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10 Powerful Things Abraham Lincoln Said That Will Inspire Your Life

10 Powerful Things Abraham Lincoln Said That Will Inspire Your Life

Abraham Lincoln delivered some of the most memorable quotes of any U.S. president, filled to the burst with wisdom that’s been passed down for the last hundred-plus years. Here are some especially poignant quotes from Honest Abe that are as relevant today as they’ve ever been.

1. “Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt.”

Abraham Lincoln was wise enough to know when to stay quiet. You should also be aware of the times when the best thing to say is nothing at all. Some political discussions on Facebook might be best to avoid, for example.

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2. “As I would not be a slave, so I would not be a master. This expresses my idea of democracy.”

It wouldn’t be a proper list of Abraham Lincoln quotes without something expressing his views on slavery. With this quote, Abe demonstrates his understanding that our roles should not be simplified to being owned or being an owner. That still applies today, even if actual slavery is a thing of the past in the United States. Too often (like in the workplace) people will feel in servitude to someone else, when equality is the best option.

3. “Things may come to those who wait, but only the things left by those who hustle.”

Patience is good, but an eagerness to make your mark is often better. To get the things you want you need to be actively, fervently pursuing them. An author who waits for someone to discover his novel on Amazon is less likely to succeed than an author actively marketing himself.

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    Image via Flickr by coconinoco.

    4. “Give me six hours to chop down a tree, and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.”

    Preparation is the key to productivity. Abraham Lincoln suggested here that his rule of thumb was to spend two-thirds of your time preparing, and one-third actually doing. Employ a similar mindset to achieve comparable results. Writing this article, for example, was a lot easier because I collected the quotes ahead of time instead of one at a time.

    5. “It has been my experience that folks who have no vices have very few virtues.”

    This can be a tough quote to get your head around. Wouldn’t those without sin be the most holy? Not according to Abraham Lincoln, who believes that a willingness to do bad is a necessary component of being good. Someone who is willing to break the law for a good reason, for example, is often superior to someone too afraid to.

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    11746994686_6261b08b52_z
      Image via Flickr by Lending Memo.

      6. “The best thing about the future is that it comes only one day at a time.”

      Abraham Lincoln recognized that, though we should prepare for the future, we shouldn’t live in fear of it. As long as we’re aware of what’s coming, it can’t sneak up on us. Think about this especially when saving for retirement.

      7. “My great concern is not whether you have failed, but whether you are content with your failure.”

      Failure is inevitable. Necessary, even, on the path to greatness. Abraham Lincoln knew that the important thing is that you care enough to try again. Most of the most successful businessmen had at least one failed startup before they became millionaires and billionaires. They stuck through the hard times, and you should, too.

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        Image via Flickr by Wally Gobetz.

        8. “Most folks are as happy as they make up their minds to be.”

        Happiness is a pretty abstract thing, but Abraham Lincoln simplifies it somewhat with this quote by explaining that a lot of our well-being comes from our attitudes. In a lot of ways, happiness is within our own power. Don’t get too hung up on being passed over for a promotion, for example, and be grateful for what you have, instead.

        9. “We can complain because rose bushes have thorns, or rejoice because thorn bushes have roses.”

        One of my favorite Abraham Lincoln quotes. Follow his advice by looking for the good in the bad instead of searching for the bad in the good. You can find faults in everyone, even the people you most love. But it’s better to notice the things that are great about them if you want happy relationships.

        10. “And in the end, it’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years.”

        The life of Abraham Lincoln was cut short when he was assassinated at the age of 56. It’s a very good thing that he understood that he lived a full and meaningful life, even if it wasn’t as long as it should have been. Don’t waste your time with trivial matters. Do things that make a difference so that, even if you die tomorrow, you’ll have lived a fulfilling life.

        Featured photo credit: William Hartz via flickr.com

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        Matt OKeefe

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        Last Updated on October 18, 2018

        50+ Best Motivational Quotes To Prepare You For Any Challenges In Life

        50+ Best Motivational Quotes To Prepare You For Any Challenges In Life

        Life is filled with highs and lows —happiness and struggles that will test your resilience and integrity, push you to overcome challenges and leave you with lessons that will make you even stronger on your way up.

