7 Must Read Life Lessons from Abraham Lincoln

By Mr. Self Development

May 24, 2010   •   Fact checked by Dumb Little Man

Abraham Lincoln was the 16th President of the United States. He served from March 1861 until his assassination in April 1865. Lincoln successfully led the United States through its darkest hour … the American Civil War. In the end, Lincoln was able to preserve the Union and end slavery.

Prior to his election in 1860, as the first U.S. Republican president, Lincoln was a country lawyer, an Illinois state legislator, a member of the United States House of Representatives, and an unsuccessful candidate for the U.S. Senate twice.

Concerning slavery, Lincoln was forthright and open in his opposition to the expansion of slavery. This attitude earned him the Republican nomination in 1860; later that year he was elected president.

During his time in office he introduced measures that resulted in the abolition of slavery, including the issuance of the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863 and the passing of the 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

Just six days after a large-scale surrender of the Confederate forces (under General Robert E. Lee), Lincoln became the first American president to be assassinated.

Lincoln is considered by scholars to be one of the greatest U.S. presidents to ever take office.

7 Must-Read Life Lessons from Abraham Lincoln:

  1. Prepare for Success

    “Give me six hours to chop down a tree, and I will spend the first four hours sharpening the axe.”

Before you can succeed, you must prepare. When Lincoln was an unknown attorney in the backwoods of Illinois he was preparing for success, when Lincoln became an Illinois State Senator, he was preparing for success, and even when he lost the election for the U.S. senate twice, he was preparing for success. What are you doing in preparation for success? Lincoln said, “I will prepare and some day my chance will come.”


  • Hustle



“Things may come to those who wait, but only the things left by those who hustle.”

You can’t stroll to a goal, you must hustle; you must move quickly in order to gain the momentum necessary to break free from the gravitational pull of the commonplace. The best things in life come to those who hustle. Are you hustling?


  • Remember That Greatness is Possible



“That some achieve great success, is proof to all that others can achieve it as well.”

If someone else can succeed in the business that you’re in, that is proof that you can succeed as well. If someone else can become rich in the state that you’re in, that is proof that you become rich as well. You have all that the greatest of men have had: a mind, and a will. Don’t make excuses, if someone else can do it, so can you… And who knows? You may be able to do it faster and better; never underestimate you abilities.


  • Become Worthy of a Good Reputation



“Reputation is like fine china, once broken it’s very hard to repair.”

Work to be, the way you want to be perceived. Don’t try to look good, be good. A good name is more valuable than fine gold and “choice” rubies.

Practice becoming honorable.

You can be just as honest, have just as much integrity, walk in just as much humility, and possess just as much discipline as the greatest men who have ever lived.


  • Make the Years Count

    “And in the end, it’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years.”

Lincoln didn’t live to a very old age, but the “life in his years” made a profound impact on the world. Are you making your years count? Are you changing the world? You’re capable of it; if you’re able to read and understand these words, then you have the ability to make a profound impact, and that’s not just meaningless rhetoric, it’s a very real reality, but will you grasp it, will you believe it and make it “your” reality.


  • See the Brighter Side of Things



“We can complain because rose bushes have thorns, or rejoice because thorn bushes have roses.”

If you look for something to complain about, you will certainly find it! There’s “always” an opportunity to be “offended!” Don’t take these opportunities; they “never” lead to anything positive. Learn to see the roses in life; life is filled with roses, if you’ll take the time to see them.


  • Constantly Improve



“The way for a young man to rise is to improve himself in every way he can…”

If you improve everyday, imagine the improvements you could make over the course of 20 years. You could become successful “in-just-about” any field in 20 years. You can make a significant impact on the world in 20 years! Remember, slow and steady wins the race; Rome was not built in a day. Work to get a little better everyday, and it time, you will accomplish your dreams.

Thank you for reading and be sure to pass this article along!

Written on 5/24/2010 by Mr. Self Development who is a motivational author that offers a practical guide to success and wealth; support him by visiting his blog at mrselfdevelopment.com or by subscribing to his feed. Photo Credit: chadh
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