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Before he reached the age of 30, Lincoln suffered a nervous breakdown. He broke off his engagement to future wife Mary Todd, took to his bed and sank into a deep, debilitating depression. But caring about others is what eventually brought him out. By helping a friend through a similarly tough time of personal issues and marriage doubts, he found the strength to rally. He stayed in the game by shifting his focus from his own troubles to someone else’s. This lesson gave him the power to stay true to the bigger cause of saving a country from its darkest moment, even when his personal life was in shambles. Can you help someone else reach his or her goals?
The country is splitting apart. Death threats are numbering in the dozens. His wife is suffering from mental illness. What does President Lincoln do? He creates Thanksgiving Day. He creates a way for the entire country to give thanks for their good fortune. He knew that despite all that looked bleak, staying focused on positive ideals would be the only way to survive these troubles. He was always thankful for life and its opportunities. When you get discouraged, what should you be focusing on instead?