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Personal growth: Inflexibility and the failure to achieve goals May 8, 2018

Posted by Dennis Mellersh in personal development ideas.
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In our efforts to focus zealously and determinedly on our self-development goals, we can sometimes want so badly to go in a certain direction in our self-actualization that we may willfully ignore real obstacles and brush them aside without thinking carefully on how to overcome them; and, as a result, perhaps fail significantly in our overall personal growth objectives.

On a much larger scale than the purely personal, this was a problem faced by President Abraham Lincoln as the Civil War with the Southern States was drawing to a close, and Lincoln was seeking support for a non-punitive approach to rebuilding the South after the end of the war.

In the movie Lincoln, the President is portrayed as having a discussion with Thaddeus Stevens, a prominent member of the U.S. House of Representatives, who held the view that the South should “pay” for its secession and for the war through a variety of measures that Lincoln considered vindictive.

Lincoln makes an argument against this “untempered” approach to Reconstruction in this excerpt from the movie:

It’s a strong argument against clinging too rigidly to what we might consider “a correct view” and then failing utterly in our goal, instead of being willing to compromise and achieve at least part of the good outcome we seek.

— Dennis Mellersh