Ray Charles and Winston Churchill Shared a Powerful Philosophy

If you were to ask the average person what they knew about Winston Churchill, they would more than likely mention his famous speech in which he said, “Never give up.”

Here’s a brief bio and an interesting fact about that famous speech.

  • Winston Churchill was a British politician, statesman and orator known for his leadership of the United Kingdom during the WWII. He is widely regarded as one of the great wartime leaders. He also served as Prime Minister twice 1940-45 and 1951-55. He passed away in 1965 at the age of 91.
  • Concerning his speech … it was reported that he delivered his inspiring message to the boys of his old school, Harrow, in 1941 and the entire text of his speech consisted of five short sentences built around his advice that you should “never give up.” It was commonly reported that he supposedly spoke for less than a minute and immediately sat down.

Actually, that was a myth that has been recorded in many history books over the years. In reality, his speech was much longer than reported, and his actual phrase was “never give in” as opposed to “never give up.”

Regardless, it was excellent advice which has been heeded by many over the decades.

In the midst of today’s chaotic turmoil, no one has to be told that times are tough. On the other hand, everyone should be encouraged to “never give in.” We, as parents, grandparents, leaders, etc., have a responsibility to educate, encourage, support and even model this classic message.

Let me tell you about another legendary gentleman who shares this critical philosophy of “never give in.”

This celebrated musician lost his sight at the tender age of six years old. This tragedy left him devastated … feeling lost, alone and totally abandoned. He could visualize no future at all. His mother did her best to support, encourage and console him. However, his fear of the unknown kept him in a constant state of terror.

Watching her son waste away led his mother to make a statement that inspired the young boy and eventually change his life forever. She said, “Son, you have lost your sight and nothing can change that. There are things you can’t do. But there are lots of things you can do. You have a creative mind. Find something you enjoy and stick with it, no matter what.”

Following his mother’s advice, he thought about what he really wanted to do with his life. He had always dreamed of becoming a recording star so he would practice playing the piano and singing every day.

Sadly, he was discouraged at every turn. Friends, neighbors, teachers, and even other family members discouraged him and suggested that he find another way to support himself. They made it clear that he would never play the piano or sing well enough to earn a living.

However, he remembered his mother’s words and refused to quit. He remained focused on his goal and practiced different techniques, different styles and different melodies that would fit him. Many times he cried himself to sleep as a result of the rude remarks which haunted him. However, his mother was always there reminding him that he must never give up.

Ultimately his perseverance paid off.

Later in his life, he received countless awards for his music, including 12 Grammies. He performed before millions of people including Presidents and heads of state. His unique musical style has made a lasting imprint on all forms of popular music over the past 50 years. He credited his success to his mother’s words which remained in the back of his mind until the day he died. He wouldn’t listen to the negative influences in his life and refused to quit. His name: Ray Charles.

The next time someone tells you to forget your dream, remember this young boy’s mother who wouldn’t let him “give in” and the Prime Minister who inspired an entire country with the same message. Is there someone in your life that would benefit from hearing that message from you? It could very well make a crucial difference in their lives.

If your dream is something that you REALLY want, don’t let anything stop you until you achieve it!

About Harry K. Jones

Harry K. Jones is a motivational speaker and consultant for AchieveMax®, Inc., a company of professional speakers who provide custom-designed seminars, keynote presentations, and consulting services. Harry's top requested topics include change management, customer service, creativity, employee retention, goal setting, leadership, stress management, teamwork, and time management. For more information on Harry's presentations, please call 800-886-2629 or fill out our contact form.

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