That’s right, you heard me. Abraham Lincoln was a big fat failure. Huge. But that’s what made him such a big success.

I first heard about Abraham Lincoln’s failures from the book “The Rhythm of Life: Living Every Day with Passion and Purpose” by Matthew Kelly that a friend gave to me.  I didn’t think much about it then until I saw Lincoln’s failures mapped against his successes in this website. It shows all of Abraham Lincoln’s major failures like failing in business, losing the love of his life and losing nominations, mapped against his famous successes such as oh, you know, becoming a US president! It was enlightening and encouraging. I mean, this guy could just not stop failing! I personally would have stopped at losing that first nomination. But what if he had? If Abraham Lincoln had let failure get him down, he would have been just that, a big fat failure.

So here I’ve done a shorter version of Lincoln’s “Fail Chart“.  You can see his failures in its fullness at this site. Once you’ve looked at it, I encourage you to do your own Fail Chart with your own glorious failures. In the spirit of trying my own medicine, I’ve done my own and posted it here also. It wasn’t a fun exercise, but it helped me see my fails in a different light.

(See the fail charts here: