Winston Churchill

Winston ChurchillWhen you think of all the great things associated with England (and Britain) and the reputation it has built for itself over the years it’s difficult not to mention the great man himself…the one and only, Mr Winston Churchill.

We at The Lads Room salute you!

from wikipedia

 

 

Sir Winston Leonard Spencer-Churchill

KG, OM, CH, TD, DL, FRS, RA (30 November 1874 – 24 January 1965) was a British politician who was the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1940 to 1945 and again from 1951 to 1955. Widely regarded as one of the greatest wartime leaders of the 20th century, 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.

Churchill was born into the aristocratic family of the Dukes of Marlborough, a branch of the Spencer family. His father, Lord Randolph Churchill, was a charismatic politician who served as Chancellor of the Exchequer; his mother, Jennie Jerome, was an American socialite. As a young army officer, he saw action in British India, the Sudan, and the Second Boer War. He gained fame as a war correspondent and wrote books about his campaigns.

At the forefront of politics for fifty years, he held many political and cabinet positions. Before the First World War, he served as President of the Board of Trade, Home Secretary, and First Lord of the Admiralty as part of Asquith’s Liberal government. During the war, he continued as First Lord of the Admiralty until the disastrous Gallipoli Campaign caused his departure from government. He then briefly resumed active army service on the Western Front as commander of the 6th Battalion of the Royal Scots Fusiliers. He returned to government as Minister of Munitions, Secretary of State for War, and Secretary of State for Air. In 1921–1922 Churchill served as Secretary of State for the Colonies, then Chancellor of the Exchequer in Baldwin’s Conservative government of 1924–1929, controversially returning the pound sterling in 1925 to the gold standard at its pre-war parity, a move widely seen as creating deflationary pressure on the UK economy. Also controversial were his opposition to increased home rule for India and his resistance to the 1936 abdication of Edward VIII.

Out of office and politically “in the wilderness” during the 1930s, Churchill took the lead in warning about Nazi Germany and in campaigning for rearmament. At the outbreak of the Second World War, he was again appointed First Lord of the Admiralty. Following the resignation of Neville Chamberlain on 10 May 1940, Churchill became Prime Minister. His steadfast refusal to consider surrender helped inspire British resistance, especially during the difficult early days of the war when the British Commonwealth and Empire stood alone in its active opposition to Adolf Hitler. Churchill was particularly noted for his speeches and radio broadcasts, which helped inspire the British people. He led Britain as Prime Minister until victory over Nazi Germany had been secured.

After the Conservative Party lost the 1945 election, he became Leader of the Opposition to the Labour Government. After winning the 1951 election, he again became Prime Minister, before retiring in 1955. Upon his death, Elizabeth II granted him the honour of a state funeral, which saw one of the largest assemblies of world statesmen in history.[1] Named the Greatest Briton of all time in a 2002 poll, Churchill is widely regarded as being among the most influential people in British history, consistently ranking well in opinion polls of Prime Ministers of the United Kingdom.   More >>

The Winston Churchill School of Adulthood Is Now in Session

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www.artofmanliness.com

Last month, we published a post on 6 reasons why it’s especially hard to become an adult in the modern world, and argued that despite this difficulty, the world still needs grown-ups.

And yet, as we admitted at the end, even when we know how necessary adults are to a flourishing, full-functioning society, it can still be hard to want to grow up ourselves. In popular culture, youth is associated with freedom, fun, and creativity, while grown-ups are seen as dull, constrained, and perpetually stressed out. Adults are perceived as lacking in imagination and zest for life, and seem to be ground down by their responsibilities. So who would want to join their ranks?

One of the most unfortunate tendencies of an adolescent culture is the impulse to fit everything into black and white narratives. Narratives themselves aren’t the issue; in fact, psychologists say that being able to view your life as a story is a key component to mental health and happiness. And as we’ll come to see, being able to imagine yourself as an actor in that story – a kind of hero’s journey – is one of the most important ways of achieving an awesome adulthood. No, it’s not narratives per se that are problematic, but ones that are overly simplistic and one-dimensional.

When you’re young, you feel a burning desire to fit yourself neatly into a clear-cut conception of “who I am.” This tendency may be even stronger in our modern world, where we can carefully curate an image of ourselves on social media of how we want others to view us. We’re a hippie, or a hippie Christian. We’re an adventurous world traveler, or a bookish homebody. We’re a conservative, or someone who hates conservatives. Yet an identity that can be built with carefully chosen pictures, and selected from a platter of dropdown menus, is quite limiting. A clearly delineated identity can feel very secure, but it keeps us moving along a single track of thought and experience.

