This day in history

On this day in 1836 Abraham Lincoln earned his license to practice law in Illinois.  Unlike our current president, most successful people suffer defeats along the way.  While Obama has led a charmed life based on successes he did little to earn, Abraham Lincoln’s life followed a bumpy road of repeated setbacks and small triumphs before becoming one of America’s greatest presidents.

Here’s a partial list, from Bill Bennett’s American Patriots’ Almanac:

1832 Elected captain of an Illinois militia company
1832 Defeated for state legislature
1833 Failed in business
1833 Appointed postmaster of New Salem, Illinois
1834 Elected to state legislature
1835 Sweetheart died
1836 Received license to practice law in Illinois
1838 Defeated for Speaker of the Illinois House
1841 Suffered deep depression
1842 Married Mary Todd
1844 Established his own law practice
1846 Elected to U.S. Congress
1849 Failed to get appointment to U.S. Land Office
1850 Four-year-old son died
1855 Defeated for U.S. Senate
1857 Earned large attorney fee in a successful case
1858 Again defeated for Senate
1861-1865 The bumpy road became a whole lot bumpier before a final conclusion of success, only to followed by the final tragedy and martyrdom.

There are many Lincoln quotes and a lot of them were never said by him.  This one can be trusted:

“I do the very best I know how, the very best I can, and I mean to keep doing so until the end.”

That attitude and determination drove Lincoln, enabling him able to overcome his many setbacks. Anyone looking for the key to their own success will do no better than adopting and emulating Lincoln’s formula.