President Abraham Lincoln: Heroic American icon. Role model for many including President Obama. We’ve certainly heard a lot about him lately, but I know little about the 16th President of the United States except the few facts that are part of our American lore. So I was really surprised when I saw the list of his many challenges on the way to the White House, and my imagination is captured. If Lincoln could persist and stay true to his dreams and vision, what can we do? Adversity is a crucible that burns off excess concerns and limitations, leaving our most authentic, wise, courageous and rich selves. This bumpy road made it possible for Lincoln to be the right man at the right time for his presidency.
Lincoln’s road to the White House:
- Failed in business in 1831
- Defeated for Legislature in 1832
- Second failure in business in 1833
- Suffered nervous breakdown in 1836
- Defeated for Speaker in 1838
- Defeated for Elector in 1840
- Defeated for Congress in 1843
- Defeated for Congress in 1848
- Defeated for Senate in 1855
- Defeated for Vice President in 1856
- Defeated for Senate in 1858
- Elected President in 1860
I first saw this list tacked on the board at my local YMCA. I’ve subsequently seen it posted other places online including author John Fenzel’s blog.
I was so captured by what Lincoln went through, I now want to read a biography to learn more about this man. A friend recommends Carl Sandburg’s book: Abraham Lincoln: The Prairie Years and the War Years. I’ll let you know!