Speaking in an interview for the BBC Radio 4's Today Program, Obama described to Prince Harry of the U.K. royal family the moment he left the presidency behind.
"I think (it) was a satisfying feeling. That was mixed with all the work that was still undone. Concerns about how the country moves forward but, you know, overall there was serenity there. More than I would have expected," Obama said, as he reflected upon the work his administration had done.
Still, he believed his administration had "run a good race" during its eight years in office.
"One of the metaphors that I always used for the presidency is that you are a relay runner. There is the sense sometimes in any position of leadership that you, by yourself, do certain things and then it's over and I always viewed it as taking the baton from a whole range of people who had come before me. Some of whom had been heroic and some of whom had screwed up," Obama explained.
"But wherever you were in the race: if you ran hard, if you did your best, and that you then were able to pass that baton off successfully and the country was better off, the world was a little bit better off, then when you got there, then you could take some pride in that. And I think we were able to do that."