You’re Going To Die

I can achieve and accomplish my goals or I can make excuses and settle for a life I don’t want.

“You’re going to die” and “you’re going to fail” are two of the most important realizations that you can come to terms with. Not only are these statements true, but it is absolutely imperative that you come to grips with them if you want to accomplish anything worthwhile in this life. Both deal with


Coming to terms and accepting these truths clears your mind, and life, of fear. Grab hold of the fact that this life is temporary for all of us and that we have a limited time to make it meaningful. There is no tomorrow, only today.

We must see this life for what it is and understand that failure is a natural part of moving forward. No one gets out alive and no one accomplished anything worthwhile without failing. Let failure become your starting point and let today define your future.

Get rid of someday and tomorrow…remove them from your vocabulary and start today. From wherever you are, start there. There isn’t enough room in our lives for achievement and excuses; it’s one or the other.

I can achieve and accomplish my goals or I can make excuses and settle for a life I don’t want.

Make the decision on which road you’ll take and get moving. Start now, not tomorrow. Don’t wait to find your “mojo”, get up and create it.

Action produces results…Positive Actions create Positive Results and Negative Actions create Negative Consequences.

No one is going to do it for you. The calvary isn’t coming to save you. If you want it, get up and get started…today not tomorrow. Take a step forward. Make the decision and stick to it. If you fall, get back up and keep moving forward.

This is your life and it’s temporary.


Don’t waste another minute being unhappy with yourself. Change, Move, Execute…Everyday.

A Story of Courage, Commitment, and 26.2 Miles

This is Sonya Harrington, and she is a marathoner. Sonya (1)

Of course, that wasn’t always the case for Sonya. Just 7 short months ago, she showed up at a Fall Marathon Informational Meeting at Fleet Feet Sports in Schererville, Indiana to gather details on what it would take to complete 18 weeks of training to prepare to run the Chicago Marathon.

Many “would be” first time marathoners come to these meetings, but after seeing the intense amount of training that is required to successfully complete a marathon…never come back – only Sonya did come back, and that is where her journey began.

Continue reading “A Story of Courage, Commitment, and 26.2 Miles”

The Night Before the Marathon

I know that you all have a thousand thoughts running through your heads right now. Some thoughts are good and positive, some are not. Regardless of the thoughts in your mind, there are some things that you know for certain. You have spent more than 4 months training for this day. 

You ran through adversity in the form of heat, humidity, rainstorms, sickness, soreness, and even injury. You did that because you are strong and determined individuals with BHAG’s. What are BHAG’s? BHAG’s are Big Hairy Audacious Goals!

You aren’t like other people. You are not content to simply exist in a lifetime of easy contentment. You have something inside of you that drives you to challenge and push yourselves well beyond what most people would ever attempt. 

There is something inside of every one of you that pulls and tugs at your soul. It’s what drives you out of the door every morning before the sunrise and it’s what will get you across that finish line tomorrow. It’s the Spirit of the Marathon. It does not exist outside of you; it is woven into your inner core.

The marathon chose you because it knew that you were special; that you have the toughness, the desire, and the will to complete an act of unrealistic ambition and expectation. You are not lining up at the start line tomorrow by happenstance. Each of you are here for a reason; a reason known only to you and the Spirit of the Marathon. 

Tomorrow, just as in training, you will be tested time and time again, and you will find a way to overcome everything that these 26.2 miles could throw at you. The path that you have chosen for this day is full of hazards, as all paths are; but it is a path that is most aligned with your character and your courage. 

Because of these things, you will never choose the easy path of submission or surrender. You will line up tomorrow aided by the spirits of millions of marathoners who have gone before to light the path and to prepare the way for you. 

Tomorrow, you will own a piece of history and whether for the first time or the twentieth, you will forever be called a Marathoner!

Why Rock Bottom is Never the End

“Those who can bear all can dare all.” – Luc De Clapiers

Have you ever wondered what life would be like if we lived as if we had nothing to lose? If you woke up tomorrow with nothing and had to start all over again, could you pull yourself up by the bootstraps and start building again? Everyday would be bound by struggle and each step would be a leap of faith into the next. Does the though of this scare you or does it ignite your senses?

Most of us have grown so accustom to our lives of luxury that just the thought of losing our sense of comfort sends us into a panic. Of course, no one would willingly choose to throw away comfort for gloom and despair but what if it wasn’t a choice? What if it was all taken in the swiftness of a sudden dark wind?

