Think of Abraham Lincoln, who was elected president of the united states in 1860. he grew up on an isolated farm and had only one year of formal education. In those early years he was exposed to barely half a dozen books. In 1832 he lost his job and was defeated in the race for the Illinois legislature. In 1833 he failed in business. In 1834 he was elected to the state legislature, but in 1835 his sweetheart died and in 1836 he had a nervous breakdown. In 1838 he was defeated for nomination for Congress. In 1846 he was elected to Congress but in 1848 lost the renomination. In 1849 he was rejected for a federal land appointment, and in 1854 he was defeated for the Senate. In 1856 he was defeated for the nomination of vice president, and in 1858 he was again defeated for the Senate.
Many people, both at home and abroad, consider Lincoln to be the greatest president of all time. Yet it should be remembered how many failures and defeats marked his life and how humble and unpromising his early beginnings were.
Ted Engstrom, The Pursuit of Excellence