For all his legendary success and greatness as a president, Abraham Lincoln lost all the time. Lincoln experienced numerous business, political, and personal setbacks over his life. But he never let any of his failures discourage him from pursuing his goals.
Lincoln failed in business. He failed as a farmer. He lost running for state legislature. He had a nervous breakdown. He was rejected for a job as a land officer. When he was finally elected to the legislature, he lost the vote to be speaker. He ran for Congress and lost. He ran for and lost a U.S. Senate seat. He ran for vice president and lost. He ran for the Senate and lost again. And, when he was finally elected president, the nation he was elected to lead broke apart. But by this time, all the activities, experiences, and people he came to know in the process helped him set a direction for that country that will stand as one of America’s great legacies.
My point is, behind any successful person stands a long string of failures. But toughness and tenacity like Lincoln’s can overcome these setbacks. Lincoln knew the only way to gain ground, to move forward, to turn his goals into reality, was to learn from his setbacks, to stay engaged, and press on!
-Keith Ferrazzi, ‘Never Eat Alone’