Lessons Through Failure: How to Become a Legend

“Life is a process of becoming, a combination of states we have to go through. Where people fail is that they wish to elect a state and remain in it. This is a kind of death.” Anais Nin

by my buddie Sean Patrick Simpson fromMindsetapprentice.com

Earlier last month we discussed the blessings of failures and how really, failures are actually opportunities! Today we discuss failures even more, and take a peak at one of the most famous men in the history of the United States, and how despite his many set backs and failures, he became a legend…

Have you ever been disappointed in your life because you failed at something? How about because you had a tough set back?
What was your reaction?

* Did you give up?
* Did you let go of your dreams?
* Did you give into the belief that happiness and success is meant for some people and not for others?

No matter what, everyone is going to face disappointment at some time in their life. Knowing that it is inevitable, the question we must ask ourselves before it happens is “what am I going to do when that disappointment occurs? What am I going to do when I have that set back?”

Let’s consider our mystery man for today: one of the most famous people in the history of the United States who had a tremendous amount of setbacks we would consider terrible!

Lessons Through Failure

Who is this mystery man? Let’s see if you can guess…

At age 7 his family was forced from their home and he had to help support them.
At age 9 his mother died.

At age 21 he failed in business.

At age 22 he ran for legislature and lost; lost his job; and was turned down when he applied to law school.

At age 23 he started another business on borrowed money but by age 24 went bankrupt.

At age 25 he was engaged to be married and his fiancé died.

At age 26 he had a nervous breakdown and was in bed for 6 months.

At age 28 he was defeated as speaker of the state legislature.

At age 33 he ran for congress and lost.

At age 38 he ran for congress again and lost.

At age 44 he ran for the U.S. senate and lost.

At age 46 he tried for his party’s vice president nomination and received less than 100 votes and lost.

At age 48 he ran for the U.S. senate again and lost.

At age 50 he was elected the president of the United States of America.

Who is he?

Abraham Lincoln!

He is a man we have heard about many times through history lessons, documentaries, biographies, television shows and movies.

What would have happened if when his mother died he gave up hope in life, stopped taking care of himself, and became homeless?

What if at age 21 he realized that he was a failure and really shouldn’t try to do anything ‘big?’

What if at age 48, he decided to withdraw from politics?

Really think about that for a moment. Literally. Imagine how different life would be if this one man did not exist in the history of the United States and the world.

Now think about yourself. How different might the world be 200 years from now, if you give up on your goals and dreams?

Really think about THAT for a moment. Literally. Imagine how different the lives of our descendants would be if this one man, or this one woman…YOU, did not exist…if YOU gave up, and did not pursue your life’s purpose.

Next time you have a setback, I recommend you remind yourself of Abe! Then ask yourself, “have I persisted as much as Lincoln did?” … if the answer is no, I suggest you keep moving forward!

You want to know how to become a legend? You never give up. Ever.

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2 Responses to Lessons Through Failure: How to Become a Legend

  1. We shall talk about failure once more, friends. Failure is not necessarily a step backwards. We shall always be aware and try to learn valuable lessons from our mistakes. And sometimes we do everything right and still we fail to achieve our goals. The true and ultimate failure is to give up, I hope everyone agrees.

    Let me share a personal experience with all of you.

    About three years ago (I was 20 years old at the time) I saw myself tired of the city so I went to the fields with my backpack (almost 25kg on my back) with a purpose: walk for 50km from one town to the other through the vast plains of Alentejo (a region in Portugal which I recommend to every fellow travelers). It was summertime and the temperature was around 35/40ºc. So these are the terms, 50km, 25kg, 35ºc…
    (now this is where it turns to be almost ridiculous)
    After 15km I wanted to sit down and rest under one of the few trees. While I was ‘trying’ to rest a horde of tiny and annoying flies were all over my face and I just couldn’t stand still.
    I fought the flies and flies won. You know that feeling… I wanted to find myself, I wanted to feel at home and the natives (flies) were not welcoming me (I take those flies as my inner fears if you will) … I failed to see that at the time but my home is not ‘the field’ if it’s not inside myself.
    While I was fighting the flies I started to cry like a little baby, I yelled like I was in pain (don’t forget, “pain is weakness leaving the body”) and I called my mother. She told me: “Don’t worry son, get back to the village because you’re not ready for that travel and you know it. Don’t worry son, stepping backwards it’s not necessarily bad”. So I grabbed my backpack again and made the 15km back.
    It was an amazing victory because my plan was to walk 15km in one day and I walked 30km… I’ve learned a lot about the plains and my particular way to see it and I’ve learned my physical limits at the time. Somehow a part of me was left behind, a weaker part, I suppose.

    That was how I learned that a Failure is not just a Failure… One can learn great lessons from mistakes.

    Keep that in mind and keep walking the path.

    ‘There’s a definitive change in all actions, an eternal life
    that waits to be buried along with us’

    Be well!

    Pedro Mota’s last blog post..: a new dawn

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