@ScribeAshish: Failure is not a step backward; it’s an excellent stepping stone to success. We never learn to move out of our comfort zone if we don’t overcome our fear of failure. The most progressive companies deliberately seek employees with track records reflecting both failures and successes.
That’s because someone who survives failure has gained irreplaceable knowledge and the unstoppable perseverance born from overcoming hardship.
The story of Lincoln and his heroic leadership has been part of the popular legends. What we will discuss here is the gray life of this great man. Hardships of trendsetters always act as a guiding lamp for those struggling today. Many of us know the “successful” Lincoln. But here we will get to know about the early failures that made success at later stage possible.
Born in a humble family, on February 12, 1809, Lincoln had to earn everything which many of his times could take for granted. Having lost his mother early during his life he had to tread a long path much on his own. Lacking formal education didn’t dampen his spirit to learn. He self-educated himself.
In 1832, he was rendered jobless as the local village store where he worked ran out of business. At the age of 22, he was defeated in the Legislative race. The very next year in 1833, his new business failed which left him badly in debt. However, in 1834 he managed to get elected to Illinois General Assembly as a member of the Whig Party. It was here that his study of law begun.
1835 was particularly ominous for Lincoln. His business partner William Berry died which increased his debt to whooping $1,000. Ann Rutledge, his love interest, too died from fever in the same year. In 1836, he had to deal with a nervous breakdown. In the mean time, he continues to get re-elected from Illinois General Assembly. However, in 1842, he didn’t seek re-election.
In 1843, he was unsuccessful in his attempt for Whig nomination for US Congress. Perseverance won and in 1846, he was nominated as Whig candidate for US Congress and was elected to US House of Representative.
In 1854 he is elected to Illinois legislature but he declines the seat, hoping instead become US Senator but his hopes failed. In 1856, he reorganized Republican Party and hoped to vice Presidential nomination. He gave a tough fight and got national attention, nevertheless Lincoln lost again. In 1859, Stephen Douglas defeated him for US Senate seat by 8 votes.
In 1860, Lincoln won Republican Presidential nomination and is elected as 16th President of the United States of America. The man whose life was punctuated with failure and hardship steered his country out the greatest mess. The country was on the brink of destruction, ravaged by Civil War. He not only ensured that country doesn’t fall apart but also initiated many reforms. The Great Emancipation, where all slaves were set free forever being one of them.