A giant of politics and war, the inspirational leader through Britain’s darkest hours Prime Minister Winston Churchill’s strategic thinking and determination ushered us to the threshold of the New World. A resilient soldier and statesman who brought Hitler to his knees as he was pulling himself up at the end of his career at 65. His famous speech -we shall fight on the beaches — “We shall go on to the end, we shall fight in France, we shall fight on the seas and oceans, we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air, we shall defend our Island, whatever the cost may be, we shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender..”
Can you believe this came from Churchill after he was ousted from the government in the 1920s? “Painting came to my rescue in a most trying time,” he later wrote as led Britain through the second world war as the Prime Minister.
At 65, he had pulled himself together to fight Hitler, and he came to the field with a beginner’s mind. He came back to politics after many political defeats and operating from the opposition party now, being flexible and open to change, and giving up his rigid beliefs and ego which certainly seemed to take him very far.
It was not easy for an old and physically challenged Churchill to lead the nation through murky waters and his productivity and winning hacks were simple:
When you get used to a certain way of thinking, a certain lifestyle, you become very rigid to change. In martial arts, beginner’s mind is a technique used to unlearn and clear your mind of all techniques you have been using and start afresh with no memory from the fast. You can use the Beginner’s Mind to overcome a fear of failure, reinventing yourself into new careers and breaking old habits that bring you down.
Winston Churchill had his own painting studio and private retreat where he produced stellar paintings which helped him de-clutter his mind and get rid of negative thoughts and emotions. What is that one activity which puts you in a “zone” of high performance and state of “flow”?
Churchill took many blows in politics and took on varied roles in his career. He did not stick to any one particular role where he was doing well. He also changed his fixed ideas and notions of failure as he was quite resilient through defeats in politics and decision making as Prime Minister. You can explore many opportunities in your career and relationships if you are willing to give up set notions and patterns which collectively define your “ego”.
The above three lessons from Winston Churchill have changed history, they can surely change your life!