Author: Carlos Gonzalez
If you ever dreamed of branching out on your own, if you dreamed or are currently dreaming of starting your own business, are you longing for escape into the world of financial freedom? If so, realize that your path may be laden with mistakes; you may even meet with temporary defeat, rejection or even failure. Fear not…for you are in exclusive company. Failure is temporary. It is only permanent when you accept it as such. Let’s reflect on the following story:
Someone once said “When failure continually knocks at your door, welcome it in. Once experienced and learned from, failure becomes the steppingstone to success.
Consider a man whose life was overcome with continual failure, setbacks, rejections, and financial hardships. He once wrote, “I am the most miserable man living. Whether I shall be better, I cannot tell”. Not exactly what you would call a positive affirmation.
By any standard he experienced a difficult childhood. At the tender age of seven his family was forced out of their home on a legal technicality. He went to work to help support the family, and at nine, his mother died. Consequently, he completed less than one year of formal education. At twenty two he failed and lost his job as a store clerk. He had a burning desire to go to law school, but his lack of formal education prevented him from doing so. On borrowed money he became a partner in a small business. This also led to disaster. A few years later his partner died, leaving him with a mountain of debt that took seventeen years to repay.
He was defeated for the legislature; this was followed by another business failure shortly after. The young women he loved refused his marriage proposals, and another earlier love in his life died unexpectedly. At this point he finds himself rejected, confused and totally heartbroken. Several years later he married into a burdensome life and a subsequent unhappy relationship. From here on out it was an endless road of continual failures and disappointments:
He was defeated for Congress
After his third try he got elected
Two years later at thirty nine he ran again and failed to be reelected.
His four year old son died
Only one of his four sons lived past eighteen
At the age of forty five he ran and was badly defeated for the U.S. Senate
The list of setbacks, disappointments, tragedies and failures seemed endless. However, through the grace of God, his own determination and undying spirit this man withstood a lifetime of crisis, criticism, public denial, personal defeat, deep depression, and loneliness to become the sixteen President of the United States of America. At the age of fifty one fate smiled kindly on Abraham Lincoln and he experienced the success he so passionately pursed throughout his entire life. However, during his second term life dealt him his final blow and his life was cut short by an assassin’s bullet.
As Abraham Lincoln lay dying, his secretary of war Edwin M. Stanton said…”There lies the most perfect ruler of men the world has ever seen…and now he belongs to the ages”.
Take a lesson from Abraham Lincoln, his accomplishments, his fortitude, his insight, his wisdom and his faith should serve as an example to all of us of how failure can produce achievement.
“It is not a disgrace to fail. Failing is one of the greatest arts in the world”
Charles F. Kettering