I love to use Abe Lincoln as an example of what life is all about when I chat with my two kids - especially when they face tough lessons and struggle with the normal bumps of becoming young adults!
However, Good Ole Honest Abe is not just for the youngins!
I believe we are conditioned in this country - where we incessantly exalt all successes, and riches and accomplishments by celebrities, rock stars and sports heroes and yet one mistake or failure is seen as an insurmountable disappointment and embarrassment!
Let's take a look at Good Old Abe -- arguably one of the most successful, courageous and impactful leaders in all of HISTORY!!!
As you read this resume below, I ask you to honestly think about at which point - you or I or most people today would have thrown in the towel and called it quits!
Abe Lincoln's Road to the White House:
1831 - Failed in his own business
1832 - Defeated in run for Legislature
1833 - Failed in second attempt at his own business
1836 - Suffers a Nervous Breakdown
1838 - Defeated in run for Speaker
1840 - Defeated in run for Elector
1843 - Defeated in run for Congress
1848 - Defeated in 2nd run for Congress
1855 - Defeated in run for Senate
1856 - Defeated in run for Vice President
1858 - Defeated in 2nd run for Senate
1860 - Elected President of the United States
Lincoln should have changed his name to Persistence Lincoln!!!!
I mean really??!! Are you freaking kidding me?
I am probably calling it quits after the Nervous Breakdown if not earlier! lol
As Napoleon Hill pointed out in his fantastic MUST READ "Napoleon Hill's A Year of Growing Rich" (1993):
"Abraham Lincoln's greatness revealed itself at its highest level when he was faced with problems which would have eclipsed the souls of smaller men.
"The failures, defeats and adversities of his early life were were transmuted into a degree of intelligence which the average man rarely experiences. Lincoln had the RARE TRAIT OF BEING ABLE TO TURN ON MORE WILLPOWER INSTEAD OF QUITTING WHEN THE GOING WAS HARD AND SUCCESS WAS NOT IN SIGHT.
Anyone can quit or change his mind by turning his attention to something else when failure overtakes him; this is precisely what most people do under adverse circumstances.
If you aspire to the higher planes of success in life, you should become better acquainted with that great, powerful, positive self who lives in your body. It can be the creator of all joys you desire, all the material riches you need for peace of mind and happiness, and it can keep your body free from ailments."
Amazingly true --- but here is the kicker:
"This unseen entity that dwells in your body can carry out to the finest detail THE INSTRUCTIONS YOU GIVE IT, but you must take the initiative and let it know what you want from life. You are a FREE AGENT in the eyes of your positive self, AND YOU HAVE BEEN GIVE THE PRIVILEGE OF DIRECTING IT TO ENDS OF YOUR OWN CHOICE!
TAKE POSSESSION OF YOUR POSITIVE SELF AND IT WILL PUT YOU ON THE SUCCESS BEAM THAT YOU MAY RIDE TRIUMPHANTLY TO WHATEVER HEIGHTS OF ACHIEVEMENT YOU DESIRE!"
Pretty powerful stuff and so very true!
As you face your daily trials and tribulations, recall the list of Lincoln's failures above and know that if he was able to persist and fight and this is key - NEVER QUIT AND BELIEVE IN HIS IMMINENT SUCCESS - so can all of us!
Why not us?
If you want success, happiness, peace, wealth, a better job, marriage, - a better life - you need to BELIEVE it can be had and PERSIST until you get whatever you seek!
You will meet dozens of people - sometimes even your own loved ones - who will try to derail you or take you off your path (sometimes out of love and concern for us) - especially as you hit the hurdles and the TEMPORARY failures!
BUT DON'T QUIT!!!!! Just don't quit!
Because the tide WILL turn - and the reward is all the sweeter when you have worked and struggled and OVERCOME everything you encountered in order to reach your GOAL!!
Lincoln was not special when you think about it -- he just refused to be denied of his goal!!!
You and I can do the same thing today!!
Now go get that life you want!!!