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“America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves.” Abraham Lincoln

Probably one of the greatest examples of persistence is Abraham Lincoln. In the-life-business with Orrin Woodward, it takes persistence to win. So often our society sees quitting as ‘no big deal.’ People quit sports, music, exercise, school, marriage, jobs, etc. I am not saying that I have never quit at things, in fact, those things I quit at I never became successful in. Interesting how that works. And yet when people quit, they expect the next option to be better and when not held to its expectation, the quitting spree continues. Sadly, quitting is a common theme today among many Americans. I believe the reason so many people get to the end of their life and have regrets is because they quit at so many things that they may have been great at. Orrin Woodward talks about in many of his articles that 10,000 hours is required for mastery in any field. Given the examples above, if one hasn’t completed their 10,000 hours, how can one ever know if they would have truly made it? While there are many, one of the best examples I can share on this topic is Abraham Lincoln.

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.
  • l832 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.

If Abraham Lincoln would have quit when his fiance died or when he lost the election for the 7th time we would never know Lincoln as the man we know him as today. Life will always throw us curve balls; there will always be obstacles to face; we will be tested more times than we are triumphant but I can assure you that the more you persist and never quit, the more significant your life will be. George Guzzardo says, “Does it make sense that someone would quit improving their own life?” In the-life-business, if one quits, it is an indicator that someone is not willing to improve their life. Orrin Woodward has modeled Lincoln’s example by persisting through the many struggles it took to get the-life-business to where it is today. And today, Orrin Woodward is being recognized worldwide for his courage to do so. (See Orrin Woodward wins 2011 top leadership award) My suggestion is to live like Lincoln and never quit, for your legacy is being created.

Blessings, Kristen