Adaptable Lincoln

Each of us is confronted by experiences in life. But each of those experiences really have no meaning. It is how we interpret those experiences that give them meaning. Your interpretations of your experiences determines your perceptions. It will determine your personal beliefs and how you live your life; whether positive and moving forward or negative and in the dumps.

One great example of a person who experienced much pain and failure was Abraham Lincoln, considered to be one of our greatest presidents in the U.S. As a young man, he was mocked and ridiculed by his school classmates because he was awkward and his clothes didn’t fit properly. He failed several times at business and getting elected to the state legislature. His heart was broken by a woman he loved, causing him to have a nervous breakdown, then he married a woman who was later found to be mentally unstable. He was finally elected to Congress but was later once again defeated. He was elected as president and inherited a broken nation that was at war with itself.

How did Lincoln do it? How did he keep going in the constant face of defeat? He did one simple thing, he learned to expect difficulties and to interpret them as a natural course of events. He didn’t choose his experiences, but he chose how to respond to them. Lincoln’s life is proof that perception is reality, and when you cannot change the situation, you must be adaptable and change yourself.

How do you adapt to difficult situations? Does humility play a role in adaptable leadership?

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