Highlights from Forty Ways to Look at Winston Churchill: A Brief Account of a Long Life written by Gretchen Rubin.
“Nations which went down fighting rose again,” he declared, “but those who surrendered tamely were finished.”
One key to his success was his overwhelming energy. Abnormal energy coupled with power is a formidable force. Even detractors admitted he revitalized every office—First Lord, trench commander, Prime Minister—by the intensity of his personality.
“Words are the only things which last for ever.”
“Short words are best,” he said, “and the old words when short are best of all.”
First Lord of the Admiralty Churchill observed, “I cannot forecast to you the action of Russia. It is a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma.”
“This is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning.” In November 1942: “The problems of victory are more agreeable than those of defeat, but they are no less difficult.”
[D]o not worry about household matters. Let them crash if they will. All will be well. Servants exist to save one trouble, & shd never be allowed to disturb ones inner peace. There will always be food to eat, & sleep will come even if the beds are not made. Nothing is worse than worrying about trtfles.
“The gift of compressing the largest number of words into the smallest amount of thought.”
When Lady Astor snapped, “Winston, if I were your wife, I’d put poison in your coffee,” he retorted, “Nancy, if I were your husband, I’d drink it.”
You never can tell whether bad luck may not after all turn out to be good luck. Perhaps if in the charge of Omdurman I had been able to use a sword, instead of having to adopt a modern weapon like a Maus,r pistol.
My story might not have got so far as the telling. One must never forget when misfortunes come that it is quite possible they are saving one from something much worse; or that when you make some great mistake, it may very easily serve you better than the best-advised decision.