Abe Lincoln: Failure is fleetingBlog added by Sandy Schussel on September 6, 2012
Sandy Schussel

Sandy Schussel

Princeton, NJ

Joined: December 10, 2011

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​In the wake of a very American holiday weekend dedicated to rewarding us all for our hard work, I am reminded of a lesson that can be gleaned from the life of one of our most celebrated presidents: that failure is always temporary, unless you choose to make it permanent.

For 28 years, Abraham Lincoln experienced one failure after another. In 1833, he had a nervous breakdown. When he ran for speaker of the state legislature in 1838, he was defeated. In 1848, he lost renomination to Congress. In 1849, his bid to be appointed land officer was rejected.

But these failures didn't stop Lincoln. In 1854, he was defeated for the Senate. Two years later, he lost the nomination for vice president, and two years after that, he was again defeated for the Senate. Then, in 1860, he was elected president of the United States.

Just as courage isn't the absence of fear, success isn't the absence of failure. Failure is the way we learn along the road. Success comes from refusing to quit the journey. If you reach for a very high branch, you may fall hard on more than one or two occasions. But if you keep trying, you'll have the chance to climb higher than those who allow their fears to halt them.
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