The Battle Against Mediocrity: Lessons From Abraham Lincoln
“Don’t be fooled by the calendar. There are only as many days in the year as you make use of. One man gets only a week’s value out of a year, while another man gets a full year’s value out of a week.” -Charles Richards.
It is of no doubt that the greatest capital a business man has is time.
What a paradigm of effective time management and rejection of mediocrity Abraham Lincoln was. Fondly called Abe, Abraham Lincoln practiced reading and writing every evening. He had attended “blab school” less than 12 months in his entire life. There were no books, at which the students repeated the teacher’s words aloud. Robinson in his book, “Lincoln as a man of utters” referred to him as a self-educated man. Nancy Lincoln, his mom said of him “The only time Abe loses his temper is when he doesn’t understand something he reads or hears.”
The farmers and merchants, the lawyers and litigants with whom he associated in the 8th Judicial district of Illinois possessed no magic with words. But Lincoln did not squander all his time with his mental equals and inferiors. This attests to the fact that those with whom you spend your time determines the kind of leap you get in life. It decides whether you will still be crawling with paucity of information or soaring with avalanche of ideas. Ideas rule the world-remember. He made boon companions out of the elite minds, the singers, the poets of the ages.
Carve your niche with the great and you will definitely end up being great. Note that if you mingle with those whose mental capacities equal yours or appear less, you have started planning your mental drift.
He could repeat from memory all the pages of Burns and Bryon and Browning. Even when he was in the White House and the tragic burdens of the Civil war were sapping his strength and etching deep furrows in his face, he often found time to take a copy of Hood’s poems to bed.
That is why Professor Williams James, a man I respect so much had these in his words;
“Let no youth have any anxiety about the upshot of his education, whatever the line of it may be. If he keeps faithfully busy each hour of the working day, he may safely leave the final result to itself. He can with perfect certainty, count on waking up some fine morning to find himself one of the competent ones of his generation, in whatever pursuit he may have singled out.”
Professor Emerton soothingly described Abe thus “He was no longer at school, but was simply educating himself by the only pedagogical method which ever yet produced, any results anywhere, namely, by the method of his own tireless energy in continuous study and practice.”
Be a thief of time. Master your seconds, learn to steal the moments. Abe read books again and again. He had it etched on his mind that one careless moment could end his life.
Earning 31 cents daily on Pigeon Creek farms of Indiana, once he read about John Bunyan and made up his mind he wouldn’t end up in the woods. He said to himself, “I too can be uncommonly useful.” You make a firm resolve about your success and take off the limits.
It is heart-rending how many people have settled for mediocrity. John Mason once said “Life is too short to think small.” He also wrote that “the answer to your future lies outside the confines you have right now.”
Lincoln had a burning desire to improve himself. He loved the woods, but he did not want to spend a lifetime cutting down trees. When he read George Washington, he was thrilled and scratched these words on the soil:”Good boys who to their books apply will all be great to me by and by.”
If you have been following through, you would’ve noticed that Lincoln read a lot. I once was urging an acquaintance to read wide, but he was just like, what is the need and only cared about his academic success. Manage your time well and develop your whole man.
He disciplined himself to produce crisp, clear and simple sentences. He once wrote to a friend “Always bear in mind that your own resolution to succeed is more important than any other one thing.” That is why Rev. Sam Adeyemi said, “You can not change a person’s life without changing his perspective.”
His life of dissatisfaction with his current level is worth emulating. Always be hungry.
By Jesse O Onomiwo
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Jesse_O_Onomiwo