Sir Winston Churchill led Britain from the brink of defeat to celebrated victory in the Second World War. He shaped world history with his decisive leadership and inspiring speeches.
No one in his early childhood would have predicted Churchill’s greatness and impact. As a leader, he was not without weaknesses and flaws, yet he rose above adversity and failure to become what Britain—and the world—needed its most desperate crisis.
As a child, Churchill suffered often with ill health and struggled with various speech impediments including a lisp and a stammer. His physical frailties made him a ready target for bullies at school.
His inconsistent academic record drew concern from his teachers. The assistant master at Harrow detailed several of these—including forgetfulness, carelessness and a lack of punctuality—in a letter to his mother.
Churchill was accident-prone. Besides suffering several nasty falls and escaping numerous close shaves, he survived a deadly car accident in New York.
His nomination for the Nobel Prize in literature was considered several times by the awarding committee. They deemed Churchill a “significant historian” but did not think his work was “important” or “sparklingly” enough to warranted the esteemed prize.
After years of rejections, the committee finally awarded Churchill the Nobel Prize for “his mastery of historical and biographical description as well as for brilliant oratory in defending exalted human values”.
Churchill was not without personal faults. He could be stubborn and impetuous, driven by ego, and sometimes unsympathetic to the plight of others. Some of his war-time decisions—the wholesale bombing of German cities—were sharply criticized on ethical grounds.
Nevertheless, in spite of all he endured, Churchill demonstrated the amazing resilience of the human soul—to rise above our imperfect human-ness and the adversity we have endured. We can choose to nurture the seeds of inherent greatness with daring courage and resolute action.
Here are 12 inspiring quotes that reflect the courage and resilience of Winston Churchill…
12 Reasons to Meet Today Head On With Courage and Resilience
“If we open a quarrel between the past and the present we shall find that we have lost the future.”
“Success is not final, failure is not fatal, it is the courage to continue that counts.”
“Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm.”
“Continuous effort – not strength or intelligence – is the key to unlocking our potential.”
“Attitude is a little thing that makes a BIG difference.”
“It is wonderful what great strides can be made when there is a resolute purpose behind them.”
“This is the lesson: never give in, never give in, never, never, never, never — in nothing, great or small, large or petty — never give in except to convictions of honour and good sense. Never yield to force; never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy.”
“If you’re going through hell, keep going.”
“I never ‘worry’ about action, but only about inaction.”
“I like things to happen, and if they don’t happen I like to make them happen.”
“Every day you may make progress. Every step may be fruitful. Yet there will stretch out before you an ever-lengthening, ever-ascending, ever-improving path. You know you will never get to the end of the journey. But this, so far from discouraging, only adds to the joy and glory of the climb.”
“All the greatest things are simple, and many can be expressed in a single word: freedom; justice; honour; duty; mercy; hope.”
You may not be a Sir Winston Churchill, but is there any reason why you cannot become the amazing person of greatness you were created to be?
Is there any reason why the struggles you have endured cannot nurture the seeds of your inherent greatness?
There is untapped courage and resilience in you yet to be discovered.
Leslie Dahl is the founder of Epic Life Changes, a coaching program that helps aspiring individuals discover the amazing persons they really are and the amazing potential they are truly capable of…one step at a time. Confidence is built upon knowing, appreciating, respecting, and trusting.
Photo courtesy British Government, Imperial War Museums via Wikimedia