Part of maturity is being able to comfortably sit with two seemingly contradictory ideas and energies. “I can be this and that.” “I can doubt that, but believe this.” “I can prioritize this, without giving up my love for that.” Being able to comfortably operate in different dimensions has a two-fold benefit. First, it provides a satisfying steadiness that allows you to make real progress with your life. When you’re young, you often go all-in on one phase, and then swing over whole hog into another when something in your life changes. If someone challenges how you’re living at the peak of one of these phases, you feel incredibly angry. Or, if you come to feel one of your long-held beliefs isn’t true, you tend to freak out, and feel angry and betrayed, launching a period where you don’t believe anything anymore, and define yourself only in opposition to your old creed.

As you mature, you become able to examine new ideas without feeling anxious or threatened by them; you gain the ability to calmly sift through your changing opinions and examine things more objectively. You have a core foundation of principles, but feel the freedom to play with other lines of thought. In doing so, sometimes you come to feel that there are expectations and “shoulds” of adulthood that just seem silly, and you reject them. And sometimes, you realize that something you like or believe isn’t completely rational, but you decide you don’t care and keep it in your life anyway, simply because you enjoy it so much.

A comfort with contradictions may seem like a cop-out – feigned indifference in the guise of nuanced enlightenment. And it can be if it only amounts to a “meh” attitude of “it’s all the same to me” – in which there is no collision of various energies in one’s life, because there are no energies, period. Certainly many an adult lives this kind of gray existence where not much thought is given to the meaning and purpose of life, outside of fulfilling one’s basic necessities each day.

Yet to actually hold a whole spectrum of energies is something far different. In such a case the effect is something like a particle collider – in which the contact between your different beliefs/ideas/interests creates access to new knowledge and planes of existence that wouldn’t have been possible otherwise.

Think about it – what are the best, most exciting, most engrossing movies/books/TV shows you’ve consumed? Those with simplistic plots? Or those with rich narratives filled with complex characters, conflict, and some mystery?

When we’re kids, children’s books and films capture our attention. But as adults, we’re ready to grapple with more. As it goes in media, so it goes in our lives. The false narrative in which “being young is awesome/being an adult sucks” works well when you’re actually young, but as you mature in age, it reaps increasingly diminished returns. To grow up well, you need a new mindset, one with an expanded palette of possibilities.

The greatest aspect of adulthood is one’s ability to imagine whatever kind of life you’d like for yourself, and to have the power, freedom, and independence to turn that vision into a reality. You can make whatever you will of it, without interference from parents, teachers, or other authority figures.

In this act of creation, you want to be able to draw not only from the toolbox of childlike inclinations, but those of adulthood as well. The task of growing up well is learning to keep the best energies of youth, while combining them with the different privileges and pleasures of maturity. To settle down, without completely settling in.

This may all seem hard to grasp in the abstract; it’s much easier to understand when seen lived out in the life of an individual. And nobody embodied the possibility of combining a youthful love of adventure, imagination, and excitement with the adult qualities of soberness, duty, and responsibility more than Winston Churchill. Thus, over the course of the next several weeks, we will be conducting a case study on growing up well, using the British Bulldog as our guide.

Galloping in Harness, or Fueling the Particle Collider of Adulthood

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When it comes to achieving one of the most interesting, eventful, and outright original adulthoods in history, Winston Churchill surely has no rival. He was a writer, a politician, an orator, a family man, a painter, a lifelong adventurer, and much, much more. Of the supreme fullness of Churchill’s life, his biographer, William Manchester, writes:

“If one accepts Freud’s dictum that mental health is the ability to love and work, Churchill possessed his full mental health. If anything, Churchill had attained what the American humanist psychologist Abraham Maslow called ‘self-actualization,’ the condition at the top of Maslow’s ‘hierarchy of needs,’ where is found creativity, morality, spontaneity, and the ability to parse problems, accept facts, and refute prejudices.”

 

When poet and literary critic John Squire met Churchill he summed up his impression of the man by saying this: “I have met many politicians; this is the first one who was alive.”

Or as Churchill himself put it, “We are all worms, but I do believe that I am a glow worm.”

Winston didn’t achieve his glow from journeying into adulthood with the mindset of “the best of life is behind me – time to put aside every childish thing and get on with being a boring old grown-up.” Though Churchill did sometimes wax nostalgic about his youth – “Twenty to twenty-five! These are the years!” he declared when looking back over his life — he could also truthfully say that “I have been happier every year since I became a man.” So too, he counted the years 1940-41 as the very best of his life – years he experienced as a 60-something leader in a war-ravaged nation, an age when most men are retiring into a post-work glide, rather than delving into one of the most stressful events and positions imaginable.