“If you’re going to die, then die. If you’re going to live, then fight.”   – Emilie Autumn

History is filled with giants of success who became that way only after hitting rock bottom, or being born into it. Oprah Winfrey was born to a young, low-income mother and was abused throughout her childhood. She was fired from a local television station because she was “unfit” for work on television.

Martha Stewart was the world’s first female self-made millionaire. Only a few years after her firm went public, she was sent to prison for 5 years because of her involvement in a stock scandal. Her story could’ve ended there but it didn’t. After being released from prison, she went back to work and within 12 months, her company was again profitable.

“I don’t think of myself as a poor deprived ghetto girl who made good. I think of myself as somebody who, from an early age, knew I was responsible for myself, and I had to make good.”   – Oprah Winfrey

After finding success as an actor late in life, Liam Neeson lost his wife to terrible skiing accident. He was left alone to cope with his two young children. Instead of cashing it in, Neeson regained his senses and his career by pouring himself into raising his children and soon regained his stardom as a premier hollywood icon.

For Neeson, Winfrey, and Stewart, and a plethora of others, both famous and common people, rock bottom wasn’t the end, it was the beginning. Rock bottom strips away the facade and exposes us to our very core. There is absolutely nothing left to hide behind. We are forced to look at our life for exactly what it is, both good and bad. The decisions and circumstances that brought us here become painful lessons, which if allowed, can help us to begin rebuilding.

In these moments we have no choice but to be humbled. It is in this humility that we ultimately find out who we really are. It forces us to find the strength within us that we no longer thought we had. We become self-reliant and we begin to see things for what they really are. We cease depending on externals for our happiness and ultimately become aware that everything that we need is already within us.

“Endurance pierces marble.” – Moroccan Proverb

Lastly, we become grateful for everything that is left because all of the phony has been removed. We realize that there is nothing left to lose and because of that we are free to dare, create, move, and experience life like never before. Just as failure is often a prerequisite for success, rock-bottom can also serve as a launching pad for better, more vibrant life.

Someone Told Me I’d Never Be…

“You’ll never be an endurance runner because you’re too big”. 

I love to lift AND I love to run. When I started lifting less and running more, I told someone I wanted to be an endurance runner. I wanted to run marathons and ultra marathons. I wanted to push my body passed the point of breaking. I wasn’t content with just finishing them, I wanted to race them.

I’ll never forget the words of a fellow runner who told me, “dude, you’re not built for that…like a runner”. I was insulted but I held it in. I started to doubt everything. When I looked around, I saw a lot of lean but thin runners. 

I wanted to challenge the status quo that said skinny runners run fast and everyone else gets thrown into the misfit land of “joggers”. Since then, I’ve finished a marathon in 3 hours and 46 minutes, I’ve run 100k’s and didn’t come in last or even close to last. I will run a 100 miler and I will race it, but I won’t change who I am and what I love. 

I wasn’t born with a runners body, but I’ve made the most of what I have. That’s what we have to do…make the most of what we have. Strong is strong in any shape and size. Tell me I can’t and that’s exactly why I will.

Lessons I learned from being sidelined with an injury…

Guest Post from my wife, Adriana!

Check on your fellow injured runners. And when I say check, that doesn’t mean only when you run into them at the grocery store. Call them, text them, invite them to have coffee and just listen to them. Chances are they are deeply depressed. Running becomes such a huge part of who we are that they probably feel very lost and alone. Luckily, I had a few friends that were my saving grace during this whole ordeal.   You all know who you are……THANK YOU!

Be careful of what you say to them. Some of the most insensitive things said to me during my injury were from fellow running pals. If you have to start your sentence with, “I don’t mean to be discouraging but….” I would probably refrain from saying it. My mind was my own worst enemy and I certainly didn’t need anyone else to pour salt into the wound. And unless you’ve been seriously injured (not just aches and pains) it’s difficult to understand the severity of what they are feeling.

Get a second opinion, or a third option or hell, even a fourth. If the doctor that’s treating you tells you that since you never ran in high school, getting injured, “was just a matter of time” you need to run far, far away. (Pardon the pun) If they start talking about surgery, run again (unless of course it really is medically necessary). If what they are doing to help you makes your symptoms worse, stop seeing them.

