Amazing success stories. They exist.

We’ve all been there. Repeating things in the hope that we’ll get better at them. That we SUCCEED.

Sometimes we do. Most of the times we don’t. Or at least not as quickly as we wish

Now let me introduce you to this guy: We can say he’s had some minor setbacks. Some major ones, too. In fact so many, put together they even make a nice list:

  • 1831 – Lost his job
  • 1832 – Defeated in run for Illinois State Legislature
  • 1833 – Failed in business

Guys, I don’t know about you, but at this stage I’d be pretty depressed. But here we go, a success:

  • 1834 – Elected to Illinois State Legislature
  • 1835 – Sweetheart died
  • 1836 – Had nervous breakdown
  • 1838 – Defeated in run for Illinois House Speaker
  • 1843 – Defeated in run for nomination for U.S. Congress

Again, at this point I’d have thought that someone up there is trying to tell me I’m just SO not cut out for this job.

And then look at that:

  • 1846 – Elected to Congress 
  • 1848 – Lost re-nomination
  • 1849 – Rejected for land officer position
  • 1854 – Defeated in run for U.S. Senate
  • 1856 – Defeated in run for nomination for Vice President
  • 1858 – Again defeated in run for U.S. Senate

We certainly can’t say this guy hasn’t tried!

  • 1860 – ABRAHAM LINCOLN was elected as U.S. President 

Honestly, I’m not sure I would have made it through this list of setbacks. Would you have?

I’m trying my luck with some new yoga postures I’d like to introduce into my practice, and have to admit that minor successes are usually followed by more setbacks. Now this inspirational story has perseverance, patience and motivation written all over it, something I should take with me on the mat.

Oh and of course there’s always Pattabhi Jois’ reply to a student asking how many times one has to do a posture until mastering it: “1000 times”, he replied.

And having said all that, success is not the only thing in life (see, there’s always that back door ;)). Sometimes it’s OK just to enjoy yourself!

Have a wonderful rest of the year with lots of laughter, joy and yoga in your life,

~ Andrea

PS: The man himself said: Bear in mind that your own resolution to succeed is more important than any other!

In case you haven’t seen this video, here’s another (much more recent but equally amazing) success story.

image source

Categories: Inspiration

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20 replies »

  1. This is wonderful, I hope it’s alright that I reblogged it! Also, I’ve definitely done adho mukha svanasana more than 1000 times, and I still don’t think that I’ve mastered it! That’s the wonderful thing about yoga — it’s not there to be mastered, it’s there to be practiced.


  2. 1,000 times? thats all? So if I go to yoga everyday for three years. I will master all of them. And if I go 200 times a year for 5 years. Sweet, it takes the same amount fo time to get a masters degree and you don’t get the physical benefits. Costs a lot less too. When you consider the health that you gain through a lifetime of practice, it is so worth it. I love hot Yoga!!


    • Hi, thanks for stopping by. Yes, costs much less, but doesn’t give you an income. Having said that, most degrees don’t either and as you say, health is invaluable. 😉 But thinking about it, how many people do I know who have practised for 1000 days in a row, including myself, hhmmmm…. 🙂


  3. Thank you for this inspiring post, you reminding me that believing in our life purpose and in ourselves can give us such strength! Knowing why we wake up everyday leads us to true miracles. 🙂


  4. Great post. I had to laugh about the success and setbacks going hand in hand with introducing new postures into the practice. That hits home for me big time. LOL


  5. Lincoln’s biography reminds us that often success can be defined as being faithful in one’s response to a spiritual prompting or calling, apart from any outward result. That’s why my teacher insisted we keep our eyes closed during hatha sessions — to concentrate on what was happening inside of ourselves rather than on the appearances. Let me add that she also said we were the worst hatha outfit in the country! Maybe reaching for the stars, then, starts with exhaling and trying to touch your toes. Whether or not you quite get there.


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