As a history teacher, I’ve long admired Winston Churchill for his inspiration and leadership during the dark days of the German Blitzkrieg. On October 29, 1941 Britain’s Prime Minister delivered an iconic speech. Churchill was visiting the Harrow School to hear some traditional songs and speak to the community.
After hearing the songs Churchill delivered a short speech, but it turned out to be his most important. It is his most inspiring and quoted speech. In the speech Churchill says, “Never give in, never give in, never; never, never–in nothing, great or small, large or petty–never give in except to convictions of honor and good sense.”
How different would the lives of millions of people be if they took Churchill’s powerful words to heart? There are too many who give in and quit when things get tough. Too many people accept things for how they are and say, “That’s just the way it is.” And they learn to live with it.
In life, you will lose. You will be bad at something. But you don’t quit. You don’t accept it as truth. Those who do are destined to a life of mediocrity. In 2011, Lebron James had an NBA finals to forget. He was a shadow of his normal self and his Miami Heat lost the championship. It was one of the lowest points in his professional career. However, he did not let it define him. He would come back better than ever and win the next two league MVP awards; along with back to back championships in Miami. When asked about reaching his lowest point Lebron said, “You figure out who you are as a person.” You either accept failure and let it define you, or you get up and get better.
Instead of giving in and accepting setbacks as reality, you must learn to believe there is no such thing as failure. Robert Downey Jr. was one of the most successful and famous actors in the late 80’s and early 90’s. Then he had problems with drugs and alcohol. He nearly lost it all. But he didn’t learn to live with it. He reinvented himself and came back better than ever. Now we all know him as Ironman.
To get things you’ve never had you must be willing to do things you’ve never done before. Success lies just beyond your comfort level. Make the decision to commit yourself to the process of success. Don’t accept rejection or failure. Shift your mindset to understanding that failure is a part of the process. Develop the inner power to overcome the desire of complacency.
We all start strong. Think of the new year “resolutions” people make. People go hard in January, but when the doldrums of February hit they begin to fade. In business, sports, school, we all start strong. However, the best are the ones who face their setbacks head on. Don’t settle for where you are. Don’t settle for second best. Rise up.
We have the choice to learn and begin again, or to tuck the tail and hide. Don’t go quietly. Don’t give into the fear and pain of rejection. Find work that is meaningful and fulfilling. Surround yourself with people who love and support you.
“The key is to keep company only with people who uplift you, whose presence calls forth your best.”
There is greatness within all of us. I know it’s within myself, and I know it’s within you. But in order to live a life of greatness we must avoid the temptations of comfort and complacency. If you push yourself you will naturally have doubts, but that’s good. Power past the doubt.
Be grateful for what you have, but give everything you have to reach your goals. If you do, you won’t regret it. You will reach new heights.
As always, thanks for reading, have a great week, and be an RGP today!
Coach Elmendorf is available to speak to your team, group, or organization. Message him for details.