Now this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning.
I love powerful quotes. Words can inspire entire societies to change and they act as mile markers for historical shifts. And few people have had the historical impact and amazingly eloquent quotability of Winston Churchill. Churchill could put into words the ethos, courage, and struggle of leadership in a way that has always provided me with inspiration and comfort during some of the most difficult periods of my professional and personal life. Well, at least that’s what I thought until I started doing some digging. In the age of the meme, Churchill is one of several historical figures (along with Abraham Lincoln and George Carlin) to whom we typically attribute quotes when we really have no idea who actually did say it first. Does that make the quotes less inspirational? Well, they still make for good office wall art and Facebook posts, but when it comes to attributing them, you might want to do more than use Google. Here are my 10 favorite faux-Churchill quotes and 10 authoritative ones. Keep them close at hand because sometimes it only takes a few words to give you the motivation to overcome the greatest challenges.
The Faux Quotes
- “A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.”
- “Success is not final, failure is not fatal. It is the courage to continue that counts.”
- “Continuous effort — not strength or intelligence — is the key to unlocking our potential.”
- “Kites rise highest against the wind, not with it.”
- “If you are going through hell, keep going.”
- “For myself I am an optimist — it does not seem to be much use to be anything else.”
- “Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm.”
- “We shall not fail or falter; we shall not weaken or tire… And if we do, it shall be the enemy’s fault, not ours.”
- “The empires of the future are the empires of the mind.”
- “History will be kind to me for I intend to write it.”
The Real Quotes
- “I have not fear of the future. Let us go forward into its mysteries, let us tear aside the veils which hide it from our eyes, and let us move onward with confidence and courage.”
- “This is the lesson: never give in, never give in, never, never, never, never — in nothing, great or small, large or petty — never give in except to convictions of honour and good sense. Never yield to force; never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy.”
- “You ask what is our aim? I can answer in one word: Victory. Victory at all costs. Victory in spite of all terror. Victory however long and hard the road may be. For without victory there is no survival.”
- “Today we may say aloud before an awe-struck world, ‘We are still masters of our fate. We still are captain of our souls.'”
- “We have not journeyed across the centuries, across the oceans, across the mountains, across the prairies, because we are made of sugar candy.”
- “Now this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning.”
- “We shape our buildings, and afterwards our buildings shape us.”
- “All will be well. We have, I believe, within us the life-strength and guiding light by which the tormented world around us may find the harbour of safety, after a storm-beaten voyage.”
- “We have surmounted all the perils and endured all the agonies of the past. We shall provide against and thus prevail over the dangers and problems of the future…”
- “My ability to be able to persuade my wife to marry me [was] quite my most brilliant achievement.”
This article was originally published on Inc.
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Tom Koulopoulos is the author of 10 books and founder of the Delphi Group, a 25-year-old Boston-based think tank and a past Inc. 500 company that focuses on innovation and the future of business. He tweets from @tkspeaks.