Life is Awesome

Written and Posted By: Margie Babon   Upon waking up in the morning before starting your day, expect life as awesome–see it, imagine it, feel it. Set aside worries and take a More »

Family is Everything

Written and Posted by: Margie Babon   Our greatest inspiration in life is our family—parents, siblings, wife, husband, niece and nephews even our grandparents. Not only the biological family but also true More »

Flower Pattern and Mandala in Sweet Potato

Written and Posted by: Margie Babon   Few days ago I crave to eat sweet potatoes cooked in coconut milk with sugar and jackfruit meat. While chopping the sweet potatoes (Camote in More »

Understanding People

Written and Posted by: Margie Babon   When looking at people is like trying to look at a pair of slipper with hundred varieties of style and of color. All look similar More »

Forgive Others for not Being Kind

Written and Posted By: Margie Babon    To understand people of how they act and misbehave is the kindest thing we do to ourselves. I repeat, it is the kindest and most beautiful More »

Continue that Dream! Happy 2017!

Written and Posted by: Margie Babon     Life without a dream is nothing! It is the fire that keep us going. It gives life to the soul. It is the breath of More »

Small Note

Written and Posted By: Margie Babon   While going to the vet clinic to pick-up my rescued cat after his neuter, a man approached us with his small note written “Apology for More »

Smile Don’t Cost a Thing

Written and Posted By: Margie Babon “Good morning ma’am,” the lady security guard says to the staffs of women who pass by at the x-ray security machine at the entrance of a More »

“Seeking for an Answer”-Personal Experiences about Religion

Written and Posted by: Margie Babon   It is not a surprise to me if some people hate me for what I am writing about religion and cannot accept some ideas that More »

Usual Unusual

Written and Posted By: Margie Babon   It was 12th of February, Friday after office during rushed hour where traffic is so heavy and commuting is such a burden.  It is so More »

Category Archives: Inspiring Success Story

Abraham Lincoln on Leadership, Part 1

Posted By: Margie Babon


Abraham Lincoln, confident,successful Illinois attorney and man on the move, posed for this image in 1858.

From humble beginning coming from a poor family, self-educated lawyer Abraham Lincoln leaves a legacy to the world ending his life as a martyr to freed slaves. Serves as the 16th president of the America who led the bloodiest civil war and in doing so, preserved the Union, modernized the economy and most importantly, abolished slavery.

It has been said some men are born great while others have greatness thrust upon them, but the best description of Lincoln is both of the above.

Lincoln employed a formidable weapon– his incomparable gift for crafting unforgettable words to both large audiences and single correspondent. These words constitute a lesson for all time demonstrating both wit and wisdom to lead a nation at war with itself and the confidence to father of new birth of freedom for slaves. His words become the curriculum vitae on the requirements of true leadership—the ability to communicate effectively filled with inspirations, the capacity for risk, boldness, flexibility, courage,character,tact,honesty,humor,confidence,modesty,forgiveness,admit and learn from mistakes, the capacity to work hard, resilience in the state of criticism and a lot more

As New York Times quoted, “He was independent, self-poised, steadfast. You always knew where to find him; you could calculate him like a planet… He was a true hero.”


The first inaugural address of Abraham Lincoln in Washington.

Hold firm, switch a chain of steel

Letter to Elihu Washburne

December 13, 1860



A proud African-American soldier and his family. the soldier sports an 1864 Lincoln reelection pin on his coat.

Important principles may and must not be inflexible


April 11, 1865



Abraham Lincoln was promoted as a rail-splitting frontiersman from Illinois who had physical as well as rhetorical vigor. both were needed to capture voters.

I know that the great volcano at Washington, aroused and directed by the evil spirit that reigns there, is belching forth the lava of political corruption in a current broad and deep, which is sweeping with frightful velocity over the length and breadth of the land…knowing this, I cannot deny that all must be swept away..

The probability that we may fall in the struggle ought not to deter us from the support of a cause we believe to be just.


Springfield, Illinois

December 20, 1839



William Seward was Abraham Lincoln’s main rival for the Republican nomination in 1860. In return for Seward’s support during the presidential campaign, Lincoln named Seward Secretary of State.

If you would win a man to your cause, first convince him that you are his sincere friend.

On the contrary…mark him as one to be shunned and despised, and he will retreat within himself, close all the avenues to his head and his heart; and tho’ your cause be naked truth itself, transformed to the heaviest lance, harder than steel, and sharper than steel can be made, and tho’ you throw it with more than Herculean force and precision, you shall no more be able to pierce him than to penetrate the hard shell of a tortoise with a rye straw.


