Are You Doing Your Very Best, Even When It's Hard?

personal development Jun 18, 2013
great effort in tumultuous times

     Perseverance.  Life is filled with peaks and valleys designed, I believe, to shape our character as we seek to bring our talents to the world.  I saw a poster that hammered this message home.


He failed in business in ’31.

He was defeated for State Legislator in ’32.

He tried another business in ’33.  It failed.

His fiancée 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.

One of his sons died in ’50.

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

was elected the 16th President of the United States.

     Every single one of us has experienced setbacks.  We may have felt distraught, overwhelmed, or that our life was over after the end of a relationship or marriage; the loss of a child or spouse; the failure of a business; or the loss of a critical game.  Perseverance:  Do your very best, even when it’s hard is a daily mantra worthy of committing to memory.

     Imagine how our country might look if Abraham Lincoln gave up after several failures, deaths, or mental health breakdowns.  Imagine.   No Emancipation Proclamation. The American Civil War may have resulted in a country divided.  The 13th Amendment abolishing slavery would not have become part of the U.S. Constitution.

      One man’s perseverance through devastating personal setbacks and loss gave birth to an era of courage.  Courage to change the status quo of enslavement.  Lincoln was a simple, humble man who believed in the humanness of all people and gave his life, despite overwhelming obstacles, to shape a humane Nation.

     When you are faced with daunting, overwhelming, crippling challenges remember Mr. Lincoln, the 16th President of the United States.  You have gifts that deserve to positively shape the world.  When life’s deep valleys seem to swallow you up ask yourself “Am I doing my very best, even when it’s hard?”  If you discover that your answer is no, hunker down, take one step, and then another until you walk through the valley.

     Step-by-step, bit-by-bit you will get through life’s setbacks.  We all have them.  We must do our very best, even when it’s hard to give birth to our greatness.

Peace & Blessings ~


Jenny DuFresne is the CEO, Leaders Transform. Our mission is to develop leaders who grow, inspire, and evolve people, culture, and impact. Our team supports executive and mid-level leaders with executive coaching, leader, team, and culture development in mid-market companies. Learn more at

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