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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

        Matt is a marketer and writer who shares about lifestyle and productivity tips on Lifehack.

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        Last Updated on March 25, 2020

        How to Crush Your Lack of Motivation and Always Stay Motivated

        How to Crush Your Lack of Motivation and Always Stay Motivated

        How many times have you not achieved your goals and let yourself down due to your lack of motivation? When you’re not wallowing in sadness and self-pity, you are too busy procrastinating till you can’t anymore and before you know it, you are part of vicious cycle of anxiety and stress.

        Whether it’s losing weight or bringing your business to fruition – motivation is essential for growth and success in every sphere of our lives.

        That said, it is not easy staying motivated. In order to constantly stay motivated, you need to take ownership of your life and consciously make efforts in that direction.

        Well, it’s never too late to take matters in your hands and change the course of your life. Here are 11 effective ways to crush your lack of motivation and always stay motivated:

        1. Write Your Goals

        The power of writing goals down has always been underestimated. Why write when you can remember, right? Wrong.

        Our thoughts are all over the place and the first step to achieve your goals is to organize your thoughts. So, write your goals down, however big or small they might be. Make them as specific as possible and assign deadlines to each of them.

        As you write them down and revisit them regularly, they get further drilled in your head, taking you closer to your goals. Doing this small exercise helps you to remain focused, motivated and lets you track your progress with ease.

        Start today – take to your laptop or a diary and get down to writing what you wish to achieve in life.

        2. Beat Procrastination

        Your lack of motivation and procrastination go hand in hand. Every time you procrastinate, your motivation levels take a greater hit. The only way to bring an end to this loop is to stop procrastinating.

        Next time you find yourself putting off something for ‘later’, stop and assess the reasons behind it. Get to the root of the cause and eliminate it in order to overcome this poor habit of procrastinating which is sabotaging your life and mental health.

        Take a look at this guide and learn how to beat procrastination:

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        What Is Procrastination (And the Complete Guide to Stop Procrastinating)

        When you finally overcome procrastination, you will realize the positive impact it has on your mood and motivation levels.

        3. Celebrate Small Wins

        In the quest to achieve the bigger goals in life, we often forget to celebrate the smaller wins along the way. An achievement is an achievement – be it big or small, it deserves to be acknowledged and celebrated.

        Finished a project on time? Reward yourself. Managed to run on the treadmill for a good one hour? Pat yourself on the back. Found time to meditate? Celebrate it.

        It is these small achievements that reinstate that we are on the right path and take us one step closer to the bigger goals.

        So, get into the habit of recognizing and appreciating small wins. You will be surprised to see how this practice helps you stay motivated.

        4. Practice Gratitude

        It’s easier to whine about what we don’t have rather than counting our blessings. Isn’t it?

        Making gratefulness a part of your life is a very important step to retain high motivational levels. It revitalizes our spirits and renews our enthusiasm for life.

        So, how do you practice gratitude? For starters, keep a gratitude journal to jot down what you are grateful for, express your gratitude to people you love and spread positivity wherever you go. If you need some inspiration to be thankful for, here it is:

        60 Things To Be Thankful For In Life

        By doing so, you begin to focus more on what you have rather than what you don’t and that is a great start to stay motivated.

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        5. Be Optimistic

        Life is not always hunky dory. There will be bad days when things aren’t going in your favor, when you feel lost and all you want to do is give up.

        At such times, instead of letting negativity take over your life, adopt an optimistic approach to life. Quit overthinking, ask the right questions and focus on finding solutions.

        Yes, there will be hurdles along the way but if you hang on to positive affirmations and hopes, the journey will be a lot smoother. So, with every passing day, sow the seeds of positivity and you are sure to build a positive environment around you.

        6. Don’t Dwell on the Past

        A lot of times, our lack of motivation stems from the habit of dwelling on the past. This gives rise to fear and regrets, preventing us from making progress in the present day.

        Dwelling on the past is nothing but a waste of time. Understand that the past is long gone, and you cannot do anything to change that.

        What you can do is make your present day worthwhile. Instead of looking back and having regrets, learn from your mistakes, forgive yourself and move on.

        So, the next time you find your mind wandering off to the past, be determined to change the way you think and consciously concentrate on living in the present. This guide can help you:

        10 Simple Steps To Let Go Of The Past

        7. Face your Fears

        You can never find motivation where there is fear. Identify the fear that is pulling you back and tackle it.

        If you don’t face your fear head on, you cannot expect to conquer it and renew your motivation.

        Ask yourself: What is stopping you? What are you scared of?

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        Once you accept your fear, you can work on an action plan and think of solutions to overcome it. This article will give you some effective tips on conquering your fears:

        How to Overcome Your Irrational Fears (That Stop You from Succeeding)

        Seek external help if required but don’t choose to turn a blind eye over your fears – it will only aggravate matters.

        8. Visualize your Success

        You must have heard the famous quote, ‘see it to believe it’. That is exactly what visualization is about.

        One of the most effective self-motivation techniques, visualizing the process to your desired outcome helps you move in a positive direction and achieve your goal.

        Close your eyes and focus all your energies on the minutest of details that will take you where you want to reach. Doing this exercise everyday inspires you to keep going and not lose hope. The vision of attaining success will drive you to do better while instilling belief and confidence.

        9. Find Inspiration

        Can’t seem to find inspiration inwards? Don’t panic. There are plenty of external sources to gain inspiration from.

        From motivational books and quotes to speeches, films and apps – it is a good idea to take help from motivational material to rekindle your spirits and regain your motivation.

        Everyone is wired differently. For instance, a self-help book might work for your friend, but it might do nothing to move you. So, find what inspires you and turn to it when you are in desperate need for motivation.

        Finding inspiration externally fills you with hope and sometimes that is all you need.

        10. Enjoy Downtime

        You are clearly exhausted with all the running you’re doing in life. So much, that you don’t even have time to stop and think what’s causing you so much unhappiness. All you know is that you are lacking motivation and everyday seems to have become a struggle.

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        Now, that’s certainly not how you should live the rest of your life.

        You need to schedule downtime for yourself, relax and give your mind and body some rest. Take a vacation, indulge in hobbies, meet some friends, put your hair down and stop with all the overthinking. It is important to do things that make you happy in order to think clearly and stay motivated.

        11. Meditate Regularly

        Meditation lets you take control of your mind. It improves focus and concentration while helping you relax.

        Whenever you have had a tough day or find your thoughts going places, the best way to calm yourself down is by closing your eyes and meditating. It helps you to remove all the unnecessary frills in life and keeps you on the right track.

        Include meditation in your daily schedule and you are sure to see an improvement in your productivity and motivation.

        The Bottom Line

        Practicing these simple exercises isn’t the tough part, what’s tough is religiously doing them every day.

        However, don’t expect to get rid of your lack of motivation overnight. There will still be days when you will be low on energy but by making these conscious efforts to stay motivated, you are sure to see a vast change in your perspective and your response to bad days.

        So, start today and be committed to making a positive change in your life.

        More Tips About Staying Motivated

        Featured photo credit: Sonnie Hiles via unsplash.com

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