Unfortunately, the nature of human existence and the fact that we live in an imperfect world means that we all experience hardship. We are all threatened by the variety of challenges we face every day – the pain of loss, the unfairness we endure, and the blows we take to our confidence. We all know what it’s like to wonder “Why now?” or “Why me?”
Perseverance Pays Off
But the greatest leaders and the most enduring legacies are often forged in the fire of trial and tribulation. Such testing produces a resilient strength that refuses to be denied, discounted, or dismissed, especially when we are driven by the conviction of something greater than our troubles. Fortunately for us, we have the benefit of history to raise up examples of perseverance and purpose.
So, next time you are tempted to complain about your plight or a lack of fulfilled vision, take a moment to soak in the onerous challenges of this historically great leader, and see if you can take away some encouragement seasoned with a few lessons in persistence. After 25 major moments of loss, near death experiences, career failure, and utter rejection, this leader achieved one of the most enduring and meaningful triumphs in American history:
A Lifetime of Being Tested
1812 – Younger brother died.
1816 – Family forced out of home.
1816 – Saved from drowning.
1818 – Mother died.
1819 – Kicked in the head by a horse.
1828 – Older sister died.
1831 – Failed in business.
1832 – Defeated for Illinois State Legislature.
1833 – Failed again in business.
1834 – Elected to Illinois State Legislature.
1835 – Wife-to-be died.
1836 – Suffered a nervous breakdown.
1837 – Rejected in marriage proposal.
1838 – Defeated for Illinois speaker of the House.
1840 – Defeated for Elector.
1843 -Defeated for United States Congress.
1846 – Elected to the United States Congress.
1848 – Defeated again for the US Congress.
1850 – A son died.
1854 – Defeated for United States Senate.
1856 – Defeated for Vice President of the US.
1858 -Defeated again for United States Senate.
1860 – Elected 16th President of the United States.
1864 – Survived a bullet through his hat.
1865 – Finally killed, but not before keeping the United States unified, ending a civil war, and beginning the end of slavery.
“If you think you can do it, or you think you can’t do it, you’re right.”
– Henry Ford
This leader, Abraham Lincoln, was assassinated by John Wilkes Booth, however, his legacy outshines any of the rejections, failures, or plots against his life.
He persevered with humble confidence and faith in doing what’s right. You see, perseverance builds character and character builds hope – the kind of hope that can change the world.
Now, what were those issues again?
If you’re interested in learning more about how to cultivate perseverance and what it means for your leadership, we’re happy to schedule a meeting to discuss. Just click the contact button and let us know!