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Thursday, February 3, 2011

The Art of Abraham Lincoln by Stuart Mills

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Social Media Marketing is an opportunity to meet and interact with people who you would most likely not ever encounter in your “regular” world. These people enrich your life; this is such a story.

Last month while touring the “blogosphere,” (social media marketing term for the world of people who blog), I met a blogger by the name of Tristan Higbee who in turn introduced me to Marcus Sheridan who introduced me to his guest blogger Stuart Mills.

Because Stuart's tribute to Abraham Lincoln keeps playing in my mind and I have returned to read the post several times, I wanted to share it with you. No matter what you do in life, if you adopt Abraham Lincoln's qualities, your life and world will be better for it. Thank you, Stuart, for this inspiring tribute.

Four score and seven years ago…” – Abraham Lincoln

Few people are mentioned in the same breath as Abraham Lincoln. The 16th President of the United States, his accomplishments range from leading the country through its Civil War, to effectively ending slavery against major opposition. He was a man who became a legend to a country, and an inspiration to millions.

But what qualities did this man possess, who rose from a simple country lawyer to the leader of a people? After studying the man himself, and reading about his many exploits, I believe I’ve picked up a few attributes of Abraham Lincoln that we can all use in our own lives.

I’m a great admirer of Abraham Lincoln. The man was the very definition of a ‘leader’, and his legacy is fully deserved. Looking at this qualities, his good attributes, I try to model his behavior as much as possible. And so, I will list five attributes of Abraham Lincoln that are worth acquiring, and that are worth building into your daily lives.

Lincoln’s Attributes


If there is one thing you can tell about Abraham Lincoln, after looking at his life-story, its that he was persistent. The man was a country lawyer until he was nearly 40! By this point in their lives, most people are starting to give up hope of ever reaching their dreams. But Lincoln continued, he persevered. He became a representative of Illinois in 1846, 37 years after he was born. At 37, some people have resigned their evenings to watching TV.
Persistence is key to a successful career. Some of you are younger than 37, some are older, but that won’t make any difference. Age is only a number. If Abraham Lincoln, one of the greatest Americans of all time, didn’t ‘get going’ until he was 37, then why put a deadline on your dreams? They’ll happen if you persist.


This is my personal favorite, the art of simplicity. Take the Gettysburg Address for instance; the whole speech just over two minutes, yet Lincoln included so much. What we have to come to expect from all our leaders, Lincoln summed it up perfectly.
When he was a lawyer, Lincoln would let the opposing representative ramble on for up to an hour at times, without trying to interrupt. Then, when it was his turn to speak, within a few minutes, he would win over the court. His powers were legendary.
And they were legendary because they were simple! Lincoln never deviated from the point; this is a quality worth acquiring. Always keep things simple, never talk about things that have no relevance to the matter at hand. If you don’t waste time, people will love you for it.


Abraham Lincoln had a strong sense of justice, it’s how he was elected to become President. His fight against slavery was hugely opposed when he forced the issue, even when he had become President. In fact, he first announced his plans to abolish slavery in 1846 when he first joined the House of Representatives, but he didn’t get enough support.

That didn’t waver his sense of justice.

A sense of justice is a powerful thing to have, for it enables you to avoid temptations. Greed, abusing power, laziness. These are all temptations that will come if your traveling down a righteous road, but it’s vital that you stick to your sense of justice. A just cause will give you a sense of purpose in this world, and ensure that you leave behind a sound legacy. The world is counting on you to lead the way.


Similar to ‘persistence’, Abraham Lincoln was incredibly defiant. As a lawyer, he faced opposition in the courts, and threats and aggression out of the courts. As a statesman, he was the only member of his party in the House of Representatives, to begin with. And as President, he faced hostility from all sides, even his own party. But he never let any of this affect him. He was defiant all the way.

How can you be more defiant? One way of putting it is to ‘stick to your guns’, at all costs. If you believe that your cause is right, then stick to it, don’t waver. You will face rejection, you will face criticism. But if you want to see your cause out, and reach your dreams by the way you want to, then it’s essential that you are defiant about it.


Despite all the fighting and the struggles that Lincoln faced, there was one quality that he never let down; his ability to examine himself. When he was an unknown, Lincoln was very aggressive in dealing with opposition, sending letters filled with insults to them, and delivering manure to their homes. But his opponents fought back; one even challenged him to a duel to the death. Luckily for all concerned, Lincoln backed down.

He realized that this wasn’t the way to live. Sooner or later, his faults would return to haunt him, so Lincoln dedicated his spare time to self-examination. By looking at what wasn’t working, Lincoln developed a sense of simplicity and calm, never losing his temper with someone even when they had greatly wronged him. If he hadn’t have taken the time to realize this, Abraham Lincoln might never have become President.
So take the time to look at yourself. What’s not working in your life? What do you want instead? By self-examination, you can remove your faults, and become someone who people want to know and support.


Thank you for reading my ‘tribute’ to Abraham Lincoln, one of my all-time role-models. Please look up more information about him, there’s a treasure trove out there.

What do you think of Abraham Lincoln? Do you look up to him as well? Share your thoughts and let’s get a discussion going!

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  1. Janet, thank you for the kind words and link. This was amazing! You're a star :-)

  2. Stuart, definitely could not have done it without you. This article is terrific; both clear & compelling. Thx for stopping by. Aloha. Janet