Quotes and Tidbits from the Life of Winston Churchill, an Unlikely Hero

By the time Winston Churchill became Prime Minister of England, he was 65 years old and taking on the governance of a country under dire threat of invasion by Adolph Hitler. Many people at age 65 decide it’s time to slow down. But Churchill’s older years ended up being the most influential time of his life and changed the course of history.

Churchill was known to be a very emotional man. In the movie, Darkest Hour, he refers his emotions as “unbridled—a wildness in the blood.” He also struggled with depression. On top of that he had significant health problems.

As if the weren’t enough, his entire War Cabinet was pressing him to negotiate terms with Hitler. He stood alone. He clung to what he believed. And he rallied the nation and the government to fight off Nazi Germany, to never surrender.

Do you know why flawed heroes are so meaningful? Because we, ourselves, are flawed and we know it. Churchill has been a hero of mine since college when I learned that he’d struggled with depression. When I have a rough day, sometimes I think of him or Abraham Lincoln, another sufferer of depression. This gives me the courage to keep going, to keep working, serving, reaching, and striving.

Here’s some of my favorite quotes by Winston Churchill. I hope they inspire you as much as they do me.

  • “Never, never, never give up.”
  • “You have enemies? Good. That means you’ve stood up for something, sometime in your life.”
  • “All great things are simple, and many can be expressed in single words: freedom, justice, honor, duty, mercy, hope.”
  • “Continuous effort – not strength or intelligence – is the key to unlocking our potential.”
  • “The truth is incontrovertible. Malice may attack it, ignorance may deride it, but in the end, there it is.”
  • “Victory at all costs, victory in spite of all terror, victory however long and hard the road may be; for without victory, there is no survival.”
  • “The farther backward you can look, the farther forward you are likely to see.”
  • “Kites rise highest against the wind, not with it.”
  • “Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.”
  • “Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.”
  • “Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference.”

Where do you find courage?