A quitter never wins, a winner never quits.
I first heard these words from a sweepstakes ticket vendor who exhorted patrons to continue buying from him.
Persistence, that is what it is called. But this thing took on a new meaning to me when I chance upon a section of the book Chicken Soup for the Soul by Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen on Overcoming Obstacles. It talked about how one of the greatest leaders in history may have exemplified this trait. It talked about how Abraham Lincoln did not quit, and eventually won!
Today, on his 150th death anniversary, let me share how Lincoln breathed life into the word — persistence:
Born into poverty, Lincoln was faced with defeat throughout his life. He lost eight elections, twice failed in business and suffered a nervous breakdown.
He could have quit many times but he didn’t and because he didn’t quit, he became one of the greatest presidents in the history of America.
Lincoln was a champion and he never gave up. Here is a sketch of Lincoln’s road to the White House.
- 1816: His family was forced out of their home. He had to work to support them.
- 1818: His mother died.
- 1831: Failed in business.
- 1832: Ran for state legislature- lost.
- 1832: Also lost his job. Wanted to go to law school but couldn’t get in.
- 1833: Borrowed some money from a friend to begin a business and by the end of the year he was bankrupt. He spent the next 17 years of his life paying off this debt.
- 1834: Ran for state legislature again – won.
- 1835: Was engaged to be married , sweetheart died and his heart was broken.
- 1836:Had a total nervous breakdown and was in bed for six months.
- 1838:Sought to become speaker of the state legislature – defeated.
- 1840: Sought to became elector- defeated.
- 1843: Ran for Congress-lost.
- 1846:Ran for Congress again. This time he won-went to Washington and did a good job.
- 1848:Ran for re-election to Congress – lost.
- 1849:Sought the job of land officer in his home state-rejected.
- 1854:Ran for Senate of the United States-lost.
- 1856:Sought the Vice-Presidential nomination at his party’s national convention-got less than 100 votes.
- 1858:Ran for U.S Senate again-again he lost.
- 1860:Elected president of the United States.