Rather than believing that the end of his youth was the end of the greatest period of his life, Churchill always kept in front of him the knowledge of how short life really is, and how great the heights of human potential. To not just take advantage of his time, but to really, deeply enjoy it, instead of jettisoning his childish inclinations altogether, he marshaled them as fuel for the relishing of his adult responsibilities. He felt no pressure to keep his identity and his life’s narrative cropped into neat categories; Churchill was quite happy to live with a myriad of seeming contradictions:

He was full of boyish mischief, humor, and enthusiasm, and yet willingly took on what was arguably the 20th century’s greatest burden of leadership.

He continually sought for adventure, but was happiest at home with his wife and children, and found his greatest pleasure in life’s most simple: good food, good drink, and good company.

He outsourced his daily duties from dressing to feeding himself to servants, but reveled in the dirt, danger, and hardship of being in the trenches of war.

He was a staunch traditionalist, who lived and breathed the lessons of history, but could also be incredibly innovative and forward thinking.

He was agnostic in his religious beliefs, but maintained a moral code of absolutes and saw life as an outright battle between the forces of good and the forces of evil.

He could be tough and hard-nosed, and yet cheerfully admitted to being an unabashed sentimentalist who cried regularly and freely.

He was detail-oriented and realistic, and yet imaginative, intuitive, and thoroughly Romantic.

He was learned and thoughtful, and yet defined his identity and success through action.

He worked like 10 men, and played like a little boy.

It is not as if all of these propensities always worked together smoothly in tandem. Quite not; the man had plenty of flaws. His was the true hero’s journey – with all the excitement, joy, mystery, and yes, messiness, that the greatest of such tales invariably involve. As Manchester remarks, his life was “a moral journey of many twists and turns, of chutes and ladders…For every diarist who notes his exuberance, fairness, geniality, or generosity, there is to be found another who alludes to his roughness, his sarcasm, his low moods, and his bellicosity—sometimes the same observer on the same day.” As one of Churchill’s colleagues observed, Winston truly had a “zigzag streak of lightning on the brain.”

Yet having at least a little bit of that lightning may be the very best way to avoid the dull grayness of adulthood. All grown-ups have flaws; none of us completely succeed in mastering the impulses of our youth. But that doesn’t mean we ought to squash such impulses entirely. Left unchanneled, these energies can indeed imperil our progress into maturity; but properly harnessed, they can be vital in moving it along.

That’s how Churchill saw it. He was very fond of Plato’s Allegory of the Chariot, where the human spirit is likened to a chariot pulled by a white and a dark horse. The white horse represents man’s noble, spirited aims, while the dark horse symbolizes his appetite for fame, wealth, food, and drink. The charioteer is tasked with keeping the two disparate steeds in harness, working together to pull the chariot into the heavens that it might glimpse eternal truths and sit among the gods. Though having two horses full of energy and thumos makes them harder to control, it also makes their potential so much greater. Churchill’s own horses often pulled in different directions, and sometimes got him off track, but the overall trajectory was always the same – onwards and upwards.

Enroll in the Winston Churchill School of Adulthood

If it still seems difficult to grasp how different energies might be incorporated into your life in order to cultivate an interesting, adventurous, and fulfilling adulthood, fear not – each installment of this series will explore these dichotomies in full. Today represents only an introduction to the “curriculum” we’ll now begin to explore.

And while it might seem that lessons from Churchill’s life wouldn’t apply to us average joes, since he conducted his on such an outsized, historically significant stage, the fundamental insights one can glean are truly timeless and universal, and can help anyone grow up better.

As we’ll come to see, the crux of what Churchill has to teach us is this: the key to an awesome adulthood is to embrace the grownup power to make the desires and dreams of one’s childhood a reality, and that the task of doing so involves a rich toolbox of energies – those both of youth and maturity. Though one may never go down in history as a hero, one can choose to live each day heroically.

Join us for the Winston Churchill School of Adulthood to find out how.

