielding to a "higher power" in difficult times is always beneficial.
The former secretary of state and Alabama native told the crowd of 400-plus students that her Christian faith and the decisions she makes are inseparable.
She then urged them to follow the Holy Spirit, as she has, to remain optimistic and persevere.
"It's not that you say, 'Well, is this the right thing to do?' It's that you ask for guidance [and] are always aware that you have a higher power to which to appeal," Rice said, answering a question about how her faith impacted her role as secretary of state.
"The best part about being a person of faith is that I could be continually optimistic even in hard times," Rice added.
"I don't know how people who can't appeal to that Holy Spirit get through those hard times," she continued. "I know as [Abraham] Lincoln said, 'There are times when you have times where you have nowhere else to go than your knees.' That is very deeply engrained in me."
After addressing students, Rice spoke at the school's Leadership Banquet, where she applauded the University of Mobile for developing "servant leaders" for the future.
"Because the students here are taught to bring faith and reason together, they have a firm foundation not just of knowledge but of how to use that knowledge in a way that will advance the human condition," Rice said. "That is why the work that is done to make them servant leaders is also so important."
Rice made her appearance at the school Nov. 10. Most of the students' questions were delivered via text, Twitter or Facebook, and ranged from foreign relations to her childhood and the one word she'd like to be remembered for -- "perseverance."
Rice left public office in 2009 and is now a political science professor at Stanford University.