Abraham Lincoln Quotes on Success: Unlocking the Power of His Wisdom

Abraham Lincoln Quotes on Success

Abraham Lincoln, the 16th President of the United States, is often remembered for his leadership during a tumultuous time in American history. Despite his challenges, Lincoln succeeded in leaving a legacy that continues to inspire millions of individuals worldwide. One of the ways his enduring influence is manifested is through the numerous quotes attributed to him, particularly those relating to success.

Lincoln’s quotes on success provide valuable insights into his thought process and can serve as timeless lessons for achieving greatness. These powerful words of wisdom challenge conventional thinking, encourage the pursuit of personal growth, and emphasize the importance of resilience in the face of adversity. By examining these nuggets of inspiration from one of the most iconic leaders in history, readers can gain a deeper understanding of what it takes to triumph over obstacles and achieve enduring success.

This article will delve into various Abraham Lincoln quotes on success, highlighting their timeless relevance and offering a unique glimpse into the mind of one of the most remarkable figures in American history. As you read through, consider how these quotes can inspire and guide you on your own path to personal and professional achievement.

Abraham Lincoln on Success

Achieving the American Dream

Abraham Lincoln firmly believed in the American Dream and the power of hard work to bring about success. One of his quotes states, “That some achieve great success, is proof to all that others can achieve it as well.” His view on hard work is evident in another statement, “Always bear in mind that your own resolution to succeed is more important than any other.” Lincoln’s wisdom encourages individuals to chase their dreams with confidence and determination.

Navigating Adversity

Lincoln understood that encountering adversity was a part of life’s journey and held the belief that strength of character could be tested through such challenges. He said, “Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.” This quote showcases Lincoln’s conviction that success requires navigating adversity with integrity and self-assurance.


Self-determination is a key factor in achieving success, according to Lincoln. He once said, “You cannot escape the responsibility of tomorrow by evading it today.” Lincoln encouraged people to take charge of their lives and hold themselves responsible for their actions. Additionally, he advocated for a mindset of continuous improvement, stating, “Don’t worry when you are not recognized, but strive to be worthy of recognition.”


Abraham Lincoln believed that positivity and a healthy mindset played a crucial role in success. He famously remarked, “Most folks are about as happy as they make their minds up to be.” His words emphasize the importance of maintaining a positive outlook throughout life’s challenges, even when pursuing success. A strong mindset, Lincoln believed, would help build resilience and lead to success in various aspects of life.

Famous Quotes

Motivational Quotes

Abraham Lincoln’s motivational quotes have inspired many people throughout history. Here are a few of his most powerful quotes to motivate you in your journey to success:

  • “Always bear in mind that your own resolution to succeed is more important than any other.” – Abraham Lincoln1
  • “I’m a success today because I had a friend who believed in me and I didn’t have the heart to let him down.” – Abraham Lincoln2

Quotes on Education

Lincoln believed that education was a crucial part of achieving success. Below are some of his insightful quotes emphasizing its importance:

  • “The philosophy of the school room in one generation will be the philosophy of government in the next.” – Abraham Lincoln3
  • “Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.” – Abraham Lincoln, emphasizing the importance of preparation and learning.

Quotes on Courage

Abraham Lincoln displayed immense courage during his life, and his quotes often stressed the importance of having the courage to face adversity. These quotes can encourage you to be brave and take risks in your pursuit of success:

  • “Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.” – Abraham Lincoln1
  • “Great men are ordinary men with extraordinary determination.” – Abraham Lincoln3

Lincoln on Life and Character

Handling Responsibilities

Abraham Lincoln recognized the importance of taking responsibility for one’s actions. He once said, “I am not bound to win, but I am bound to be true. I am not bound to succeed, but I am bound to live up to what light I have.” This quote emphasizes the significance of being true to oneself and striving to fulfill one’s responsibilities. Lincoln’s words remind us that it is not just about achieving success, but also being accountable and staying true to our core values.

Growth and Resolution

Lincoln believed in personal growth and the power of resolution. He firmly stated, “Always bear in mind that your own resolution to succeed is more important than any other.” This message underscores the importance of having a strong determination and consistently working towards personal goals. Lincoln’s focus on self-improvement encourages us to always prioritize our desire to grow and evolve.

Justice and Enemies

Lincoln’s wisdom on justice and dealing with adversaries is evident in his quote, “Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.” This saying highlights that the true nature of a person is revealed when they wield authority. Lincoln urges us to evaluate our actions in the face of power and ensure we are following a just path. Additionally, in dealing with enemies, Lincoln suggested, “You must remember that some things legally right are not morally right.” It is essential to consider the ethical implications of our actions and not simply base decisions on what is legally permissible.

In summary, Abraham Lincoln’s quotes on life and character teach us valuable lessons on responsibility, personal growth, and the moral implications of power. These insights offer guidance to ensure a full and just life.

Lincoln’s Views on America

United States History

Abraham Lincoln greatly valued the United States’ history and believed in the importance of preserving it. He once said, “We the people are the rightful masters of both Congress and the courts, not to overthrow the Constitution but to overthrow the men who pervert the Constitution.” Lincoln understood that America’s past was what helped shape and define the nation. He was confident in the foundation that was laid before him and used that knowledge to guide his decisions in office.

Future Predictions

As a forward-thinking leader, Lincoln also had insights into America’s future. One of his most famous quotes is, “The best way to predict your future is to create it.” Lincoln believed in taking charge and actively working towards creating the desired outcome for America. He was committed to not only protecting the current state of the nation but also ensuring it would continue to thrive in the future.