Throughout my injury I saw two orthopedic doctors, one chiropractor, and a physical therapist. It was like a guessing game every time I went.   Not one of them could tell me why I got injured or how to fix it. It was frustrating and made me feel like running was going to be a thing I once did, but would never be able to do again.

Finally after 3 months I found a doctor that pinpointed exactly how I got injured and gave me the tools to fix it. Funny thing, I asked a previous doctor if my injury could be related to the very diagnosis I was given and that’s when she told me that getting inured was just a “matter of time. “ Do not settle for those kinds of answers!

Funny thing is that my injury was not even directly running related. The injuries were actually more attributable to years of sitting on my butt, which led to weak glute muscles!

Lesson learned: Be proactive. If you aren’t getting the treatment you think you need find a different doctor.  It doesn’t necessarily mean that they aren’t good doctors or therapists it simply means that they aren’t the right doctor to help you.

You will get back into shape.  I was in the best shape of my life when I got injured having just completed the Chicago marathon (my first) and running several personal best half marathons. This little knee thing couldn’t have happened at a worse time.   Find things that you enjoy and will help keep you fit. For me it was a lot of strength training, the rowing machine, and the bike. Of course it’s not the same, as running but it will keep you sane. Every day I would worry about how much fitness I was loosing but being able to do something did keep me semi sane.

It would have been very easy for me to mope around and feel sorry for myself every day, but I choose to try and take the negative and turn it into a positive by making me stronger. Although there were many days that I cried and felt sorry for myself, there were also many days that I didn’t.

Lesson Learned: More than likely an injury will won’t last forever and you’ll be back out there again feeling as fit as you were pre-injury.

Don’t compare yourself to the runner you were before you got injured. This is a difficult one for me and I’m sure many others.   It’s completely unfair and unrealistic to think that I’m just going to be able to go out there and run the half marathon pace I did just three months ago. At this point, I can only come close to my long run pace I was running before I got injured (and believe me I’m winded doing it) but I’m choosing to be ok with the numbers on my Garmin. I’m just excited to be out there again and really that’s all that matters. Lesson Learned: Don’t look back. You are where you are not where you were. Instead look at how much further you can go.

Many of you know about my faith in God but let me tell you there were many moments I doubted Him thought out this ordeal. I was reminded each day how much running gives my life meaning and structure. I always used running as a way to let off steam and deal with stress. Not being able to run was the most stressful thing in my world. Though I worked hard to not let running define who I was God showed me that, that was not in fact the case.

I let running become an idol. So many times I found myself wandering around the house asking God, “when will you take this from me Lord?” “How much longer Lord?” “Why is this happening?” I felt very abandoned and distanced from God. It was hard to find Him during those very low days. God gave me subtle reminders that He was there and that He would never abandon his child. Sometimes it was through the voice of my husband, or a friend, and even my co-workers.

I also found some comfort in a few thoughts too. One of them is that as angry as my knee made me it was very good to me and took me on some incredible journey’s. God also made me recognize how fortunate I was to have two working legs and knees that did allow me to run. Not only did I run but I completed a marathon! Yes, me probably the most unfit person ever for most of my life completed a marathon! Not everyone has the gift of working legs and so many times I took that for granted. He’s pretty darn amazing that way. God loved me too much to leave me where I was. I only needed to find him in the storm.

Waiting On You

“Thinking will not overcome fear, but action will.” – W. Clement Stone

Your dreams and goals are waiting on you to take action. I am convinced that nothing positive happens in life without action – a conscious decision to move forward toward your goals in spite of fear.

Fear intimidates us and it will continue to do so until we decide to step forward and impose our will on life. The thought of failure is often far worse than the actual event.

“There are risks and costs to action. But they are far less than the long range risks of comfortable inaction.” – John F. Kennedy

12 years ago – 3 years post military – I had allowed myself to become overweight…really overweight. At the height of the scale, I weighed 235 pounds which was about 50 pounds more than what I should have weighed. I felt terrible…awful. I had stopped exercising but kept overeating for 3 years. Traveling for work, stress, and a love for junk food had taken their toll on my body and my sanity.

One Sunday, I was sitting on the couch and began to really hate what I had allowed to happen. I was more than just miserable, I was downright angry. This would go on for months until one Sunday I decided that I was not going to let this define who I was any longer. I felt like crap and I decided that I didn’t want to feel like crap anymore. It was time to take action, so I did.

