Success Quotes – Abraham Lincoln

John R Powell asked:

Abraham Lincoln is generally regarded as the greatest American president. I believe that one of the reasons that he has been regarded by many poles as the greatest is that he took America through its toughest times. Remember that in the Civil War both the victors and the vanquished were American. Lincoln’s history is remarkable and unique among men.

One thing that is important to remember about Abe is that he probably had much more failure in his life than he did success.

Here are some of the famous words that came from the mouth of “honest Abe”.

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

The basic choice in life is to wear out or rust out. Life comes to an end and what is it that you want to have to look back on? Lincoln had no time to consider his life before his sudden end at the hands of John Wilkes Booth. I wonder if he would have thought that he had spent his life profitably. At the time of Lincoln’s death, there was still one nation (under God) and an emancipation proclamation in place. It wouldn’t matter if he had accomplished much in his entire life before the presidency. The things he attained (or maintained) while president put him in the history books as possibly the most important American that had ever lived.

“The best thing about the future is that it comes one day at a time.”

I suppose that there was enough bad news in any twenty four hour period during the civil war that you were thankful that there was only twenty four hours in a day.

“You may deceive all the people part of the time, and part of the people all the time, but not all the people all the time.”

All the people can’t be fooled. Politics as it has been practiced for generations and generations has always involved politicians/candidates telling their constituents one thing and then doing another. Eventually you’ll realize some representative that you thought incapable of such behavior is doing exactly that. Then you vote for someone else.

“I will prepare and some day my chance will come.”

Many folks think that one day an opportunity will come and that will change their life forever. I’m sure it happens like that on occasion. Most of the time people have to be ready, or be in position to take advantage of an opportunity. If you don’t have an education, how would you take advantage of an opportunity that required an education? You have to prepare, so that you can take advantage when opportunity presents itself.

“If you would win a man to your cause, first convince him that you are his sincere friend. “

In business, some of the most successful people are the ones that people trust. They are the people that folks want to do business with. That means that all your business skill and expertise takes a back seat to your people skills and your true interest in folks.

“It has been my experience that folks who have no vices have very few virtues. “

I think it is rather immature to expect anybody to be perfect. We live in a real world with real temptations and people yield to those temptations. When you look at a person’s accomplishments they should be forgiven the indiscretions that they couldn’t resist.

“Most folks are about as happy as they make up their minds to be.”

Isn’t this true? We all live in the same world. We see many of the same events. If our glass is half full we look for the positive in life. If our glass is half empty we look for the negative. Both the positive and the negative are present in abundance. Which are we going to focus on?

“Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.”

How one man treats another when he has nothing to gain or lose by treating them either way is a measure of character. If you treat people differently because you’re in some position over them, then maybe you’re not quite ready for authority.

“No man has a good enough memory to make a successful liar.”

Hopefully this is a lesson learned in childhood. Child usually only start or continue the practice of lying because they hear it around them, by someone that has influence over them. Usually people figure out it’s a lot more work to keeping up with your lies than there is in simply telling the truth.

“Whenever I hear anyone arguing for slavery, I feel a strong impulse to see it tried on him personally. “

Now wouldn’t that have been a quick solution for slavery? Just have anyone that wanted to be a slave owner serve as a slave for a while. They would quickly lose their taste for being a slave; soon they might lose their taste for being a slave owner.

He was a rather unique individual. He had a remarkable wit that gave you some insight into his intelligence, wisdom and humor. You don’t often find those three qualities dwelling together in harmony in the life of one person.

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One Response to “Success Quotes – Abraham Lincoln”

  1. Ken Lillemo says:

    I have seen “Most folks are about as happy as they make up their minds to be.”
    attributed to Lincoln, in various (and some more likely) forms. However, I have never seen a documented attribution of when and where Lincoln said this. Can anyone help clarify the provenance of this attribution?

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