Winston Churchill's Top 5 Fundamentals for a Successful Life


I subscribe to the  http://www.positivityblog.com/  emails. This came today. I thought I would share. 



"Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen."

"We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give."

Hi!

Winston Churchill is probably no stranger to anyone. He was an inspirational British leader during the Second World War.

He was also a writer, historian, poet, artist and the only British Prime Minister to receive the Nobel Prize in Literature.

Here are a few of my favorite fundamentals from Churchill on how to improve your life.

1. Focus on what you are doing right now.

"It is a mistake to look too far ahead. Only one link in the chain of destiny can be handled at a time."

"It is always wise to look ahead, but difficult to look further than you can see."

When you start to look too far into the future then any task or project can seem close to impossible. And so you shut down because you become overwhelmed and start surfing the internet aimlessly instead. That is one of the reasons why it is good to plan for the future but then to shift your focus back to today and the present moment.

Then you just focus on taking the first step today. That is all you need to focus on, nothing else. By taking the first step you change your mental state from resistant to "hey, I'm doing this, cool". You put yourself in state where you become more positive and open, a state where you may not be enthusiastic about taking the next step after this first one but you are at least accepting it. And so you can take the next step. And the next one after that.

The thing is, you can't see the whole path anyway and it will shift and reveal itself along the way. That's why the best of plans tend to fall apart at least a bit as you start to put it into action. You discover that your map of reality doesn't look like reality.

2. Be an optimist.

"The pessimist sees difficulty in every opportunity. The optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty."

"Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference."

"I am an optimist. It does not seem too much use being anything else."

Focusing on what helps you sure makes a huge difference compared to if you keep focusing on what is wrong in every situation or what makes you more of a victim. It's like living in two different worlds.

How do you make the shift to a more optimistic attitude? Well, it takes time. But gradually you can change it. Two of my own most favorite for doing this tips are:

  • Positive influences. Fill your mind and emotional system with positive input from people, music and programs/books. Other people's thoughts have a big influence and emotions are contagious. Limit your time with negative people. Reduce TV or magazines that may make you feel worse about what you don't own or your body. Or just create fear and negativity within you (for instance a lot of news shows). Limiting negative influences can make it a lot easier to keep the positive attitude up.
  • Set the context for your day. What you do early in the day often sets the context for your day. We have a tendency to want to be consistent with what we have done before. You can use that your advantage in few ways. You can for example do the hardest thing on your to-do list first. When it is done you'll feel good about yourself and it makes the day feel easier and you'll have less inner resistance to getting the rest of the tasks of the day done.
Just practicing these two things in a consistent way can make a huge difference in your life.

3. Be persistent. Don't give up.

"Continuous effort - not strength or intelligence - is the key to unlocking our potential"

"If you're going through hell, keep going."

Since society often tells us to look for quick fixes it's easy to make the mistake of giving up to soon. After you have failed perhaps 1-5 times. That's the "normal" thing to do. But what could have happened if someone just kept going after that? And for each failure learned more and more about what works?

I think people often make a mistake of giving up too early. Your mind probably has a reasonable time-frame for success. This might not correspond to a realistic time-frame though.

It's useful to take a break from advertised perspectives and let more realistic perspectives seep into your mind. Learn from people who have gone where you want to go. Talk to them. Read what they have to say in books or online. This will not give you a complete plan but a clearer perspective of what is needed to achieve what you want.

Now, that's not to say that you should never quit. But it can be helpful to keep going on your current path for a while longer.

And that's not to say that you should do the same thing over and over in exactly the same manner. It's better to do and get an experience. Take the lessons you can learn from that real life experience. And then adjust how you do things as you try again.

It obviously helps immensely if you find what you really like to do. And what you really, really want. Then you'll find the inner motivation to keep going, to get what you want and to build on inner strengths like persistence.

4. Don't lose the enthusiasm.

"Success is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm."

It's very easy to get down on yourself and your results when things don't go as planned. What was once enthusiasm can quickly become apathy and pessimism.

But how do you do keep up the enthusiasm after things have gone wrong and you just feel like giving up? Well, as I mentioned in the previous fundamental, it certainly helps to have something you really like doing and something you really want.

A good additional tip is simply to ask better questions in "negative" situations. Instead of asking yourself why this or you suck ask yourself questions that empower you.

Questions like:
  • What can I learn from this?
  • What is the hidden opportunity in this situation?
  • What is one positive thing about this situation?
5. Remember, most troubles never happen.

"When I look back on all these worries, I remember the story of the old man who said on his deathbed that he had had a lot of trouble in his life, most of which had never happened."

One final, quick thought. But a very important one. Most things you fear will happen never happen. They are just monsters in your own mind. And if they happen then they will most often not be as painful or bad as you expected. Worrying is most often just a waste of time.

This is of course easy to say. But if you think back and remind yourself of how little of what you feared throughout your life that has actually happened you can start to release more and more worry from your thoughts.

This makes it a lot easier to start doing more of what you really want in life. And to move through your day to day life with a lighter, happier and more optimistic attitude.

I hope you found something helpful in this email,

Henrik

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