“Vision is not enough, it must be combined with venture. It is not enough to stare up the steps, we must step up the stairs.” ~ Vaclav Havel

That Monday I showed up at the local YMCA, signed up for a membership, and committed to myself that this was the beginning of a transformation. That one decision altered the course of my life. I went back the next day, and the next, and the next for months and then years. I started eating better and busting my ass in the gym 5-6 days per week. I took up running, then endurance running. Activity is contagious, unfortunately so is laziness.

Over the next 18 months, I dropped over 60 pounds and found myself in the best shape of my life.Was it easy? Hell no. It was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done, but I did it and that’s the point. I could have sat on the couch with a bag of chips and a beer and continued to feel sorry for myself…and 18 months later I would have still been fat and miserable.


Those lazy desires and bad food habits still lurk beneath the surface. Those habits never totally go away, but the more right choices I make, the easier it becomes to win the battle.

Deciding to take action (mostly without the slightest of plans) was the trigger to changing from the person that I loathed, into the person that I knew I could and should be. This wasn’t about image, it was about health, about feeling better, and about setting a better example for my kids.

“I know that I have the ability to achieve the object of my Definite Purpose in life, therefore, I demand of myself persistent, continuous action toward its attainment, and I here and now promise to render such action.” ~ Napoleon Hill

12 years later, I am still with the healthy and fit lifestyle. It has never been about a diet with me, it has always been about a different lifestyle. Action starts the wheel of success turning and good, consistent habits keep it spinning. Whether it’s fitness, business, or relationships, they all require daily action followed by good habits.

So whatever it is that is holding you back, make a choice to take action. Don’t worry about where that choice may lead, just take the step. One step in the right direction could change your life. Believe me.

Stop Letting Emotions Dictate Your Life

Too many of us let our emotions control us; we let them dictate our lives.

The ability to overcome negative feelings and forge ahead in order to accomplish an important task is one of the most overlooked aspects of developing a strong mental attitude. Too often, we wake up in a funk and allow that feeling to persist throughout the day. It affects our mood, our mindset, and causes us to perform at a subpar level.

Perhaps we don’t wake up with a bad attitude, but then someone cuts us off in traffic, sends us a nasty email, gives us a backhanded compliment, or we get an extra helping of projects and boom…frowny face syndrome sets in.

If we are not able to shake off those negative emotions and move on with our day, it leads to lost productivity and the tragic waste of an otherwise, perfectly good day. Too many of us let our emotions control us; we let them dictate our lives. String too many of those days together and you have a real grump who’s constantly waiting for the sky to fall.

“In three words I can sum up everything I’ve learned about life. It goes on.”    – Robert Frost

Learn to identify those temporary emotions for what they really are; brief sensations that can signal anything from fear or concern to outright anger. While some of these emotions can be good, as in telling you to run from that dog that just broke away from his owner, we weren’t meant to hold on to them. Acknowledge the emotion, react if necessary and then move on (assuming the dog didn’t catch you).

Learning to focus on the bigger picture of the day without getting bogged down in the ranges of emotion that sweep through our bodies on a daily basis is the key to maintaining mental focus. We need to stop being reactive to our emotions and start being proactive with our actions…in other words, don’t let your emotions dictate actions.

“Any person capable of angering you becomes your master.”        —Epictetus

Understand your emotions for what they are and learn to recognize that they are temporary. Don’t allow them to make permanent decisions on your behalf.

Know that our feelings and emotions often lie to us. Just because we have a feeling about something or someone does not necessarily make it a reality.

Shift your focus to the task at hand and move forward. When you do, these feelings will take a back seat and eventually return to the nothingness from which they came.

Take back your life and pursue your goals with constant forward action everyday. Relentless forward progress accomplishes great things as long as you are in the drivers’ seat.

Who Cares What They Think

Caring too much about what others think of you is like giving them the key to your house, and letting them live there while you pay the mortgage.

Caring too much about what others think of you is like giving them the key to your house, and letting them live there while you pay the mortgage.

Last year I wrote People Judge Us after finally making significant progress in breaking away from the expectations of people who have no investment in my life. 

Most often, those negative comments that others make about you, or about your decisions in life, are a reflection of their own shortcomings, not a pronouncement of judgement on you. When you make a habit of doing things your own way and going against the accepted norms of society, in other words when you live life on your terms, it can make people uncomfortable; that’s their problem, not yours.

Deep down, we all have a need to be accepted by those around us but it is essential that we not measure ourselves by the standards of other people, or even society for that matter. There are people whose opinions should matter but that list should be extremely short. At the top would be our spouse, children, and parents, possibly followed by our boss and a close set of trusted friends.