Springfield, Illinois

February 22, 1842



The 7th New York Cavalry poses for a photographer near Washington, D.C.

Determine that the thing can and shall be done, and then we shall find a way

Speech to Congress, June 20, 1848



A ballot box fashioned from a cigar box held 50 votes cast in Atlanta on November 8, 1864 by soldiers of the 28th Pennsylvania. Lincoln received 47 votes; McClellan 3.

We and our candidate are in favor of making Presidential elections and the legislation of the country distinct matters; so that people can elect whom they please and afterward legislate just as they please…

In leaving the people’s business in their hands, we cannot go wrong.



Eating less and sleeping little, Lincoln was a tireless attorney who took the habit with him to the White House. This photograph was taken on May 16, 1861, just two months after he was sworn in.

The leading rule for the *lawyer, as for the man of every other calling, is diligence.

Leave nothing for tomorrow which can be done today. Never let your correspondence fall behind. Whatever piece of business you have in hand, before stopping, do all the labor pertaining to it which can then be done.

Notes for a law lecture

Circa 1850


*Lincoln was so successful as an attorney that he once won $5,000 for a single case. In this public lecture on the role of attorneys, he stressed that preparation is crucial to accomplishment.



The legitimate object of government is to do for a community of people whatever they need to have done but cannot do at all, or cannot so well do for themselves.

If all men were just, there still would be some, though not so much, need of government

 Circa 1854

Politicians from Mario Cuomo to Barack Obama have quoted the first part of this passage, but the seldom-quoted coda of Lincoln’s redefine of the message


An advertisement from an 1822 broadside offered a reward for the capture of a runaway slave.

As a nation, we began by declaring that ‘all men are created equal.’ We now practically read it ‘all men are created equal, except Negroes.’ When the Know-Nothings get control, it will read ‘all men are created equal, except Negroes, and foreigners, and Catholics.’ When it come to this,  I should prefer emigrating to some country where they make no pretense of loving liberty.

Letter to Joshua Speed

August 24, 1855

When Lincoln’s closest friend Joshua Speed wondered whether Lincoln was flirting too much with the anti-immigration clique, Lincoln fired back in this letter. Still, Lincoln knew how to count votes and continued to seek support from the Nativists.



Friends gather at Lincoln’s Springfield home to celebrate his nomination. Lincoln stands to the right of the front door in a white suite while Mary Todd is at the far left in the bottom window.

Always bear in mind that your own resolution to succeed is more important than any other one thing.

Letter to aspiring attorney Isham Reavis

November 5,1855

 Longtime law partner William H. Herndon described Lincoln’s ambition as “a little engine that knew no rest.” Much as Lincoln derided his limited education and homely appearance, few politicians in American history believed in themselves so deeply.

Friends gather at Lincoln’s Springfield home to celebrate his nomination. Lincoln stands to the right of the front door ina white suit. Mary Todd Lincoln is the figure at the far left in the bottom window.



Watercolor-on-ivory miniature (5 inches tall) portrait of Abraham Lincoln by John Henry Brown, circa 1860. War noticeably aged the president.

We are a great empire. We are eighty years old. We stand at once the wonder and admiration of the whole world, and we must enquire what it is that has given us much prosperity, and we shall understand that to give up that one thing would be to give up all future prosperity. This cause is that every man can make himself.


Kalamazoo, Michigan

August 27, 1856


*Lincoln preached the virtues of self-improvement. Some 10,000 people heard this speech in Kalamazoo at a Republican rally that featured eight marching bands and a lavish parade.



An enslaved family photographed in the 1860s near Savannah, Georgia. Income from slave slave labor in cotton fields primed the economy, with cotton making up to 2/3 of the value of all U.S. exports in 1860.

As I would not be a slave , so I would not be a master

This expresses my idea of democracy—Whatever differs from this, to the extent of the difference, is no democracy.


August 1858

Lincoln was an ambitious politician in an unapologetically racist state that had vote to bar free African Americans. Although be hedged for years on the issue of equality, Lincoln never equivocated on personal hatred of slavery. “I can not remember,” he said, “when I did not so think, and feel.”



Lincoln made the art of public relations the cornerstone of his political—and leadership—success. “Our government,” he asserted two years earlier, “rests in public opinion. Whoever can change public opinion can change government.”

With public sentiment, nothing can fail; without it, nothing can succeed.

