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32 Life-Changing Lessons to Learn From the Inspiring Abraham Lincoln

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When you say Abraham Lincoln, you say America’s greatest hero. A man that was, is, and will always remain an example on how you can surpass your background, no matter how humble it may be, and become one of the most impactful personalities in mankind history. I have admired his remarkable story, personality, and wisdom for years and today I would like to share with you some of his compiled into 32 Life Changing Lessons to Learn from Abraham Lincoln.


1. Strive to Become All That Life Created You to Be

“I don’t know who my grandfather was; I am much more concerned to know what his grandson will be.” – Abraham Lincoln

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“You have to do your own growing no matter how tall your grandfather was.”

2. Leave Nothing for Tomorrow Which Can Be Done Today

“Leave nothing for tomorrow which can be done today.”- Abraham Lincoln

“You cannot escape the responsibility of tomorrow by evading it today.”

3. Whatever You Are, Be a Good One

“Whatever you are, be a good one.” – Abraham Lincoln

4. Your Happiness Is Your Own Responsibility

“Every man’s happiness is his own responsibility.”- Abraham Lincoln

5. Prepare, and Some Day Your Chance Will Come

“I will prepare and some day my chance will come.”- Abraham Lincoln

6. Allow Things to Take Their Natural Course

“A man watches his pear tree day after day, impatient for the ripening of the fruit. Let him attempt to force the process, and he may spoil both fruit and tree. But let him patiently wait, and the ripe pear at length falls into his lap.”- Abraham Lincoln

7. The Best Way to Predict Your Future Is to Create It

“The best way to predict your future is to create it.”- Abraham Lincoln

8. Success Can Be Achieved by Everyone

“That some achieve great success, is proof to all that others can achieve it as well.”- Abraham Lincoln

“Success is going from failure to failure without losing your enthusiasm.”

9. It’s Not the Years in Your Life That Count. It’s the Life in Your Years

“In the end, it’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years.” – Abraham Lincoln

10. Strive to Be Worthy of Recognition

“Don’t worry when you are not recognized, but strive to be worthy of recognition.”- Abraham Lincoln

11. Better to Be a Little Nobody Than an Evil Somebody

“I would rather be a little nobody, then to be a evil somebody.”- Abraham Lincoln

12. Character Is Like a Tree and Reputation Its Shadow

“Character is like a tree and reputation its shadow. The shadow is what we think it is and the tree is the real thing.”- Abraham Lincoln

13. Live With Integrity

“I am not bound to win, but I am bound to be true. I am not bound to succeed, but I am bound to live by the light that I have. I must stand with anybody that stands right, and stand with him while he is right, and part with him when he goes wrong.” –- Abraham Lincoln

“You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you can not fool all of the people all of the time.”

14. Truth Is Your Truest Friend

“Truth is generally the best vindication against slander.”- Abraham Lincoln

“I never encourage deceit, and falsehood, especially if you have got a bad memory, is the worst enemy a fellow can have. The fact is truth is your truest friend, no matter what the circumstances are.”

15. Do Good, and You’ll Feel Good. Do Bad, and You’ll Feel Bad

“When I do good, I feel good. When I do bad, I feel bad. That’s my religion.”- Abraham Lincoln

16. Strive to Be Too Big to Take Offense, and Too Noble to Give It

“We should be too big to take offense and too noble to give it.”- Abraham Lincoln

17. Never Give Up

“When you reach the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on.”- Abraham Lincoln

18. A House Divided Against Itself Cannot Stand

“A house divided against itself cannot stand.”- Abraham Lincoln

19. Look for the Bad in People and You Will Surely Find It

“Those who look for the bad in people will surely find it.”

20. If You Don’t Like Someone, Get to Know Them Better

“I don’t like that man. I must get to know him better.”- Abraham Lincoln

21. You Destroy Your Enemies When You Make Them Your Friends

“Do I not destroy my enemies when I make them my friends?”

22. To Ease Another’s Heartache Is to Forget One’s Own

“To ease another’s heartache is to forget one’s own.”- Abraham Lincoln

23. If You Have No Friends, You Have No Pleasure

“If we have no friends, we have no pleasure; and if we have them, we are sure to lose them, and be doubly pained by the loss.”

24. No Law Can Give Us the Right to Do What Is Wrong

“No law can give me the right to do what is wrong.” – Abraham Lincoln

25. An Evil Tree Cannot Bring Forth Good Fruit

“By the fruit the tree is to be known. An evil tree cannot bring forth good fruit.” – Abraham Lincoln

26. If You Want to Test Someone’s Character, Give Them Power

“Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.” – Abraham Lincoln

27. You Cannot Help People Permanently by Doing for Them, What They Should Do for Themselves

“You cannot help people permanently by doing for them, what they could and should do for themselves.”

28. Those Who Deny Freedom to Others, Don’t Deserve It for Themselves

“This is a world of compensation, and he who would be no slave must consent to have no slave. Those who deny freedom to others deserve it not for themselves, and, under a just God, cannot long retain it.”

“Whenever I hear anyone arguing for slavery, I feel a strong impulse to see it tried on him personally.”

29. There Is Nothing Good in War Except Its Ending

“There’s no honorable way to kill, no gentle way to destroy. There is nothing good in war except its ending.”- Abraham Lincoln

30. No Man Is Poor Who Has a Godly Mother

“All that I am, or hope to be, I owe to my angel mother.”

31. God is Always Right

“Sir, my concern is not whether God is on our side; my greatest concern is to be on God’s side, for God is always right.”

32. Better to Remain Silent and Be Thought a Fool Than to Speak out and Remove All Doubt

“Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt.”