Beyond that, the list should be fairly short (although different for some of us) and the further down that list someone falls, the less we should pay attention to what they think of us.

I will not let anyone walk through my mind with their dirty feet. – Mahatma Gandhi

Trying to present a flawless image to the world is both exhausting and debilitating. It also doesn’t accomplish anything fruitful. The fact is that there will always be people that judge us. In fact people judge us everyday at every turn – people that we know and people that we don’t.

We can’t tiptoe through life trying to cater to everyone’s ideal picture of us. Even if we did, guess what – yep, they would still judge us. No matter how hard we try, we can’t stop it. What we can do however, is choose not to let it affect us.

People are so busy and wrapped up in their own lives, chances are that they aren’t even thinking about us. In fact, they’re probably thinking the same thing – that someone (maybe even us) is judging them! The reality is that no matter what we do, there will always be people who don’t like us. We have two options in response to this truth; accept it or hide it.

Picture the absolute most awful thing that could happen to you when someone has those accusing eyes pointed toward you – no, worse than that – the absolute worst thing. Could you survive that scenario if it played out?

Guess what will happen? Nothing…nada. Not only will that awful thing that you pictured not happen, but nothing even remotely similar to that will happen. People don’t care. They really don’t!

No one is going to step up and confront you about your choice of shoes or why you sat down with your coat on instead of taking it off. No one cares that you chose plastic instead of paper to carry your groceries home in.

Constantly worrying about what people think can actually make us act differently than we normally would. We turn into those dreaded “people-pleasers” with no backbone or true opinion on anything. It can be fun to disagree with someone on an issue because you believe something different than they do.

I’m not saying to go around picking fights with people over what kind of cereal they eat, but truly expressing yourself in a constructive manner can be extremely freeing.

“Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds. The mediocre mind is incapable of understanding the man who refuses to bow blindly to conventional prejudices and chooses instead to express his opinions courageously and honestly.”

— Albert Einstein

If you struggle with this, then take the first steps. Decide what values are truly important to you and develop a sense of who you really are. Develop a passion for your beliefs, creative abilities, and chosen pursuits in life. Then learn to focus intently on those things. If you do, you will start to care more about those ideals, beliefs, and passions and less about the opinions of naysayers.

An Easy Life Will Never Accomplish Anything Worthwhile

Effort, pain, and difficulty…the trademarks of a life well-lived. If you examine the great innovators, social activists, and heroes who truly made our world better with the sacrifice of theirs, you will not find men and women who lived easy, uninterrupted lives.

“Nothing in the world is worth having or worth doing unless it means effort, pain, difficulty… I have never in my life envied a human being who led an easy life.”

– Theodore Roosevelt 

Effort, pain, and difficulty…the trademarks of a life well-lived. If you examine the great innovators, social activists, and heroes who truly made our world better with the sacrifice of theirs, you will not find men and women who lived easy, uninterrupted lives. Instead, you will find people like Jesus Christ, Martin Luther King Jr., Theodore Roosevelt, Nelson Mandela, Winston Churchill, Mother Teresa, and Abraham Lincoln.

This incredible list of names conjure up images of leadership, dignity, toughness, and a willingness to go against the grain, but what often gets lost is the amount of difficulty, tragedy, and hardships that they endured, most of which was not of their own doing.

Jesus Christ was betrayed by one of his closest friends, abandoned by His disciples after his arrest, falsely accused and rejected by Jewish leaders, mocked and tortured by Roman guards, and was crucified between two thieves at the cross on Calvary.

“For what shall it profit a man, if he gain the whole world, and suffer the loss of his soul?” – Jesus Christ 

Martin Luther King Jr. was arrested more than 20 times, had his home bombed and burned down, was stabbed by a woman while at a book signing, saw dozens of crosses burned on his front lawn, and was eventually assassinated. In 1963, King led 200,000 people in The March on Washington to the Lincoln Memorial where he made his famous “I Have a Dream” speech. He was also awarded The Nobel Peach Prize at the age of only 35.

“The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.”        – Martin Luther King Jr. 

Theodore Roosevelt was born a frail and sickly boy who suffered from asthma, which was often fatal in that day. At the age of 26, he lost his mother to typhoid fever and his wife to kidney disease less than 12 hours apart. Roosevelt lost sight in his left eye during a boxing match. He was shot in an attempted assassination in 1912, but delivered his two-hour speech anyway, with a bullet lodged firmly in his chest.

