Have you ever thought — if Abe Lincoln was sitting next to me right now, what would he say?
Let’s be honest he’d probably catch you on Facebook, so Abe might start off by asking what it is. Then once you explained it he’d probably ask, so why do you spend so much time on this Facebook again?
Then maybe he’d make a little small talk about Royal Wedding or the NFL lockout — but ultimately, talk would probably turn more serious, because seriously, it’s Abe Lincoln…
SPILLING YOUR HEART TO ABE LINCOLN
So you begin to tell Abe that you’ve been pursuing a dream, a goal, a calling, a job – something big, something that you felt you needed to give your ALL for.
And you have given. And given. And given and given some more — your dream taking and taking without remorse or retribution like the girl who only dates you for the free dinners.
You tell Abe that frustration and anger have taken over as your dream has become this perpetual dangling carrot — in sight, but always out of reach. You’re ashamed to admit it because c’mon it’s Abe Lincoln, but you finally confess. Abe, I gave up on my dream a long time ago.
ABRAHAM LINCOLN’S ADVICE
Abe listen intently to you and smiles, letting out a long hmmm as he leans back and watches a fly buzz across the office window. He doesn’t say a word for what feels like forever and you wonder if being transplanted into the year 2011 has been more than even Abe Lincoln can handle.
But then a spark lights across his brow as he leans in. Your eyes meet and in that moment you see the combination of grit and empathy that must have carried him through many hours of asking the same questions and experiencing the same doubt. Then THE Abraham Lincoln says,
Adhere to your purpose and you will soon feel as well as you ever did. On the contrary, if you falter, and give up, you will lose the power of keeping any resolution, and will regret it all your life. Take the advice of a friend, who, though [just met] you, deeply sympathizes with you, and stick to your purpose.
You close your eyes as all the history lessons flash before you — history that formed the profound advice you have just received on a Thursday in your gray slacks.
From a man who adhered to his purpose amidst a back-drop of perpetual failure, pain, and struggle unlike any you and I will ever know, these powerful words reverberate inside you like U2 was playing a personal show inside your rib cage.
Abe Lincoln says, Stick to your purpose.
Keep moving forward.
Make Abe Lincoln proud.
(Disclaimer: No Abe Lincoln didn’t visit me. But he did write those words of advice to a young man who was thinking of dropping out of college. I read the letter in the book Team of Rivals — an amazing read, which really will make you feel like Abe Lincoln is in your office).