The Constitution

Lincoln had a profound respect for the United States Constitution and was dedicated to upholding it throughout his time in office. One of his many insightful quotes on the topic is, “Don’t interfere with anything in the Constitution. That must be maintained, for it is the only safeguard of our liberties.” Lincoln believed that preserving the Constitution would enable America’s success, and the best way to maintain it was to ensure that no one undermined or tampered with its principles.


In his political life, Abraham Lincoln always strived for fairness and equality. He once stated, “Those who look for the bad in people will surely find it.” Lincoln’s focus on finding the good in every individual and situation provided him with a balanced and unbiased perspective on politics. Despite facing numerous challenges throughout his presidency, Lincoln continued to advocate for the best interests of America by staying true to his core beliefs and values.

Influential Speeches

Emancipation Proclamation

Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation announced on January 1, 1863, was a bold step towards abolishing slavery in the United States. It declared that all enslaved people in the Confederate states “shall be then, thenceforward, and forever free.” This decision not only signaled a significant change in American society, but it also paved the way for future civil rights movements. In this historic speech, Lincoln emphasized the importance of freedom as a fundamental value, inspiring many to pursue and fight for success despite adversities.

Gettysburg Address

The Gettysburg Address, delivered by Lincoln on November 19, 1863, is a powerful speech that reminded the nation of the sacrifices made during the Civil War and the ideals upon which the United States was founded. Lincoln expressed his belief in the principles of equality, stating that “all men are created equal.” He urged the nation to continue working towards a more perfect union by promoting equality and liberty. The Gettysburg Address encourages individuals to persevere and strive for success through dedication and unity.

Second Inaugural Address

In his Second Inaugural Address on March 4, 1865, Lincoln addressed a nation that was near the end of its long and bloody Civil War. In this speech, he called for reconciliation and healing among Americans, emphasizing the importance of moving forward as one nation. His statement, “With malice toward none, with charity for all,” set the tone for the country’s future after the conflict. Lincoln’s words illustrate the importance of forgiveness, understanding, and cooperation as keys to achieving success in both personal and national endeavors.

Books and Literature

Biographies and Memoirs

There are numerous biographies and memoirs that explore the life and accomplishments of Abraham Lincoln. Some notable works include:

  • A. Lincoln: A Biography by Ronald C. White Jr.: This comprehensive biography delves into the personal, political, and historical aspects of Lincoln’s life, providing a well-rounded view of the 16th President of the United States.
  • Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln by Doris Kearns Goodwin: This book offers a unique perspective on Lincoln’s leadership, focusing on his ability to bring together a diverse and talented group of people to work toward a common goal.

Inspirational Books and Lists

For those seeking inspiration from the words and wisdom of Abraham Lincoln, there are several collections of his quotes and speeches available:

  • 100 Quotes by Abraham Lincoln: A Boost of Inspiration and Wisdom on Life, Success, and Leadership: This eBook features 100 inspiring and motivational quotes from one of the most famous US Presidents in history. These words of wisdom offer insights on leadership, success, and personal development.
  • 55+ Inspiring Abraham Lincoln Quotes on Success – The STRIVE: This online compilation presents over 55 quotes by Abraham Lincoln, focusing on the themes of success and personal growth.

Historical Fiction

In addition to biographies and collections of quotes, historical fiction novels can also offer unique perspectives on the life and times of Abraham Lincoln. A few examples include:

  • Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders: This novel combines historical fiction with elements of the supernatural, exploring the grief experienced by Abraham Lincoln after the death of his son Willie.
  • The Impeachment of Abraham Lincoln by Stephen L. Carter: This book envisions an alternate history in which President Lincoln survived his assassination and faced an impeachment trial, addressing themes of justice, power, and loyalty.

Abraham Lincoln and Religion

Religious Quotes

Abraham Lincoln, the 16th President of the United States, held complex views about religion and often quoted the Bible to inspire people during difficult times. He famously said, “When I do bad, I feel bad. That’s my religion.” Although he never officially declared his religious affiliations, he was known to make numerous statements on faith.

Some quotes by Lincoln on religion include:

  • “It is difficult to make a man miserable while he feels worthy of himself and claims kindred to the great God who made him.”
  • “I know that the Lord is always on the side of the right; but it is my constant anxiety and prayer that I and this nation may be on the Lord’s side.”

Lincoln’s Faith

Lincoln’s parents were “Hard Shell” Baptists, and they joined the Little Pigeon Baptist Church near Lincoln City, Indiana, in 1823 when Abraham was 14 years old. However, his religious beliefs throughout his life have been widely debated. He was known to reflect on religion and spirituality, but often remained noncommittal on his own faith.

During his years in New Salem, Illinois, there were no churches in the area. Consequently, Lincoln’s exposure to organized religion was limited during that time.


Abraham Lincoln had a deep respect for Christianity throughout his life, but he never joined any church or identified as a devout Christian. He frequently referred to God and Christian beliefs in his speeches and writings and was greatly influenced by the Bible. Nevertheless, his personal religious beliefs remained enigmatic to many.

Lincoln often demonstrated a keen understanding of the Christian faith and even drew upon its principles in his famous Gettysburg Address. However, he was careful not to align himself with any particular denomination, and he delicately balanced his public statements with personal conviction and political pragmatism.


  1. 55+ Inspiring Abraham Lincoln Quotes on Success – The STRIVE 2
  2. Abraham Lincoln Quotes (Author of The Gettysburg Address)
  3. TOP 25 QUOTES BY ABRAHAM LINCOLN (of 1141) | A-Z Quotes 2