“I have been driven many times upon my knees by the overwhelming conviction that I had no where else to go. My own wisdom and that of all about me seemed insufficient for that day.”

“We are not enemies, but friends. We must not be enemies. Though passion may have strained, it must not break our bonds of affection. The mystic chords of memory will swell when again touched, as surely they will be, by the better angels of our nature.”

“If you once forfeit the confidence of your fellow citizens, you can never regain their respect and esteem. It is true that you may fool all of the people some of the time; you can even fool some of the people all of the time; but you can’t fool all of the people all of the time.”

“In this sad world of ours, sorrow comes to all; and, to the young, it comes with bitterest agony, because it takes them unawares. The older have learned to ever expect it. I am anxious to afford some alleviation of your present distress. Perfect relief is not possible, except with time. You can not now realize that you will ever feel better. Is not this so? And yet it is a mistake.

You are sure to be happy again. To know this, which is certainly true, will make you some less miserable now. I have had experience enough to know what I say; and you need only to believe it, to feel better at once.”

“I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crisis. The great point is to bring them the real facts, and beer.”

“A house divided against itself cannot stand.” I believe this government cannot endure, permanently half slave and half free. I do not expect the Union to be dissolved — I do not expect the house to fall — but I do expect it will cease to be divided. It will become all one thing or all the other.”

“As a nation, we began by declaring that ‘all men are created equal.’ We now practically read it ‘all men are created equal, except negroes.’ When the Know-Nothings get control, it will read ‘all men are created equal, except negroes, and foreigners, and Catholics.’ When it comes to this I should prefer emigrating to some country where they make no pretense of loving liberty – to Russia, for instance, where despotism can be taken pure, and without the base alloy of hypocrisy.”

“I have come to the conclusion never again to think of marrying, and for this reason, I can never be satisfied with anyone who would be blockhead enough to have me.”

“You can have anything you want if you want it badly enough. You can be anything you want to be, do anything you set out to accomplish if you hold to that desire with singleness of purpose.”

“With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation’s wounds, to care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow and his orphan, to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations.”

“Take all that you can of this book upon reason, and the balance on faith, and you will live and die a happier man. (When a skeptic expressed surprise to see him reading a Bible)”

“Our safety, our liberty, depends upon preserving the Constitution of the United States as our fathers made it inviolate. The people of the United States are the rightful masters of both Congress and the courts, not to overthrow the Constitution, but to overthrow the men who pervert the Constitution.”

“The dogmas of the quiet past are inadequate to the stormy present. The occasion is piled high with difficulty and we must rise with the occasion. As our case is new, we must think anew and act anew. We must disenthrall ourselves, and then we shall save our country.”

“A capacity, and taste, for reading, gives access to whatever has already been discovered by others. It is the key, or one of the keys, to the already solved problems. And not only so. It gives a relish, and facility, for successfully pursuing the [yet] unsolved ones.”

“If I were to try to read, much less answer, all the attacks made on me, this shop might as well be closed for any other business. I do the very best I know how – the very best I can; and I mean to keep doing so until the end. If the end brings me out all right, what’s said against me won’t amount to anything. If the end brings me out wrong, ten angels swearing I was right would make no difference.”

“Writing, the art of communicating thoughts to the mind through the eye, is the great invention of the world…enabling us to converse with the dead, the absent, and the unborn, at all distances of time and space.”

“Here in my heart, my happiness, my house.
Here inside the lighted window is my love, my hope, my life.
Peace is my companion on the pathway winding to the threshold.
Inside this portal dwells new strength in the security, serenity, and radiance of those I love above life itself.
Here two will build new dreams–dreams that tomorrow will come true.
The world over, these are the thoughts at eventide when footsteps turn ever homeward.
In the haven of the hearthside is rest and peace and comfort.”

“Upon the subject of education, not presuming to dictate any plan or system respecting it, I can only say that I view it as the most important subject which we as a people can be engaged in.”

“I have been driven many times to my knees by the overwhelming conviction that I had nowhere else to go.”

“Discourage litigation. Persuade your neighbors to compromise whenever you can. Point out to them how the nominal winner is often a real loser – in fees, expenses, and waste of time. As a peacemaker the lawyer has a superior opportunity of being a good man. There will still be business enough.”

“Neither let us be slandered from our duty by false accusations against us, nor frightened from it by menaces of destruction … nor of dungeons to ourselves. Let us have faith that right makes might, and in that faith, let us, to the end, dare to do our duty as we understand it.”

“In this age, in this country, public sentiment is everything. With it, nothing can fail; against it, nothing can succeed. Whoever molds public sentiment goes deeper than he who enacts statutes, or pronounces judicial decisions.”

“It is the eternal struggle between these two principles — right and wrong — throughout the world. They are the two principles that have stood face to face from the beginning of time; and will ever continue to struggle.

The one is the common right of humanity, and the other the divine right of kings. It is the same principle in whatever shape it develops itself. It is the same spirit that says, “You toil and work and earn bread, and I’ll eat it.”

No matter in what shape it comes, whether from the mouth of a king who seeks to bestride the people of his own nation and live by the fruit of their labor, or from one race of men as an apology for enslaving another race, it is the same tyrannical principle.”

“In giving freedom to the slave, we assure freedom to the free — honorable alike in what we give, and what we preserve. We shall nobly save, or meanly lose, the last best hope of earth”

“I am slow to learn and slow to forget that which I have learned. My mind is like a piece of steel, very hard to scratch any thing on it and almost impossible after you get it there to rub it out.”

What is your favorite quote from Abraham Lincoln? What is one lesson you have learned from this incredible man?

This article was originally published on

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