Sir Winston Leonard Spencer-Churchill, was a British statesman who was the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1940 to 1945 and again from 1951 to 1955. Churchill was also an officer in the British Army, a historian, a writer (as Winston S. Churchill), and an artist. He won the Nobel Prize in Literature, and was the first person to be made an honorary citizen of the United States.¹ Amongst his numerous writings and teachings can be found his tips on creativity.
At the Garden City and The Doxology Project we focus a lot on creativity not only in craft but in character. To be on mission for Christ, and to worship him, we must engage not only where we are going, but what we are becoming. As you read Churchill’s list of principles, notice how many of his keys to creativity relate more to character (who you are) than to the actual task at hand. In Churchill’s mind, a creative:
- Allows room for doubt while cultivating a firm moral code.
- Embraces the idea that setting a routine can actually be freeing.
- Is able to see the world realistically, while living romantically.
- Knows all the facts and unflattering details of history, while still finding it inspiring.
- Is able to find adventure both on the battlefield and in front of a typewriter.
- Celebrates tradition, while practicing nonconformity.
- Is both tough and indomitable, and sentimental and emotional.
- Finds that family life can actually increase adventure rather than stifle it.
- Is both nostalgic and forward-looking, while living fully in the present.
- Knows that children can both take years off your life and make you feel young again.
- Finds that passion follows the beginning of a career path, rather than precedes it.
- Discovers that the most effective rejuvenator can be more activity, rather than less.
- Is able to be sober and serious, while always maintaining a sense of humor and fun.
- Discovers that the ball and chain of marriage is anything but…
- Recognizes that taking on more responsibilities can make you feel less stressed, rather than more.
- Commits to lifelong learning, while cultivating consistent principles.
- Is able to think clearly and deeply, while also tirelessly taking action.
¹ Wikipedia, accessed January 27, 2016 from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Winston_Churchill
Tags: Leadership, Creativity, Work, Winston Churchill