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Leadership & Motivation

Although many knew Abraham Lincoln as an eminent lawyer and a seasoned politician, they did not know all he passed through.


  • Failed in business at the age of                       31
  • Defeated for legislature at the age of              32
  • Again failed in business at the age of               34
  • Sweetheart died at the age of                       35
  • Had nervous breakdown at the age of             36
  • Defeated for congress at the age of                43
  • Defeated in election at the age of                   46
  • Defeated for congress at the age of                48
  • Defeated for congress at the age of                55
  • Elected vice president at the age of                58
  • Elected president at the age of                       60

Abraham Lincoln, as one of America’s greatest presidents, was used to repeated failures. His biography provides a clear source of inspiration to people who easily give up because of repeated failures. No matter the degree of your misfortune, do not lose hope. Never submit yourself to frustration. Man has got to undergo difficulties.

Friend, nobody likes failure but the bitter truth is that success is born out of failure. No matter how many times you have fallen you can still stand because defeat need not be final.

H. N. Casson puts it this way, “The biggest club in the world is the down-and-out club. Most men are brittle. They are like a pitcher that goes in to the well, hits a stone and is broken in pieces. Most men start out in life gaily until they hit a stone. Then they are done. They might do well in a world that is filled with cushions but they are of little value in a world filled with stones”.

Abraham Lincoln wisely stated, “My greatest concern is not whether you have failed, but whether you are contented with your failures”. Failures serve to motivate us and inspire us to try harder. Failure must be a challenge for us to put in our best. Allow every setback to be an opportunity for you to try again. Do not give up!

Dear reader, despite our best efforts we are bound to make mistakes and be disappointed every once in a while. No man is immune from defeat and occasional failure. Your attitude in the time of defeat and disappointment is very crucial. You can decide to worry over your defeat or brace yourself up and move on with life. “One of the supreme tests of a leader is this – how does he take defeat? Does he take it as final or does he use it as an educational incident”. (H. N. Casson.)

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When you fail find out exactly what happened. Don’t play the blame game – what exactly led to your being defeated? What made you falter, fall and fail? You can’t change yesterday but you can shape your tomorrow by the way you handle today. Buckle up and pick up the pieces; don’t join the vast majority who take defeat as final.

In his book titled, “Think and Grow Rich” Napoleon Hill mentioned a woman named Fannie Hurst, who having received thirty-six rejection slips from the publisher of the Saturday Evening Post said, “Very well, Mr. Broadway, you have whipped others, but not me. I am going to force you to give up”. She refused to get “No” for an answer. The next manuscript which she submitted was accepted and published. At last, she won and became a woman before whose door-post publishers queue in quest of her manuscripts.

(Chealy Brown Dennis is a motivational speaker and offers training in leadership development, organizational growth and development, creative sales and marketing, strategic planning and team building. He also offers workbooks, on-location and train-the-trainer formats for leaders, managers, businesses and organizations. He can be contacted through email at: dennisbc2011@yahoo.com or on phone at: 0886-264-611 or 0776545394)

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