Persistence Is Stronger Than Failure!

I love the book Wooden! This is a lifetime of reflections on and off the court by John Wooden. This site is dedicated to sharing youth program ideas, but also leadership tools. You can’t have the best youth programs if you are not leading and growing the people around you.

One of my favorite parts of this book is a section called “Persistence Is Stronger Than Failure.” This timeline of Abraham Lincoln hits me hard every time I read this.

  • Failed In Business – 1831
  • Defeated For Legistlature – 1832
  • Failed In Business Again – 1833
  • Elected To Legislature – 1834
  • Sweetheart Died – 1835
  • Had Nervous Breakdown – 1836
  • Defeated For Speaker – 1838
  • Defeated for Elector – 1840
  • Defeated for Congressional Nomination – 1843
  • Elected to Congress – 1846
  • Defeated for Congress – 1848
  • Defeated for Senate – 1855
  • Defeated for Vice President – 1856
  • Defeated for Senate – 1859
  • Elected President of the United States – 1860

Raise your hand if you would have just quit at the beginning of this timeline? I know I would have definitely quit and been angry. This is a great reminder for those times we go through setbacks and need to have persistence. Only you can decide if you want to quit or work harder. This is a great devotion to share with your teams. I think we compare ourselves to others and we don’t focus enough on our own path. The path can have valleys and peaks. How do you handle yourself in the valley and what do you learn there?


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