A friend forwarded a note from John Assaraf tonight, which repeated something I’ve read in motivational books a number of times over the years and always stuck with me. In a nutshell, here’s Abraham Lincoln’s life:
Failed in business————–1831
Defeated for legislature———1832
Failed in business again———1833
Elected to legislature———–1834
Defeated for speaker———–1838
Defeated for land officer———1843
Defeated for congress———–1843
Elected to congress————-1846
Defeated for re-election———1848
Defeated for senate————-1855
Defeated for vice president——-1856
Defeated for senate————-1858
Too many people give up after their first defeat. Look at Abe’s life – would anyone in the world have predicted before 1860 that he would become President of the United States? Furthermore, Lincoln was ridiculed mercilessly after he was elected and few could have imagined that over 150 years later he’d be considered one of the greatest leaders that the country ever had.
As someone who’s had a fair share of setbacks in my life, including a past business closure, I use Lincoln and other great leaders as motivation to persist through life’s challenges.