“Success”: What Churchill REALLY Said

“Success”: What Churchill REALLY Said

Churchill said much about suc­cess in life and pol­i­tics, but is fre­quent­ly mis­quot­ed. His gen­uine quo­ta­tions on the sub­ject are less often seen. Here are some of the things that he actu­al­ly said, con­firmed in Churchill By Him­self –in chrono­log­i­cal order, with cita­tions:

“You must put your head into the lion’s mouth if the per­for­mance is to be a suc­cess.” –19 Feb­ru­ary 1900, South Africa, Lon­don to Lady­smith via Pre­to­ria, 1900.

“…do not be car­ried away by suc­cess into demand­ing more than is right or pru­dent.” —House of Com­mons, 3 March 1919

Do not be fobbed off with mere per­son­al suc­cess or accep­tance. You will make all kinds of mis­takes; but as long as you are gen­er­ous and true, and also fierce, you can­not hurt the world or even seri­ous­ly dis­tress her. She was made to be wooed and won by youth. She has lived and thrived only by repeat­ed sub­ju­ga­tions.” –My Ear­ly Life, 1930

”…no boy or girl should ever be dis­heart­ened by lack or suc­cess in their youth but should dili­gent­ly and faith­ful­ly con­tin­ue to per­se­vere and make up for lost time.” –Speech, Uni­ver­si­ty of Mia­mi (Fla.), 26 Feb­ru­ary 1946

Suc­cess always demands a greater effort.” –13 Decem­ber 1940 to Aus­tralian Prime Min­is­ter Robert Men­zies, Their Finest Hour, 1949

…no one can guar­an­tee suc­cess in war, but only deserve it.” —Their Finest Hour, 1949


• “Suc­cess is going from fail­ure to fail­ure with no loss of enthu­si­asm.” (Broad­ly attrib­uted to Churchill, but found nowhere in his canon. An almost equal num­ber of sources cred­it this say­ing to Abra­ham Lin­coln; but none of them pro­vides any attri­bu­tion.)

• “Suc­cess is not final, fail­ure is not fatal: it is the courage to con­tin­ue that counts.” (No attri­bu­tion found.)

—Excerpt­ed from Churchill by Him­self.


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