        It’s the way you feel and think about yourself, including your expectations and beliefs about what is possible to you, greatly determines everything that happens to you.

        It all starts with your thoughts. When you change your thoughts, you transform the quality of your life. (Right, Nancy’s story is a typical example!)

        Below is a list of the best motivational quotes to inspire you to start your day with a blast:

        Quotes for self-assurance

        1. Don’t downgrade your dream just to fit your reality, upgrade your conviction to match your destiny.

          2. You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem and smarter than you think.

            3. You are confined only by the walls you build yourself.

              4. The man who has confidence in himself gains the confidence of others

                5. You attract what you are, not what you want. If you want great, then be great.

                  6. It’s not who you are that holds you behind, it’s who you think your are not.

                    Quotes about positivity

                    7. Stop being afraid of what could go wrong and think of what could go right.

                      8. You should never regret anything in life. If it’s good, it’s wonderful. If it’s bad, it is experience.

                        9. Falling down is an accident, staying down is a choice.

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                          10. If you have the power to make someone happy, do it. The world needs more of that.

                            11. Always believe that something wonderful is about to happen.

                              12. Don’t be afraid to give up the good and go for great.

                                13. Remember that life’s greatest lessons are usually learned from worst times and from the worst mistakes.

                                  Quotes for work and success

                                  14. Don’t talk, just act. Don’t say, just show. Don’t promise, just prove.

                                    15. Never stop doing great just because someone doesn’t give you credit.

                                      16. Discipline is doing what needs to be done, even if you don’t want to.

                                        17. Work while they sleep. Learn while they party. Save while they spend. Live like they dream.

                                          18. The key to success is to focus our conscious mind on things we desire, not things we fear.

                                            19. Never apologize for having high standards, people who really want to be in your life will rise to meet them.

                                              20. If it doesn’t challenge you, it won’t change you.

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                                                21. Never give up on a dream just because of the time it will take to accomplish it, time will pass anyway.

                                                  22. Don’t fear failure. Fear being in the exact same place next year as you are today.

                                                    23. A hill is just another opportunity to leave your competition behind.

                                                      24. Don’t quit. You’re already in pain. You’re already hurt. Get a reward from it.

                                                        25. Hustle until you no longer need to introduce yourself.

                                                          26. You didn’t come this far only to come this far.

                                                            27. Be selective in your battles for sometimes peace is better than being right.

                                                              28 If we keep doing what we are doing, we’re going to keep getting what we’re getting.

                                                                29. You will never know your limits until you push yourself to them.

                                                                  30. Do what you have to do until you can do what you want to do.

                                                                    31. The man on top of the mountain didn’t fall there.

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                                                                      32. If your dreams don’t scare you, they are not big enough.

                                                                        33. If you can’t handle stress, you won’t manage success.

                                                                          34. Don’t be pushed by your problems, be led by your dreams.

                                                                            35. Don’t mistake silence for weakness. Smart people don’t plan big moves out loud.

                                                                              36. Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.

                                                                                37. Obsessed is the word the lazy use to describe dedicated.

                                                                                  38. You become who you spend your time with.

                                                                                    39. Be stubborn about your goals and flexible about your methods.

                                                                                      40. Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard.

                                                                                        41. If you don’t build your dreams, someone else will hire you to build theirs.

                                                                                          42. Between stimulus and response is our greatest power –the freedom to choose.

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                                                                                            43. What comes easy won’t last, what lasts won’t come easy.

                                                                                              44. Don’t limit your challenges, challenge your limits.

                                                                                                45. Work until your idols become your rivals.

                                                                                                  Quotes about money

                                                                                                  46. Formal education will make you a living. Self-education will make you a fortune.

                                                                                                    47. I create new enemies every day, it’s called business.

                                                                                                      48. When you have a Million Dollar vision, don’t surround yourself with 1 cent minds.

                                                                                                        49. You can’t get rich thinking poor.

                                                                                                          50. Doing what is comfortable is rarely profitable.

                                                                                                            51. If you can count your money, work harder.

                                                                                                              If you find yourself feeling lost and frustrated, it’s never too late to change things up. Check out this guide:

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