Perseverance makes the difference – just ask Abe. When Abraham Lincoln took the oath of office in 1861, it was not a miraculous moment in time. It was the culmination of a long, difficult journey filled with disappointments, setbacks, failures and ultimate success an incredible testament to the power of faith and perseverance.

Just months before receiving his party’s nomination for President, he offered a brief sketch of his early life. “My parents were both born in Virginia, of undistinguished families. My mother died in my tenth year. When I came of age I did not know much. Still somehow, I could read, write, and cipher…but that was all.”

An avid reader and tireless worker, he sought the knowledge and experience he needed to pursue his ambitions. Given his early fortunes in business, politics and life, however, no one would have blamed him had he given up his ultimate dream.

He failed in business in ’31. He was defeated for state legislator in ’32. He tried another business in ’33. It failed. His fiancee died in ’35. He had a nervous breakdown in ’36. In ’43 he ran for congress and was defeated. He tried again in ’48 and was defeated again. He tried running for the Senate in ’55. He lost. The next year he ran for Vice President and lost. In ’59 he ran for the Senate again and was defeated.

In 1860, the man who signed his name A. Lincoln, the man whose unflagging faith in himself seemed to grow with every failure, was elected the 16th President of the United States.

The difference between history’s boldest accomplishments and its most staggering failures is often, simply, the diligent will to persevere. Like Lincoln’s, your dreams are all within reach – as long as you never stop believing. Go for it!

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