Life Lessons from Great Men

One of the best ways to become heroes
is to learn from heroes of the past. The
following men had their own fears,
weaknesses, and doubts. But unlike
many today, they adapted, rose above,
and accomplished great things.
Here are five things we can learn from

James J. Braddock;

Lesson: Never, never, never give up.
“I have to believe that when things are
bad I can change them.”
In James J. Braddock we learn one of
the most – if not the most – important
lesson one can learn: never give up. No
matter how dark things get, no matter
how hopeless the future looks, giving up
can never be an option.
Not only did Braddock not give up, he
didn’t compromise the man he is. He
didn’t cut corners. When other men
were leaving their families during The
Great Depression, Braddock, a
heavyweight boxer, put his family on
his back. He swallowed his pride and
did everything he needed to do to save
his family.
If you haven’t read “Cinderella Man” or
watched the movie of the same title, I
highly recommend doing so. It’s hard to
find a better example of what it means
to be a real man than -James J.

Winston Churchill;

Lesson: How to be a leader.
“History will be kind to me for I intend to
write it.”
Where would we be today without
Winston Churchill’s unwavering belief
in himself and his values? (Most likely
we'd be living in a totalitarian state,
with our success determined not by our
talents or hard work, but by our race
and social stature.)
Churchill had a clear understanding of
right and wrong. He knew when he
was right, and he wouldn’t compromise
his beliefs for popularity – a rarity in
politics. When the world turned a blind
eye to the Nazi’s, Churchill saw an evil
man, with evil ambitions and decided to
take a stand against him.
He was an original. He was a painter, a
soldier, a bricklayer, a politician, an
award-winning author. More than
anything, he was a leader. He inspired
the British people even when the
Germans were bombarding London and
defeat seemed certain.
Too often we fall in line with what
others think. We mold ourselves to
become more liked and accepted. Being
a leader isn’t about adapting so that
more people will like you, it’s about
leading the life that coincides with who
you are. Churchill was unique and
unwavering, two characteristics that
helped him lead with courage, while
others failed under the immense

Nelson Mandela;

Lesson: Finding light amidst darkness.
“If you want peace with your enemy, you
have to work with your enemy. Then he
becomes your partner.”
We all have lows. We have dark times
that seem like they’ll never end. Within
this darkness some find light and
opportunity, while others only see pain
and sadness.
The thing is, we all have the ability to
find opportunity where there seems to
be none, but only a select few take
charge of themselves and do so. Those
that do are heroes. Those that don’t live
in self-pity.
Nelson Mandela is one of those people
who created a great life out of terrible
circumstance. It didn’t just happen — he
made it happen.
When he was finally released after 27
years, Mandela became President of
South Africa and kept his nation from a
bloody civil war. He made his enemy his
partner and brought peace to a place
that was headed for mass bloodshed.
Optimism isn’t ignoring the bad and
only focusing on the good. It’s
acknowledging the bad, but refusing to
let it dominate you. Mandela had a
clear understanding of the hell that he
was in, but chose to find ways to
become better and move forward, when
others around him let their bitterness
and hate get the best of them.
His entire nation benefitted from the
choices he made.

Warren Buffett;

Lesson: Responsibility to human
beings other than ourselves.
Chains of habit are too light to be felt
until they are too heavy to be broken.”
It’s human nature to think of ourselves
first and foremost. And a lot of times
it’s necessary. We need to take care of
ourselves before we can turn the focus
to others. But who of us actually turns
the focus to helping others when we are
stable and have what we need?
Warren Buffett is a very, very smart
man. He runs his life and his business
based on some very simple and logical
theories and rules. He’s made billions,
and has made others billions as well.
And now he’s giving billions.
As one of the world’s richest men, he
lives in an average house and gives
most of his money to charities around
the world. He’s been given a great gift,
but he doesn’t simply use that gift to
better his own situation; instead he’s
turned his focus to helping others.
When we’re dust, who’ll remember the
man who had the biggest house? No
one. We’ll remember the guy who
helped his fellow man live better lives.
We’ll remember the person who had the
greatest impact on humanity, not on his
own wallet.
Buffett’s impact on humanity is – and
will be – massive. We may not make the
same amount of money as Buffett, but
we all have our gifts. It’s great to use
those gifts to better our own situation,
but a real hero uses those gifts to help
others as well.

Abraham Lincoln;

Lesson: It’s not where you start, but
where you finish that matters most.
There’s no substitute for hard work.
“Things may come to those who wait…
but only the things left by those who

Abraham Lincoln had ambition and a
will to succeed that is hard to rival. He
wasn’t privileged. He wasn’t even
formally educated in grade school or
high school because his father wouldn’t
allow him to attend; rather, he learned
to read and write by teaching himself.
He wasn’t born with anything
extraordinary besides his need to prove
others wrong, and to better himself. It
was pure grit, hard work and hustle
that turned him into a great man and
an American hero.
His impact on society will be felt
forever. He finished his life far too
prematurely, but will go down as one of
the greatest heroes in American history.
Not bad for a guy who lived in houses
with dirt floors growing up.
It doesn't where we start. What matters
is where we end up. We might not have
the best genetics or the most money; we
might not be the smartest, or the
funniest. But we all have the ability to
hustle. And, as we see in Lincoln, we
can all work hard and make something
of our lives.



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