This year, February 12th marks Abraham Lincoln’s 207th birthday. I love Abraham Lincoln. He was an inspiring man, a great leader, and as 16th president of the U.S., he is my personal favorite (I could rant for hours and hours about how incredible he is). To commemorate his birthday, I’ve put together a list of 21 inspirational quotes by Honest Abe, and lessons I see in each one:
- “When I do good, I feel good. When I do bad, I feel bad. That’s my religion.”
Lesson: When you do the right thing, you will get good outcomes, and when you do wrongly, you will get bad outcomes.
- “In the end, it’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years.“
Lesson: At the end of your life, it won’t matter how many accomplishments, awards, or money you made, it will matter how much you lived, loved, and made a difference.
- “Be sure you put your feet in the right place, then stand firm.“
Lesson: When you do the right, stand strong, and don’t cave into peer pressure and temptation. Hold fast to the truth and the right!
- “You cannot escape the responsibility of tomorrow by evading it today.“
Lesson: We all have responsibilities. Procrastinating and putting it off doesn’t make your responsibilities go away.
- “Always bear in mind that your own resolution to succeed is more important than any other.“
Lesson: Don’t listen to what others try to tell you about success or how you should live your life. Live your life, listen to that voice within you, and be yourself!
- “Most folks are as happy as they make up their minds to be.“
Lesson: You can be as happy as you want to be, in any circumstance, situation, or environment. Your attitude and perception influences your life.
- “The best way to destroy an enemy is to make him a friend.“
Lesson: The best way to take care of someone who is mean to you or rude, or bullying you, is not to fight back or make them feel bad. Be kind to everyone, even those you don’t like and who don’t like you.
- “Don’t worry when you are not recognized, but strive to be worthy of recognition.“
Lesson: If you want to be recognized, do the right things, serve, be kind, and then you will be liked and admired by the people who matter most.
- “You can fool all the people some of the time, and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time.“
Lesson: You can’t trick or influence everyone all the time.
- “Everybody likes a compliment.“
Lesson: Compliment others as much as possible. Everyone loves being treated like someone important. Treat others like that, and you will get the same treatment.
- “I never had a policy; I have just tried to do my very best each and every day.“
Lesson: It doesn’t matter what you believe; strive to do your best each and every day, and get better, and you will be rewarded!
- “I have always found that mercy bears richer fruits than strict justice.“
Lesson: Kindness is more powerful than rudeness. Love is more powerful than hate. Mercy is more powerful than strict justice. Gentleness is more powerful than coarseness.
- “That some achieve great success, is proof to all that others can achieve it as well.“
Lesson: If I can succeed, you can succeed. If others can be happy, you can be happy. There is more than enough joy and abundance to go around, we just need to seek it.
- “Avoid popularity if you would have peace.“
Lesson: Look for true friends. Would you rather have a large circle of friends who doesn’t care about your self and gossips about you, or would you rather have a few true friends that like you for who you are. Popularity doesn’t give you the happiness you’re looking for.
- “The best way to predict the future is to create it.“
Lesson: The future is yours! You can be whoever you want to be, do whatever you want to do, and achieve all you want to achieve. Be your best, do your best, and you will achieve the best!
- “I walk slowly, but I never walk backward.“
Lesson: Even though you progress slowly, you can make the choice to create a life you love and a life you will not regret. Live like there is no tomorrow.
- “Whatever you are, be a good one.“
Lesson: No matter what you look like, what church or school you attend, what sports you like, or who your friends are, if you are good, you will receive good.
- “Character is like a tree and reputation like a shadow. The shadow is what we think of it; the tree is the real thing.“
Lesson: Not everything is as it seems. Make sure your character and your reputation matches up, know who you are, stay true to who you are, and have integrity.
- “No man is good enough to govern another man without that other’s consent.“
Lesson: You are your own boss. No one can make you do anything. No one can tear you down or put you up without your consent. You are the driver of your life. You have your own remote control… So, don’t blame your choices on others or let others control you.
- “The best thing about the future is that it only comes one day at a time.“
Lesson: Take life one step at a time. Nothing is perfect immediately. We all take time to mold ourselves and create our destinies. Do your best today, do your best tomorrow, and strive to improve yourself always. We are not perfect, but we are a work-in-progress.
- “Let no feeling of discouragement prey upon you, and in the end you are sure to succeed.“
Lesson: Don’t let anything discourage you! Have courage, step forward, persevere, and be determined to succeed and make any change necessary to become the BEST version of YOU that you can BE!
Well, Happy Honest Abe day to everyone! Keep these lessons in your heart and I am sure you will succeed. What was your favorite quote? Did any of these lessons apply to you?