Creative LeadershipCreativity

Are You Prepared When Your “One Big Thing” Happens?

I’m a huge fan of Winston Churchill. In researching my new book “One Big Thing: Discovering What You Were Born to Do” Churchill was one of the lives I studied. He was a fighter who refused to give up. He came back from defeat to lead the British against the Nazis. He fought depression most of his life. And yet he was an incredible inspiration to millions of people. One of my favorite quotes has a lot to say to all of us:

“To each there comes in their lifetime a special moment when they are figuratively tapped on the shoulder and offered the chance to do a very special thing, unique to them and fitted to their talents. What a tragedy if that moment finds them unprepared or unqualified for that which could have been their finest hour.”

The questions we have to answer in response are:

1. Are you ready for that moment?
2. If not, what do you have to do to be ready?

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  1. Phil,

    What truth!

    There is a tide in the affairs of men.
    Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune;
    Omitted, all the voyage of their life
    Is bound in shallows and in miseries.
    On such a full sea are we now afloat,
    And we must take the current when it serves,
    Or lose our ventures.

    Spoken by Brutus, in Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar, Act 4

    I have seen this phenom in the lives of others and I have lived it in my own life!

    God grant us the wisdom to recognize the tide and the courage to step into that tide!

    Just be certain you’ve held a deep breath to ride the under current until new opportunity is revealed!


  2. I have a big Winston Churchill quote on my fridge, NEVER, NEVER, NEVER GIVE UP.

    Yep, I’m ready! I strongly believe you have to keep honing your skills, no matter what’s on your calendar, as far as work/affirmation; even in the dry times, you keep on keepin’ on – and with that in mind, so I write and hone the humor, since I believe that is what God has given me to do. (And I’m very grateful.)

    Thanks for this post! peace, trl

  3. Wow, Phil.  This is a powerful quote. Need to write it down in… The Bible says that we should examine ourselves. Perhaps if we took time to truly do so, we could begin to see the gifts and talents God has given us and prepare ourselves accordingly. Even so, another important part of the equation is being a person of integrity, having compassion and a spirit of excellence. Then when the opportunity comes, we can walk into it and remain. 

    Allen Paul Weaver III Author, Transition: Breaking Through the Barriers and Speedsuit Powers (Dec 2009)

  4. Phil, do you know the source for this quote? It’s a fantastic quote and I’ve been wanting to use it, but all the resources I’m finding are claiming Churchill never said it. (Books like Churchill on Churchill are saying it is an apocryphal quote) Can you point me to your reference?

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