Use Failure as Your Slingshot

Abraham Lincoln

The greatest business people, actors, politicians, athletes, and scientists all persevere through failure in their careers before they reach a high level of success. When they do reach that point, there comes a great calm. They realize that their disappointments were some of the best moments of their careers because they used them to improve on their next move.

Life is a beautiful struggle, and the great people of our history used each failure as a slingshot to create a better life. One of the greatest of them was Abraham Lincoln. His failures were numerous and would have crushed a weaker willed person.

  • Failed in business in 1831

  • Defeated for the legislature in 1832

  • Failed in business again in 1834

  • Ann Rutledge, the love of his life died in 1835

  • Nervous breakdown in 1836

  • Defeated in an election in 1838

  • Defeated for Congress in 1843, 1846, and a third time in 1848

  • Defeated for Senate in 1855

  • Defeated for Vice President in 1856

  • Defeated for Senate in 1858

  • 1860 he was finally elected President!

Every living thing struggles to live. Famous actors struggle with the paparazzi, I struggle with my career, everyone struggles with their relationships, rich people struggle with illness, and everyone struggles with the possibility of death. Every struggle creates new places for joy. The truly great people understand that failure isn’t the measure of a person, but it is what they do with that failure that decides how successful they become.

It is a mistake to suppose that men succeed through success; they much oftener succeed through failures. Precept, study, advice, and example could never have taught them so well as failure has done.
- Samuel Smiles

It’s using that struggle to help improve your life that makes the difference between success and accepting defeat. Use your difficulties to make yourself stronger. Use you failure as a slingshot toward happiness and you’ll succeed.

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