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Abraham Lincoln v2
December 20, 2015

Abraham Lincoln

In the end, it’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years.

Abraham Lincoln

This great leader, Abraham Lincoln, taught us the truest sense of perseverance. He grew up helping his father, toiled in the farm- planting, harvesting, chopping the woods- under the heat of the sun, day in and day out. The family (he had two siblings) lived in a one-room log cabin. His parents didn’t have enough money to send them to school. In his interest to learn, he would voraciously read just about any book his hands could reach including King James Version of the Holy Bible. He was at times thought to be lazy as he’d prefer to read or write poetry over the much needed hard labor. Unfortunately, his mother died but his dad remarried a woman he later called his mother angel who inspired him to do more in life.

The Rail Candidate
“The Rail Candidate”—Lincoln’s 1860 candidacy is depicted as held up by the slavery issue—a slave on the left and party organization on the right. –

When he became a young man he left to live on his own in New Orleans, where he witnessed slavery, first hand. His interest got redirected to Law Studies but  he couldn’t afford to go to law school so he self-studied then eventually became a lawyer. The rest, as they say is history but to me, the rest remained to be a powerful inspiration for all leaders. Abraham ‘Abe’ Lincoln was one of the greatest presidents of the United States of America. He led his people in the bloodiest Civil War and freed the slaves. He strengthened the government and modernized economy through banks, tariffs and railroads.

Most of us clutch onto the myriad of excuses we could come up with, just to rationalize why we are poor or unsuccessful. I believe that if you really want something so bad, you are going to grapple against the odds and invest time and energy in achieving it. Compared with other people who may have achieved something at a greater ease, these limitations are even going to make you surpass mediocrity because you went through it all. Nothing or nobody can intimidate you anymore. You are not going to merely survive the odds but beat the odds and emerged the winner.

If leading people has challenged you, never give up. There is a great reason why you are called for it. Talk to the successful leaders around you and ask for tips. Read, read and read. Experience is the best teacher but there are a lot of people who have experienced these leadership challenges already and were nice enough to write about these experiences to share how they got through them.

Attribute: Perseverance

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Learning and Culture Director at Stellar Philippines
Fran Saguindang Riego de Dios, MS has been in training and leadership development for more than a decade now. In earning her Master of Science in Biology degree, she joined the College of Science and Mathematics faculty of MSU-IIT and published her studies in Asia Life and Philippine Scientists Journals. For her, moving into the corporate world felt odd at first but with the scientific method and discipline in her backpack, it has become a fulfilling experience. You may also visit her personal Science Blog Site at Live Well. She also enjoys music (sings and plays the piano) and art (portrait sketch).
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