Consequently, he who molds public sentiment goes deeper than he who enacts statues or pronounces decisions. He makes statues or decision possible or impossible to be executed.


Ottawa, Illinois

August 21, 1858



Lincoln ordered Washington, D.C., fortified, and his army responded with vigor. Soon the city was protected by 68 forts, 20 miles of trenches and 800 cannons, including this behemoth in Fort Corcoran.

By all means, don’t say ‘if I can,’ say ‘I will.

Letter to John C. Bagby

September 6,1858



Stephen Douglas vied with Lincoln for an Illinois senate seat. They also vied for the hand of the belle of Springfield Illinois, Mary Todd.

Right and wrong…are the two principles that have stood face to face from the beginning of time and will ever continue to struggle.

The one is the common right of humanity and the other the divine right of kings. It is the same spirit that says, “You work and toil and earn bread, and I’ll eat it.” No matter in what shape it comes, whether from the mouth of a king who seeks to bestride the people of his own nation and live by the fruit of their labor, or from one race of men as an apology for enslaving another race, it is the same tyrannical principle.

Debate with Stephen Douglas

Alton, Illinois

October 15, 1858

 Lincoln and Douglas quibbled, sniped, attacked and split hairs. But in the final moments, Lincoln found his voice, and reminded Illinois voters that slavery was no better than monarchy and disposition—evils the nation had supposedly fought a revolution over.

The belle of Springfield Illinois, Mary Todd.




To soften Lincon’s image, photographer Mathew Brady had Lincoln pull up his collar to “shorten” his neck and erased some of the lines from Lincoln’s face. The photo established Lincoln as the first media candidate.

Wrong as we think slavery is, we can yet afford to let it alone where it is, because that much is due to necessity arising from its actual presence in the nation; but can we, while our votes will prevent it, allow it to spread into the National territories, and to overrun us here in these Free States? If our sense of duty forbids this, then let us stand by our duty, fearlessly and effectively.

Let us be diverted by none of those sophistical contrivances…such as groping for some middle ground between the right and the wrong.

…neither let us be slandered from our duty by false accusations against us, nor frightened from it by menaces of destruction to the Government nor or dungeons to ourselves.

Let us have faith that right makes might.



Cooper Union

New York

February 27,1860


In 1860, New York Republicans invited Lincoln to speak in the big city for the first time, and with an eye already on the presidency, he responded with a thoughtful, almost scholarly defense of the federal government’s right to restrict the spread of slavery.



On November 8,1863, Lincoln posed between his private secretaries and confidants—John Nicolay and John Hay—at Alexander Gardner’s photography studio in Washington, D.C.

Ascertain what he wants—on what subject he would converse with me—And the particulars if he will give them. In an interview indispensable, and if so, how soon must it be had?

Tell him my motto is “fairness to all.”

Note to John Hay

July 1860

 *Besieged by favor-seekers, Lincoln instructed his private secretaries, John Nicolay and John Hay, to deflect those who believed they had earned a reward for their labors during his presidential campaign. The words did little to diminish the patronage appeals.



African-American workers repair a single-track railroad near Murfreesboro Tenn., in 1863.

The mode is very simple, though laborious, and tedious. Work, work, work is the main thing.

Letter to John Brockman

September 25, 1860

 This is Lincoln’s pithy advice about how to prepare for a law career. His own capacity for labor is legendary. As president he often wrote a dozen letters a day, read dozens more, studied newspaper, and conferred with advisers. He ate and slept little. He sometimes complained about the “toil” but he never shied from the effort.



Newly freed slaves photographed in Virginia in May 1862. Lincoln’s views on what to do about slavery evolved over his lifetime. But he was consistent in his belief that the “peculiar institution” was wrong.

 You must remember that some things legally right are not morally right.

Notes, circa 1859


Newly freed slaves photographed in Virginia in May 1862.

But if the Negro is a man, is it not to that extent, a total destruction of self-government, to say he too shall not govern himself? When the white men govern himself that is self-government; but when he govern s himself, and alos governs another man, that is more than self-government—that is despotism. If the negro is a man, why then my ancient faith teaches me that

“All men are created equal;”

And that there can be no moral right in connection with one man’s making a slave of another.



