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20 Quotes From Winston Churchill That Are Full of Wisdom

20 Quotes From Winston Churchill That Are Full of Wisdom

Many a quote gets attributed to Winston Churchill, the majority of them quite humorous. He was known for both his self-deprecation and his withering put-downs.  One of his most well-known exchanges, supposedly with a woman named Bessie Braddock, went as follows:

Braddock: “Sir, you are drunk.”

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Churchill: “And you, Bessie, are ugly. But I shall be sober in the morning, and you will still be ugly.”

Of course, it’s unlikely this dialogue ever took place. But given Churchill’s wit, it’s fun to think it might have.

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While it’s possible that Churchill didn’t use his trademark wittiness to put Braddock in her place, he did use it not only to guide the United Kingdom through World War II — but arguably the world as well. Today, 70 years after the end of WWII, his words of wisdom continue to make him one of modern history’s greatest communicators.

Here are 20 gems from Churchill’s repertoire that show not only his wit, but also his wisdom:

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  1. “To build may have to be the slow and laborious task of years. To destroy can be the thoughtless act of a single day.”
  2. “To improve is to change, so to be perfect is to change often.”
  3. “The farther backward you can look, the farther forward you are likely to see.”
  4. “Never hold discussions with the monkey when the organ grinder is in the room.”
  5. “Personally I’m always ready to learn, although I do not always like being taught.”
  6. “Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm.”
  7. “History will be kind to me for I intend to write it.”
  8. “Attitude is a little thing that makes a BIG difference.”
  9. “You have enemies? Good. It means you’ve stood up for something, sometime in your life.”
  10. “Politics is the ability to foretell what is going to happen tomorrow, next week, next month and next year. And to have the ability afterward to explain why it didn’t happen.”
  11. “Those who can win a war well can rarely make a good peace, and those who could make a good peace would never have won the war.”
  12. “What is adequacy? Adequacy is no standard at all.”
  13. “There is only one duty, only one safe course, and that is to try to be right and not to fear to do or say what you believe to be right.”
  14. “In the course of my life I have often had to eat my words, and I must confess that I have always found it a wholesome diet.”
  15. “The greatest lesson in life is to know that even fools are right sometimes.”
  16. “If we open a quarrel between the past and the present we shall find that we have lost the future.”
  17. “It’s not enough that we do our best; sometimes we have to do what’s required.”
  18. “Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak, it’s also what it takes to sit down and listen.”
  19. “Continuous effort — not strength or intelligence — is the key to unlocking our potential.”
  20. “If you have an important point to make, don’t try to be subtle or clever. Use a piledriver. Hit the point once. Then come back and hit it again. Then hit it a third time — a tremendous whack.”

Not only a great orator and wit, Churchill was also an accomplished artist and writer, producing novels, histories, and biographies as well as impressionist landscapes. He published under the name Winston S. Churchill and won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1953. He was also a hobbyist bricklayer and butterfly breeder!

To read more of Churchill’s words of wisdom, visit the BBC’s 50 Sir Winston Churchill Quotes to Live By.

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Featured photo credit: Winston Churchill As Prime Minister 1940-1945 MH26392/Cecil Beaton [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons via commons.wikimedia.org

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Last Updated on October 18, 2018

50+ Best Motivational Quotes To Prepare You For Any Challenges In Life

50+ Best Motivational Quotes To Prepare You For Any Challenges In Life

Life is filled with highs and lows —happiness and struggles that will test your resilience and integrity, push you to overcome challenges and leave you with lessons that will make you even stronger on your way up.

It’s the way you feel and think about yourself, including your expectations and beliefs about what is possible to you, greatly determines everything that happens to you.

It all starts with your thoughts. When you change your thoughts, you transform the quality of your life. (Right, Nancy’s story is a typical example!)

Below is a list of the best motivational quotes to inspire you to start your day with a blast:

Quotes for self-assurance

1. Don’t downgrade your dream just to fit your reality, upgrade your conviction to match your destiny.

    2. You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem and smarter than you think.

      3. You are confined only by the walls you build yourself.

        4. The man who has confidence in himself gains the confidence of others

          5. You attract what you are, not what you want. If you want great, then be great.

            6. It’s not who you are that holds you behind, it’s who you think your are not.

              Quotes about positivity

              7. Stop being afraid of what could go wrong and think of what could go right.

                8. You should never regret anything in life. If it’s good, it’s wonderful. If it’s bad, it is experience.

                  9. Falling down is an accident, staying down is a choice.

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                    10. If you have the power to make someone happy, do it. The world needs more of that.

                      11. Always believe that something wonderful is about to happen.

                        12. Don’t be afraid to give up the good and go for great.

                          13. Remember that life’s greatest lessons are usually learned from worst times and from the worst mistakes.

                            Quotes for work and success

                            14. Don’t talk, just act. Don’t say, just show. Don’t promise, just prove.

                              15. Never stop doing great just because someone doesn’t give you credit.

                                16. Discipline is doing what needs to be done, even if you don’t want to.

                                  17. Work while they sleep. Learn while they party. Save while they spend. Live like they dream.

                                    18. The key to success is to focus our conscious mind on things we desire, not things we fear.

                                      19. Never apologize for having high standards, people who really want to be in your life will rise to meet them.

                                        20. If it doesn’t challenge you, it won’t change you.

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                                          21. Never give up on a dream just because of the time it will take to accomplish it, time will pass anyway.

                                            22. Don’t fear failure. Fear being in the exact same place next year as you are today.

                                              23. A hill is just another opportunity to leave your competition behind.

                                                24. Don’t quit. You’re already in pain. You’re already hurt. Get a reward from it.

                                                  25. Hustle until you no longer need to introduce yourself.

                                                    26. You didn’t come this far only to come this far.

                                                      27. Be selective in your battles for sometimes peace is better than being right.

                                                        28 If we keep doing what we are doing, we’re going to keep getting what we’re getting.

                                                          29. You will never know your limits until you push yourself to them.

                                                            30. Do what you have to do until you can do what you want to do.

                                                              31. The man on top of the mountain didn’t fall there.

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                                                                32. If your dreams don’t scare you, they are not big enough.

                                                                  33. If you can’t handle stress, you won’t manage success.

                                                                    34. Don’t be pushed by your problems, be led by your dreams.

                                                                      35. Don’t mistake silence for weakness. Smart people don’t plan big moves out loud.

                                                                        36. Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.

                                                                          37. Obsessed is the word the lazy use to describe dedicated.

                                                                            38. You become who you spend your time with.

                                                                              39. Be stubborn about your goals and flexible about your methods.

                                                                                40. Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard.

                                                                                  41. If you don’t build your dreams, someone else will hire you to build theirs.

                                                                                    42. Between stimulus and response is our greatest power –the freedom to choose.

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                                                                                      43. What comes easy won’t last, what lasts won’t come easy.

                                                                                        44. Don’t limit your challenges, challenge your limits.

                                                                                          45. Work until your idols become your rivals.

                                                                                            Quotes about money

                                                                                            46. Formal education will make you a living. Self-education will make you a fortune.

                                                                                              47. I create new enemies every day, it’s called business.

                                                                                                48. When you have a Million Dollar vision, don’t surround yourself with 1 cent minds.

                                                                                                  49. You can’t get rich thinking poor.

                                                                                                    50. Doing what is comfortable is rarely profitable.

                                                                                                      51. If you can count your money, work harder.

                                                                                                        If you find yourself feeling lost and frustrated, it’s never too late to change things up. Check out this guide:

                                                                                                        How to Start Over and Reboot Your Life When It Seems Too Late

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