By Doug Wright
Walking a path is easy when it’s flat and you have a beautiful vista all around you. Tip the path up and it’s not so easy. Walking uphill makes your muscles ache and it’s hard to draw breath. But at least you can stop every now and then and admire the view. So what happens when there is no view and you’re stumbling uphill in the dark? You know that a magical treasure lies ahead, but you don’t know how long it’s going to take to find it and you’re already exhausted. Wouldn’t it be easier just to give up?
Of course it would. And for most of us, giving up is the easy option. We do it every day. Whether we carry on struggling with an uphill battle depends on just how much we want that reward.
Determination and perseverance are two qualities that separate the achievers from the dreamers. And none was quite so determined to succeed as Abraham Lincoln. He had not so much stumbled on his uphill path, as he had fallen off the mountainside – not just once, but many, many times.
“Always bear in mind that your own resolution to succeed is more important than any other.”
– Abraham Lincoln
16th US President
Consider the setbacks Lincoln faced on his arduous journey to become one of the greatest presidents the United States has ever had.
“He failed in business, lost his employment and became bankrupt.”
He failed in business, lost his employment and became bankrupt. His fiancee died and he had a nervous breakdown, spending six months in bed.
He ran for State Legislature and lost. He ran twice for Congress and lost. He was rejected for the job of Land Officer in his home state. He was defeated for nomination for Vice President and lost his bid for the Senate twice – the last time just two years before becoming President.
Altogether his setbacks and disappointments spanned nearly thirty years. Thirty years of striving for a goal that was always just over the crest of the hill!
“He never admitted defeat to himself.”
Nobody would have blamed him if he’d thrown his hands in the air and gone off to raise chickens in Nebraska. But every time he failed, he came back, again and again, undaunted. Defeated in the eyes of others perhaps, but he never admitted defeat to himself.
And of course, as President, he did great things – bringing an end to the Civil War and to slavery, and uniting the Nation. His Gettysburg Address has become the most quoted speech in American history.
Bill Gates once said, ‘Success is a lousy teacher – it seduces smart people into thinking they can’t lose.’
This being so, it would appear that Abraham Lincoln learned, not from his successes (and he did have a fair few wins as well), but from his failures. Failure offers a chance to do better next time. A chance to learn from our mistakes. A moment to pause, breathe and reflect, before setting off again.
That is, if you’re determined enough to reach that goal that lies just out of sight, just over the crest of the hill.
Do you agree that possibility exists when you don’t give up – What’s your experience?
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Doug Wright, is a transformed survivor of a head-on near death vehicle collision.
Passionate about helping people overcome their inner most fears, especially when recovering from trauma, Doug has survived to share his courageous story … his motto is “never give up”.
Away from his everyday activities, Doug invests his spare time playing his electric guitar, knocking out an eclectic mix of Eagles hits and fishing for coral trout in Airlee Beach, Northern Queensland.