October 4, 1854, the first great speech of his life

Podium, Hall of Representatives

State Capitol, Springfield


– ————————————


In November 1834, Lincoln made a trip to Vandalia to take his seat as a state legislator; he was twenty five years old, just three and a half years away from having been, by his own famous description , a “strange, penniless, friendless, uneducated, boy working on a flatboat for ten dollars a month.” He was appearing for the first time o the great stage of public affairs. Just four years later he would be his paty;s nominee for speaker of the house. Robert Wilson, his fellow Whig legislator  said of him:


He was on the stump, and in the Halls of Legislation a ready Debater, manifesting extraordinary y ability in his peculiar manner presenting his subject. He did not follow the beaten track of other Speakers, and Thinkers, but appeared to comprehend the whole situation of the Subject, and tae hold of its principles…his memory was a great Store house in which Stored away all the facts, acquired by reading but principally by observation with men, women and children, in their Social, and business relations; learning and weighing each motives that prompt each life act in life. supplying with him an inexhaustible fund of facts, from which he would draw conclusions, and illustrating every Subject however complicated with anecdotes drawn from all classes of Society, accomplishing the double purpose, of not only proving his Subject by the anecdote, that no one never forgets, that hearing Mr. Lincoln tell a story, either the argument of the Story, the Story itself, or the author.


“You cannot escape the responsibility of tomorrow by evading it today.” -Abraham Lincoln



Abraham Licoln, Wikipedia

Lincoln’s Virtues, an ethical biography by William Lee Miller

 Abraham Lincoln- Collector’s Edition by Harold Holzer



margie-blog pic-final 21oct

Margie Babon was given a privilege to become a wildlife photographer in 2006 that let her choose to be a vegetarian for seven years now. Has background in film making as a producer and researcher on the plight of Agta-Dumagat documentary film Children of the Mountains that garnered the 2005 Mark Haslam Awardee  in Toronto, Canada. Sharing her passion in photography, drawing & creative writing  is a great opportunity to express her wisdom which is beyond academic teaching career for more than five years in College of Architecture and School of Fine Arts


Bob Dylan: Five Decades of Self Reinvention

Posted By: Margie Babon




How does Dylan stay on top?

There is beyond the music of Bob Dylan who was born Robert Allen Zimmerman on May 24, 1941 in Duluth Minnesota, a self-made man who choose to live an  inspiring and adventurous life.


Dylan is a college drop out and follows his dream to become a folk singer. His earnest hard work in the music industry brought him the National Medals of Arts in 2009.  His first album under Columbia Records in 1962 is the year he wrote Blowin in the Wind, the most famous anti-war song of the 20th century.

On May 24, 2012, Bob Dylan turned 74 still never rest on his passion—music. Five days after his birthday, President Obama presents Dylan with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian honor awarded by a president. As noted by Obama, Dylan’s music is transcendant and had significant impact on the American culture over the past five decades.

Dylan is restless in his passion that annually, he played 100 concerts all over the world as part of his media “Never Ending Tour” in 1988.  His innovative concept of annual tour began in 1967.

Bob_Dylan_-_Highway_61_Revisited Bob_Dylan_-_The_Times_They_are_a-Changin

To record new material each year, stay famous, influential and to compete with new comer, contemporary aspiring singer/artist is a real tough job and challenging but Dylan stays.

What is behind Dylan’s 50-year record of success that started in a dream of being a folk singer and brought his dream to hit 2006 for his song Workingman’s Blues #2 in the album Modern Times topped the Billboard Chart.

Dylan’s valuable lesson in life of reinventing himself and how he does things in his own craft and originality is being reflected in his more than five decades in music industry.

As featured in Success Magazine- September 2012 enumerated by Jon Friedman, the author of Forget About Today: Bob Dylan’s Genius for (Re)invention, Shunning the Naysayers and Creating a Personal Revolution, here is

Bob Dylan’s Top 10 secret of self- reinvention, hard work and staying on top.

