At age seven, he was forced to make money for his family.
At nine, his mother passed, forcing him to work even harder.
At twenty Lincoln lost his seemingly stable job as store clerk … and then by twenty-three he went into debt trying to become partner in a small store.
Three years later, just as his store was picking up speed, his business partner died, leaving him in even more debt.
At twenty-eight, after dating a girl for four years, he got up the gumption to propose. She said no.
Later, when he did eventually marry, his son died at age four.
At thirty-seven, Lincoln was elected to Congress… but… well… that was on his THIRD try. (He then failed to be re-elected. )
At forty-five, Lincoln ran for the Senate. Again: no-go.
At forty-seven Lincoln ran for vice-presidency. But… well…You got it. More no-go, amigo.
At fifty-one, Lincoln was elected President of the United States… which, considering his life resume of consistent failure, was a very snazzy title.
How did he achieve this great success? By holding onto some positive Lincoln thinkin.’
Even in the midst of the Civil War — a war which claimed more American lives than any war in history thus far — Lincoln issued a positive proclamation:
“It has seemed to me fit and proper that [the gifts of God] should be solemnly, reverently, and gratefully acknowledged with one heart and one voice by the whole American people. I do, therefore, invite my fellow citizens . . . to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next as a day of thanksgiving and praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the heavens.”
How could Lincoln have made such a positive plea during a time of such suffering?
Because Lincoln recognized that even in the midst of tough times, there was always something to be appreciative about.
Lincoln had a naturally grateful heart.
As a creative consultant helping people to succeed in their passions, I’ve seen how the power of gratitude can not only change a person’s mood, but their results.
YOUR ASSIGNMENT: Make it a habit to end each day talking with your loved ones about what you appreciated about your day. What made you happy? Proud? Excited? Feel loved? By talking about it with your loved ones, you get double the perky perks, because you’re not only reminding yourself to keep a grateful heart, you’re connecting heart-to-heart!
Oh….and here are 17 more goodies which Lincoln was thinkin’…
1. “Success is going from failure to failure without losing your enthusiasm.”
2. “You can be anything you want to be, do anything you set out to accomplish, if you hold to that desire with singleness of purpose.”
3. “Whatever you are, be a good one.”
4. Do I not destroy my enemies when I make them my friends?”
5. “And in the end it is not the years in your life that count, it’s the life in your years.”
17. “Most folks are about as happy as they make up their minds to be.”
And you can QUOTE ME when I say, “Never give up, no matter how much ‘you gotta be freakin’ kidding me’ life throws at you.”
If you’re going through a challenging time – and need some extra support -check out the resiliency psychology research and tools in my best selling THE BOUNCE BACK BOOK – which has a snazzy symbolic red rubber cover on the outside!
I’d love to hear your insights on the comment section below! What’s something which comes to your mind and heart when you read the message on this essay? Share your personal story or a personal happiness tool below1
Hi I’m Karen Salmansohn, founder of NotSalmon. My mission is to offer you easy-to-understand insights and tools to empower you to bloom into your happiest, highest potential self. I use playful analogies, feisty humor, and stylish graphics to distill big ideas – going as far back as ancient wisdom from Aristotle, Buddhism and Darwin to the latest research studies from Cognitive Therapy, Neuro Linquistic Programming, Neuroscience, Positive Psychology, Quantum Physics, Nutritional Studies – and then some.