Roosevelt contracted malaria at age 56, lost his oldest son and saw the other two severely injured in the midst of WWI. He eventually succumbed to a blood clot in his heart in January, 1919. he was buried with no fanfare, not even a eulogy. After his death, Thomas Marshall said this about Roosevelt, “Death had to take him in his sleep, for if he was awake there’d have been a fight.”

“It is not the critic who counts. … The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena; whose face is marred by the dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly … who, at worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly; so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory or defeat.” – Theodore Roosevelt

Nelson Mandela endured tremendous prejudice and discrimination throughout his entire political career, and was eventually jailed for trying to overthrow the pro-apartheid government of South Africa. He would spend 27 years of his life in prison. He was sentenced to hard labor, but never lost his sense of purpose. South Africa eventually ended apartheid and Mandela was elected President at the first general election following his release.

“Whatever sentence Your worship sees fit to impose upon me for the crime for which I have been convicted before this court, may it rest assured that when my sentence has been completed I will still be moved, as men are always moved, by their conscience….” – Nelson Mandela

As a child, Winston Churchill had a pronounced lisp, suffered from dyslexia, and some even consider him to have exhibited the traits of ADHD. His energy level and aloofness was incredible as a child that he once ruptured a kidney and suffered a concussion from throwing himself off of a bridge.

He was hit by a car while crossing 5th Ave in New York, crashed a place while learning to fly, and was thrown from numerous horses. Churchill also suffered from bouts of severe depression. While traveling through South Africa in 1899, his train was attacked by the Boers and he was promptly marched to a secluded prison camp. His first organized attack of WWI was a spectacular failure, causing him to be stripped of his post of admiralty .

“Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.”        – Winston Churchill

Mother Teresa lost her father when she was only 8 years old. Of course we never picture Mother Teresa to have struggled with her faith but according to the book, Mother Teresa: Come Be My Light, Mother Teresa actually struggled intensely with feelings of loneliness and even abandonment…an absence of Jesus in her life.

In a letter thought to have been written in 1961, Mother Teresa wrote: “Darkness is such that I really do not see—neither with my mind nor with my reason—the place of God in my soul is blank—There is no God in me—when the pain of longing is so great—I just long & long for God. … The torture and pain I can’t explain.” It is somewhat saddening, but also uplifting to see that even someone of her faith struggled so intensely with feelings of sadness and separation.

Be faithful in small things because it is in them that your strength lies.”                          – Mother Teresa

Abraham Lincoln’s family was forced out of their home when he was only 7 years old. He was forced to work in order to help support the family. Two years later, at the age of 9, his mother passed away. His sister died 10 years later when Lincoln was 19. He undertook a business venture in 1831, which failed and forced him into an incredible amount of debt which took him 17 years to pay off. In 1832, he ran for the State Legislature and lost. IN 1835, he met and became engaged but unfortunately his fiancé died that same year. The following year, he had a complete mental breakdown. later that year, he ran for Speaker of the Legislature, but lost. 4 years later, he ran for Elector and again was defeated.

In 1842 he marries Mary Todd; they have 4 boys but only one would live to maturity. The following year, he ran for Congress and lost. In 1846 he ran for Congress again and finally won and then moved to Washington. Two years later, he ran for re-election to Congress and lost. In 1850 his son, Edward, dies. In 1854, he ran for the Senate of the United States and lost. Then in 1856, he sought the Vice Presidential nomination at a national convention, but recieved less than 100 votes. In 1858, he ran for the Senate once again and lost again. Finally in 1860, Abraham Lincoln is elected President of the United States. Two years later, his son, Willie, dies at the age of only 12. In 1865 On April 14th, Abraham Lincoln is assassinated.

“Always bear in mind that your own resolution to succeed is more important than any other.” – Abraham Lincoln

Despite the incredible setbacks and hardships that accompanied the lives of these great individuals, they managed to overcome adversity on the grandest of scales. Not only did they overcome, they thrived and accomplished unbelievable feats of leadership, courage, caring, and most of all – they made the world a better place for those who followed. Their lives were certainly not without effort, pain, and difficulty…and they certainly did not lead easy lives.

We all face adversity…every single one of us. We can let these setbacks stop us or we can let them make us into the people that we are destined to become.