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7 Life Lessons by Winston Churchill

Despite being born into a wealthy and privileged aristocratic family and having everything he needed to succeed, Winston Churchill was a rebellious and unsuccessful student who suffered from a stutter. His parents also did not provide him with a proper upbringing, leading to loneliness. However, his difficult childhood helped him develop a strong sense of independence, which ultimately became his greatest strength and helped him become a leader and one of the most influential people in British and world history. Churchill faced numerous challenges throughout his life but overcame them with courage and a strong belief in his path and national values. To inspire others, we have compiled 7 lessons he taught us through his life's work.

1. The strength to stand alone

Winston Churchill was known for holding unpopular opinions from the beginning of his political career, often standing against the majority. During the 1930s, he was the first to acknowledge the danger of the Nazi regime in Germany and advocated for the British army to be strengthened and rearmed. While many European leaders believed that the First World War would be the last and bring about lasting peace, Churchill's concerns about Nazi Germany were often overlooked due to the prevailing idea of a peaceful future.
While Neville Chamberlain, the British Prime Minister at the time, failed to recognize the true threat that Hitler posed to regional and global peace, Winston Churchill saw him for what he truly was. However, when Churchill raised the issue in the British Parliament, some dismissed him as being out of touch with reality and accused him of trying to instigate a war. Chamberlain even went so far as to sign the "Munich Agreement," which allowed Hitler to annex the Sudetenland without any opposition and ultimately sacrificed Czechoslovakia. In contrast, Churchill recognized the danger and spoke out against it, and his words would come to symbolize his image as a leader who was committed to self-education and learning, which would serve him well when he took the reins of power a few years later.
2. The ability to self-learn
Churchill was enrolled at Harrow School, a renowned educational institution in Britain during his childhood, but his academic performance was not noteworthy. While his peers chose to pursue higher education at Oxford University, Churchill opted to attend a military boarding school to study military strategy, war tactics, and horse riding. Upon completing his training, Churchill was stationed in India, where he spent his free time reading books by famous scholars, including the renowned historian Edward Gibbon's book "The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire," as well as works by Plato, Aristotle, and Adam Smith, which he found inspiring.
His ambition, curiosity and indefatigable thirst for knowledge bought him over the years a rich education, the value of which was no less than that acquired by his friends from the Harrow School, who at that time already boasted prestigious degrees from the University of Oxford. By doing this himself, Churchill learned how to learn, and this trait he took with him for the rest of his life.

3. Faith in the written and spoken word

Churchill did come from a rich family and grew up without material deprivation, but this situation changed with the death of his father. Suddenly, Churchill had to earn money to support himself. At this stage, he discovered the talent of writing, from which he made a living, and specialized in the ability to write short sentences, in which sharp words are interwoven with a powerful message. During his military service as an officer, he also held the position of spokesman and later turned to writing history books - the most famous of which was "The History of the English-Speaking Nations", which consisted of 4 volumes that reviewed the history of Britain.
The writing skills that Churchill acquired made him over the years a good communicator, an excellent rhetorician and of course - a leader who is connected to the voices of the people. He deeply understood the power of the written and spoken word, and the emotional impact that words convey to the world. For him, every word was important, and he worked hard to ensure that whatever he chose to say was accurate and concise. In 1940, when Churchill feared a German invasion, an appeal went out from his government offices to the people, according to which everyone should "remain alert" - Churchill was critical of the use of this phrase, and changed it to "remain firm", because that he saw in the word the alertness of a defeatist spirit, and therefore it should be changed in order to radiate power. His concise messages and his use of sharp and clear words, made some of his speeches at the decisive moments particularly catchy and influential. A prime example of this is the speech of encouragement he gave during the frontal war against Germany, which boosts morale and his words are still remembered today:
Winston Churchill quote

4. Morality and constant reflection of the truth

Churchill believed in the importance of transparency and clarity in order to gain the trust of the people, protect national values, and ultimately defeat the enemy. Even when victory seemed inevitable towards the end of World War II, he chose to acknowledge the risk that still lay ahead and the long-lasting impact it would have on future generations. As a member of a privileged family, Churchill emphasized the equal social opportunities that would arise from the sacrifices made by ordinary citizens for the greater good of the nation. Throughout the war, he instilled these principles and ideas into the hearts of the people, calling for the sacrifice of all in order to achieve them. Churchill's leadership demonstrated great courage in defending sacred values.

6. Showing bravery for what you believe in

In the Battle of Omdurman in 1898, Winston Churchill was a young officer at the age of 23, serving in the 21st Lancer Regiment. Despite facing a much larger enemy force, Churchill demonstrated remarkable bravery and determination, leading his troops to victory in what is considered a brilliant example of a small and clever army defeating a larger one. One year later, during the Boer War in South Africa, Churchill was leading a military patrol in hostile territory when they were suddenly attacked by guerrillas, resulting in numerous casualties. Despite sustaining only minor injuries, Churchill fearlessly walked through a hail of bullets, urging each of his staff to remain steadfast and determined.
Throughout his political career, Churchill remained brave and refused to resort to any unethical tactics for the benefit of his country. He demonstrated his resolute nature by voting against the appointment of certain individuals to high-ranking positions, even if they were close friends. A prime example of this was during World War II, when he identified a weakness in the performance of Roger Keyes, a senior admiral in the Royal Navy and one of Churchill's closest friends. Without hesitation, Churchill removed Keyes from his position, using straightforward language. This example highlights Churchill's ability to enjoy himself even in difficult situations.

6. Enjoying life even in the midst of tragedy

Churchill strongly believed that as the prime minister of a major world power, it was necessary to have some leisure time to rejuvenate oneself. Despite his busy schedule, he never gave up his passion for painting and was known as a highly prolific artist. He created approximately 500 landscape paintings, which are now displayed in museums worldwide. Churchill was also a skilled writer who wrote numerous books and articles, winning the Nobel Prize for Literature. Furthermore, he enjoyed building with bricks and kept a collection of butterflies in his home in the village.
7. Practicality and perseverance
To fully appreciate Churchill's historical lessons, it is essential to acknowledge his exceptional ability to transform ideas into reality. His subordinates attested to his tireless work ethic, which saw him relentlessly toiling from sunrise to sunset. Following the fall of France, Churchill was apprehensive about the possibility of the Germans obtaining French war weapons and naval ships, which could potentially be used against him. Without any hesitation, Churchill launched an attack on the French fleet's vessels, despite the fact that France was previously an ally. This bold move is now referred to as the "March to Kabir Battle," where the British destroyed six naval ships, leading to over a thousand French soldiers' death. This militant example highlights Churchill's unwavering, resolute character and his message to persevere and never surrender.
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