Abraham Lincoln — One of the GREATEST U.S. PRESIDENT, also one of the INFLUENTIAL MAN IN HISTORY.
Abraham Lincoln was born on February 12, 1809 in Kentucky. When he was only nine years old, his mother, Nancy Hanks Lincoln, died. A year later, his father, Thomas Lincoln, remarried a woman named Sarah Bush, who had a tremendous influence on the young Abraham Lincoln.
To support his family, Abraham had to work at a neighboring farm. Working denied him the opportunity to go to school, so the total amount of formal education he received was less than one year.
Although his formal education ended very quickly, his self-education was just beginning. An avid reader, he read everything he could get his hands on, studying a variety of subjects, such as mathematics, literature and law. Eventually this self-educated man became a lawyer !!
Lincoln had a very strong desire to make a difference, so he entered politics.
Abraham believed that the government should be a positive force, whose goal was to serve the people. He reasoned that in order for him to have significant influence and impact on the government, he must achieve a high position in government — preferably the position of the President of the United States. This goal eventually became his burning desire.
In 1834, Lincoln ran for and won a seat in the Illinois Legislature. He served a four-year term, and he soon developed a reputation as a capable and honest politician.
Unfortunately, over the next decade he experienced numerous business and political setbacks. But unlike most people, Lincoln did not let any of these challenges — including a business and personal bankruptcy — discourage him from going after his dreams.
In 1836, Lincoln won an election to Congress. It was during this time that he took an unpopular stand against President James K. Polk regarding the Mexican War. Abraham thought the war was unjust. Because Lincoln’s viewpoints were so different from many other government officials, he became unpopular among them.
After his term ended in 1849, Lincoln took the next five years off from politics and focused on his law practice. Again, he encountered more business setbacks. But again, he persisted, and did not let “so-called” failures discourage him.
In 1855, he ran for the Senate but was defeated. The next year he went after the Vice Presidency position, and was also defeated!!
With so many failures, a lot of people, in Lincoln’s position, probably would have given up. But because he was determined and committed to make his political dreams come true, he would get up each time he was knocked down. He knew the only way to gain ground, to move forward, to march on, and to turn his goals into reality, was to learn from his setbacks and failures.
He pressed ON !!
FINALLY, in 1860, Lincoln’s years of persistence and hard work paid off when he was elected the 16th President of the United States.
Sadly, at this time the states were no longer united.
In 1861, the CIVIL WAR began !!
After FOUR long years, it had cost the lives of half a million Americans. But the Union was saved, the slaves were freed, and President Lincoln’s lifelong dream was realized.
As we can see, Lincoln’s story is the story of an incredible human being who started from very meager beginnings and went on to become not only one of the greatest U.S. presidents, but also one of the influential men in history.
Abraham Lincoln represents the finest example of PERSISTENCE. Although he faced countless defeats throughout his life — many that must have seemed insurmountable — he never gave up on his dreams.
He lost eight elections, failed in business many times, and suffered a nervous breakdown. He could have quit many times, but he didn’t. Instead, after each defeat he would pick himself up and press forward until he achieved his aspirations.
MY GREAT CONCERN IS NOT WHETHER YOU HAVE FAILED, BUT WHETHER YOU ARE CONTENT WITH YOUR FAILURE.