Abraham Lincoln was the 16th President of the United States and he led the country through some massive issues, the American Civil War and the abolition of slavery. 

He is generally regarded as one of the greatest Presidents in US history, 145 years after his assassination.

How can Abraham Lincoln inspire us today?

Never Give Up.  This is the resounding theme that comes through to me from his story.  Before becoming President, Lincoln’s biography wasn’t very impressive, but he never gave up.  Here’s a quick summary:

1831 – Failed in business

1832 – Defeated for Legislature

1832 – Started Black Hawk War as a Captain and finished as a Private

1833 – Second failure in business

1836 – Suffered a nervous breakdown

1838 – Defeated for Speaker

1840 – Defeated for Senate

1843 – Defeated for Congress

1848 – Defeated for Congress again

1855 – Defeated for Senate again

1856 – Defeated for Vice-President

1858 – Defeated for Senate for a third time

1860 – Elected President

Despite all of his set-backs, Lincoln never lost sight of the belief that he could make a positive difference in the world.  He maintained confidence in his abilities and persevered through every obstacle, learning from the experience and getting back on the horse.

Lincoln himself said,

Don’t worry when you are not recognized, but strive to be worthy of recognition.

and:

I will prepare and some day my chance will come.

He understood that the outward trappings of success didn’t mean anything if they weren’t backed up by hard work, character and integrity.  As such, he persevered on the path that he believed was right and wasn’t put off by temporary defeats.

As you look at the time-line of Lincoln’s life, when would you have given up? 

As you look at your own life, is there a noble, audacious aim that you have given up on after multiple set-backs?

Use Abraham Lincoln as an inspiration to find and achieve your purpose.  Don’t give up, don’t let others hold you back and stay focussed on your aim.

You can do it!

Previous post – How the Path Was Made – A Story About Direction

Next post – Aspiration versus Desperation

Advertisements