Failure and Growth

Learning to deal with disappointment.

There’s a pretty infamous list of Abraham Lincoln’s failures throughout his life.  I’ve always considered our 16th President to be one of the most successful and integral to the strength and success of our country.  It’s really hard to think of him as being a failure.

Here’s a brief list of some of Abraham Lincoln’s failures (along with a few successes):

  • 1831 – Lost his job
  • 1832 – Defeated in run for Illinois State Legislature
  • 1833 – Failed in business
  • 1834 – Elected to Illinois State Legislature (success)
  • 1835 – Sweetheart died
  • 1836 – Had nervous breakdown
  • 1838 – Defeated in run for Illinois House Speaker
  • 1843 – Defeated in run for nomination for U.S. Congress
  • 1846 – Elected to Congress (success)
  • 1848 – Lost re-nomination
  • 1849 – Rejected for land officer position
  • 1854 – Defeated in run for U.S. Senate
  • 1856 – Defeated in run for nomination for Vice President
  • 1858 – Again defeated in run for U.S. Senate
  • 1860 – Elected President (success)

No matter how old we are, we’re all going to face multiple disappointments throughout our lives. These can range from minor letdowns (not getting included by friends in an activity), to major life events (not being accepted to your top-choice college).

Disappointments are part of growing up and part of day to day life, and although it’s painful to watch our dreams getting dashed or witnessing our friends suffer when things don’t go their way, disappointment can actually be good for us, especially when we can learn how to bounce back so we can cope better for future letdowns.  I’ll try to remember that part about disappointment being good for me the next time things don’t go exactly the way I planned them!

Edison quote

Tell me about the disappointments you’ve survived this year or throughout your high school career.  What did you learn from them?  How did you deal with them, grow from them?  Did those disappointments change your goals or plans for the future?  Have past failures led you to consequent success?  Are their failures in your past, that today, don’t seem like that big of a deal?  Are their failures that caused you to throw up your hands and simply give up at something because it didn’t come easy right away? Tell me all about it.

Your post is due Friday, April 24, 2015 at 8:15 a.m.

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