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On Perseverance

Abraham Lincoln Didn’t Quit

The sense of obligation to continue is present in all of us. A duty to strive is the duty of us all. I felt a call to that duty.

– Abraham Lincoln

Probably the greatest example of persistence is Abraham Lincoln. If you want to learn about somebody who didn’t quit, look no further.

Born into poverty, Lincoln was faced with defeat throughout his life. He lost eight elections, twice failed in business and suffered a nervous breakdown. He could have quit many times – but he didn’t and because he didn’t quit, he became one of the greatest presidents in the history of our country.

Lincoln was a champion and he never gave up. Here is a sketch of Lincoln’s road to the White House:

1816
His family was forced out of their home. He had to work to support them.

1818
His mother died.

1831
Failed in business.

1832
Ran for state legislature – lost.

1832
Also lost his job – wanted to go to law school but couldn’t get in.

1833
Borrowed some money from a friend to begin a business and by the end of the year he was bankrupt. He spent the next 17 years of his life paying off this debt.

1834
Ran for state legislature again – won.

1835
Was engaged to be married, sweetheart died and his heart was broken.

1836
Had a total nervous breakdown and was in bed for six months.

1838
Sought to become speaker of the state legislature – defeated.

1840
Sought to become elector – defeated.

1843
Ran for Congress – lost.

1846
Ran for Congress again – this time he won – went to Washington and did a good job.

1848
Ran for re-election to Congress – lost.

1849
Sought the job of land officer in his home state – rejected.

1854
Ran for Senate of the United States – lost.

1856
Sought the Vice-Presidential nomination at his party’s national convention – got less than 100 votes.

1858
Ran for U.S. Senate again – again he lost.

1860
Elected President of the United States

The path was worn and slippery. My foot slipped from under me, knocking the other out of the way, but I recovered and said to myself, ‘It’s a slip and not a fall.’

– Abraham Lincoln, after losing a senate race

This article taken from “Chicken Soup For The Soul” by Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen.

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