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Many have learned about Abraham Lincoln, the 16th President of the United States through our history books and history classes in school. We’ve all been well educated on his great accomplishments like the Emancipation Proclamation, which led to the abolition of slavery. We’ve learned of his great leadership in leading the United States through one of its most divisive moral, cultural, and constitutional crises. And we’ve also learned about his eventual reuniting of a country divided by a brutal civil war.


However, what most of us have never learned about, is Abraham Lincoln’s motivational story of triumph over adversity. Many of us have never learned about Lincoln’s personal challenges. Our formal education rarely provides the insights of Lincoln’s struggles. The struggles that eventually helped him to become one of the most well-known politicians and presidents in history.

So, we aim to share with you some key personal aspects of Abraham Lincoln that can also inspire you to strive for greater achievement in your life, and to persist when adversity arises, as it eventually will.

As such, we’ve pulled together Lincoln’s impressive rap sheet when it comes to overcoming defeat. His list of failures and set backs are showcased to demonstrate that even the greatest among us have to go through hell before finding our success.

Persistence In The Face of Failure

Abraham Lincoln Success Quote on Failure

Without further ado, here is Abraham Lincoln’s inspiring list of obstacles endured, with a few of the most critical victories he managed to obtain over his lifetime:

1818: Lost his mother at the age of 9

1832: Lost his job

1832: Defeated for legislature

1833: Failed in business

1833: Went into debt (Took 10 Yrs. to pay off)

1834: Elected to legislature

1835: The woman he loved and was to marry died

1836: Had a nervous breakdown

1838: Defeated for Speaker

1843: Defeated for nomination for Congress

1848: Lost re-nomination

1849: Rejected for Land Officer

1854: Defeated for Senate

1856: Defeated for nomination for Vice-President

1858: Again defeated for Senate

1860: Elected for President of The United States of America

Related: Abraham Lincoln Quotes on Success

Last Like Lincoln

There is no doubt about it, Abraham Lincoln’s life is a collection of moments where he persisted in the face of hardship and failure. His record of obstacles , failures, and achievements are guiding lights that prove that success comes through outlasting our failures.

Hopefully, you’ve come to realize that any defeats you may came across in your life are only temporary. We also hope that you’ve come to realize that your success is just a matter of managing your failures and moving on and forward towards your goals without losing enthusiasm.

So, if you’ve experienced any setbacks or failure lately, or if you’ve fallen off your proverbial horse, just remember good ole Abe Lincoln and his inspiring story of struggle. Remember how he conquered his countless defeats, and realize that you can do the same.

Then, dust yourself off and keep moving forward towards your biggest goals and dream. Keep striving to achieve the impossible.

Till you reach your aims,


PS – If you enjoyed this Abraham Lincoln Success Story then you’ll also enjoy this article on inspiring short stories on success.

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