  1. Forget about today: Dylan looks ahead and he made it his mission. It’s a philosophy that would serve anyone well.
  2. Shun the naysayers: It’s a regrettable fact of life, people will bring you down. But you cannot let the negative voices derail you from your quest. Dylan was blasted by those who resented his personal musical explorations after embracing Christianity in 1979.  He didn’t let the nattering nabobs discourage him. He gained strength through his new found faith—and created some of his best music as well.
  3. Create personal revolution: Dylan began his vision in life when he was a teenage in Minnesota.  He was lucky that he found his vocation so early in life.  Dylan played everything from the Grand Ole Pry to Chicago blues. In January 1961, he was ready to fulfill his life’s ambition.
  4. Blaze your own path: Dylan has been a lifelong trailblazer, his prominent character occurred in 1965 when he went from folk music to rock n’ roll and recorded his single Like a rolling Stone. Dylan made a trademark on the music industry by coming up a six-minute song, by far the longest single ever attempted.
  5. Always remain innovative: when Dylan made Blonde on Blonde which is one of the most successful and innovative works,  his manager Albert Grossman tried to discourage him to make a radical shift. But Dylan knew he had to continue to innovate.
  6. Never rest on your laurels:  in 1975, Dylan come up with the album Blood on the Tracks that made to a position of 1975, Dylan played with a backup band playing in college campuses and small halls, one of the most appreciated musical adventures.
  7. Bet on yourself: in the 1990’s Dylan was at a low point. Upon releasing his album Under the Red Sky, critics ripped his new album. Dylan takes a break and he is seeking new inspiration. He retreated to his garage studio and recorder Good As I been to You and World Gone Wrong, two albums featuring only him singing and playing his trusty guitar and harmonica.  The result was therapeutic; he gained strength and went back with the Grammy-winning album Time Out of Mind in 1997.
  8. Take charge of your destiny:  Bob Dylan was a dropped-out in University of Minessota and moved halfway in his sophomore year to be a folk singer in Greenwich Village. It was risky and a huge gamble. But Dylan knows I n his heart he will attain success. If you’re confident in your ability, nothing can stop you either.
  9. Stand apart from the Crowd:  Joining the crowd is easy and tempting and by joining in, you let yourself diminish and your originality will sink. When Dylan came to New York in 1961 and go on board on his path to folk music, he could immediately create more money by writing pop songs but he stuck to where his passion is and it was paid off.
  10. Learning from elders and protégés: in 1980’s he met U2 leader singer Bono, 19 years younger than Dylan.  Bono is pushing Dylan to work with the fiery music producer Daniel-Lanois. The collaboration in 1989 album regards Dylan as his best solo work of the decade.  A proof that in learning life’s lesson, there is no to young or too old.
  11. Oops, there’s  a bonus! Leave your Comfort Zone:  in 1970’s. Dylan has a hard time in his creativity to come up with new songs. When Dylan wrote Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door, his first charting single and one of the most enduring songs for the film Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid, (that made him act aside composing the soundtrack), he became so energized and recorder his first No. 1 album Planet Waves.  The Planet Waves album on embarked him on his first coast-to-coast concerts series on in 174 tour which lasted for eight years and landed him on the cover of Newsweek.

bob-dylan-good-as-i-been-to-you-album-art-51152 images

Bob Dylan’s Philosophy (as seen through his lyrics):

  • Gain perspective about yourself with each new day.   (I was so much older then/ I’m younger than that now)—-My Back Pages
  • Don’t idolize people just because they’re rich, famous or powerful.  (Even the president of the United States sometimes must have to stand naked.)– It’s Alright Ma
  • If you do the right things and make the right decisions, your life will be sweet.   (May your heart always be joyful/ may your song always be sung/and may you stay forever young)–Forever Young
  • You must be true to yourself, even at the expanse of alienating the crowd around you.  (the man in me will hide sometimes/ to keep from being seen/ but that’s just because he doesn’t want to turn into some machine) –The Man in Me
  • Change with the Times or You will Be Left Behind.  (And you’d better start swimmin’/ or you’ll sink like a stone)–The Times They Are a-Changin’
  • Sometimes you just have to keep showing up, putting one foot in front of other.   (The only thing I knew how to do/ Was to keep on keepin’ on)–Tangled Up in Blue
  • Do not be fooled or blinded by material possessions at the expense of having lifelong ethics.   (Money doesn’t talk; it swears.)  -It’s Alright Ma

Bob Dylan-self portrait


Dylan’s fruitful and creative life reminds us of another famous college dropout, Steve Jobs, who at a Stanford commencement address reiterated Dylan’s Never rest on your laurels.” and told new graduates to “Stay hungry. Stay foolish.”     See

Innovative masters like Dylan, Jobs, Mozart, and Picasso are never satisfied with the status quo, they create new ones.



About the Author

Margie Babon was given a privilege to be a wildlife photographer in 2006 that let her choose to become a vegetarian for seven years now. Has background in film making as a producer and researcher on the plight of Agta-Dumagat documentary film Children of the Mountains that garnered the 2005 Mark Haslam Awardee  in Toronto, Canada. Sharing her passion in photography, drawing & creative writing  is a great opportunity to express her wisdom which is beyond academic teaching career of more than five years in College of Architecture and School of Fine Arts.


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