4 Life Lessons from President James Garfield

james garfield lawnfieldMay 30, 2011 A closer look at President James Garfield's career and life reveal interesting lessons about work, frugality, and success. Here are 4 of those lessons.

Read more often.
President James Garfield's Lawnfield home includes a library that houses the thousands of books he read and collected over his lifetime. Many of his biographies make reference to his love for reading. He read books about hundreds of topics and became a well rounded individual capable of conversing about any number of topics. His reading began at the age of three and never stopped. His studies allowed him to become a well rounded individual capable of conversing about any number of topics, in addition to learning foreign languages.

Set an example for your children.
One of the primary reasons James Garfield bought the property in Mentor, Ohio, that would become Lawnfield, was that it offered an opportunity to perform farm work. Garfield believed that working with your hands / completing hard physical labor would help develop a strong work ethic in his sons. He realized early on that the lifestyle they could afford had the potential to spoil children, thus he invested in teaching his kids the value of hard work early in their lives.

Save money and time by working at home.
Many of us dream of giving up the traffic jams and construction zones by working at home. James Garfield saw the value of turning his home into a workplace as well. When he was running for the Presidency, James Garfield would hold many campaigning events on his front lawn and on his porch. That is how it got the name Lawnfield, given to the home by reporters who would sit on the front lawn and report what the Presidential candidate was saying. Additionally, his campaign office was built on the property. Lawnfield was also built alongside a railroad track which allowed railroad cars to conveniently stop at Lawnfield to drop off and pick up visitors!

Watch your back.
Garfield was shot in the back on July 2, 1881 by Charles J. Guiteau. Guiteau was a disgruntled job seeker who felt shunned by the President. Back then the President did not have bodyguards. Garfield was simply on his way to deliver a speech and was accompanied by two of his sons, James and Harry, and Secretary of State James Blaine. Garfield's assassination is a strong reminder that no matter how well your career is going there are plenty of situations that would take it all away from you rather quickly. While most of us will never have to face a cowardly assassin at work, we do face plenty of other challenges. Watching your back for trouble that may be lurking at work could be just as important at looking forward for opportunities.

More stories: Duncan Hines   George Washington   Thomas Jefferson   Benjamin Franklin   Henry Ford   Harry Truman   Alexander Hamilton

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