 

Read the Entire Series

A Prerequisite Class on Becoming the Author of Your Own Life
Lesson #1: Develop a Mighty Moral Code
Lesson #2: Establish a Daily Routine
Lesson #3: Live Romantically
Lesson #4: Cultivate a Nostalgic Love for History
Lesson #5: Don’t Give Up Your Sense of Adventure
Lesson #6: Don’t Be Afraid to Start a Family
Lesson #7: Work Like a Slave; Command Like a King; Create Like a God
Tips on Hustling, Leadership, and Hobbies from Winston Churchill
Conclusion: Thought + Action = An Awesome Adulthood

 

www.artofmanliness.com

THE MANLIEST COOL BEARD STYLES OF 2015

Congratulations. You have a beard that evokes images of manliness and superiority to all those weaker men beneath you that can’t, or don’t have the guts to sport a beard. Since time immemorial, men have grown beards as a way to show their strength, status and power. Men that can grow a beard strike fear in the hearts of the bare faced baristas of the world. They secretly want what you have and now it’s time for you to take full advantage of your genes and decide on a style that works best for your face and structure.

And remember, beards aren’t just a symbol of manliness, but they also serve well to keep you warm in the winter and protect your face from ultraviolet light. Wear your beard proudly, but don’t forget that a well-groomed beard is the key to invoking envy and attraction in the fairer sex.

THE SHADOW

This beard works well for men that can grow facial hair quickly and have a good, strong chin. If you want to wear this style of beard, the trick is to make it look like you have just too much testosterone coursing through your veins to ever get a decent shave. At the same time, you want to keep the beard tidy, give it shape and make sure it doesn’t look sloppy or messy. Trim just below the jaw line to help outline your jaw and use good trimmer everyday to get the right look.

A close relative to this style is the stubble look, ever so slightly longer, in which you also need to maintain good grooming habits to prevent looking like a bum. For men with fair hair and men with light or medium facial hair growth, this will be more attainable than a shadow, since you probably hardly get that effect.

Bottom line is that you need to not shave for 1-3 days, then make sure you carefully trim it daily for a shadow and once every 2 or 3 days for a stubble look.

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RECOMMENDED TOOLS FOR THIS STYLE

TrimmerMangroomer Scruff Sculptor Pro – While not the best trimmer overall, it’s the closest stubble setting you can get (and specializes in stubble and shadow trimming) and has some handy features like a ‘whisker belly’ that catches some of the cut hair.

DetailerPhilips Norelco NT9130 D-Finer – The exact outline of your beard is very important when it’s so short, so make sure you pick up something that is meant specifically for the fine details. This unit is one of the top rated grooming tools on the market today.

Oil/ConditionerBotanical Skin Works Men’s Bay Lime Beard Conditioning Oil – It’s incredibly important if you’re doing regular trimming to keep both your face skin and your beard hair constantly moisturized. While you don’t have to break your ways if you’ve never used it before, we highly recommend you at least give it a shot before you knock it!

SHORT BOXED BEARD

The short boxed beard is an all around strong beard style that works well for those that don’t want to go the full beard route. This beard is carefully sculpted and requires work to maintain. Using a close crop and defined edges it showcases the cheekbones and helps to outline the jaw. This option works well for people that don’t have a prominent chin and can help give a more robust look to your face. The hairline extends just an inch or so below the chin and doesn’t go all the way to the neck. Managers and other professionals can sport the short boxed beard while still maintaining a put together, professional look. The short boxed beard is perfect for angular, oval, heart-shaped and round-shaped faces.

Be careful if you’re going for this, as it’s slightly less than a full beard, as we mentioned, and you want to be very careful you do NOT cut your neck line too high. It can really make you look like a doorknob and give you a really unflattering line where your beard ends and your neck begins.

RECOMMENDED TOOLS FOR THIS STYLE

TrimmerPhilips Norelco QG3380 Multigroom Pro – This has multiple heads you can easily switch between, including a foil shaver and a small detailing trimmer. This will make sure you can get both a really high quality trim for the majority of your beard, but also do the detail work this style requires.

Oil/ConditionerBotanical Skin Works Men’s Bay Lime Beard Conditioning Oil – Like the shadow/stubble look we talked about above, it will be important for you with a fairly short beard, to keep things clean and well maintained to make sure you don’t look like a slob. Try this out if you’re going to be keeping things fairly short with a fair bit of shaving (like on your neck and cheeks).

TIGHT BEARD

The tight beard comes in close on the face and uses a trimmer setting of about 2 millimeters. However, for the most professional look, you may want to invest in some specialty beard trimming shears. The beard provides the face with definition and strong character, but it also requires you to be able to grow hair higher up on the chin. The tight beard stops midway up the cheek to and connects fairly evenly with the mustache, line. This beard requires you to pay special attention as it grows out to prevent it from getting too long. Those that grow facial hair extremely quickly may not like the amount of maintenance required to keep this beard looking trim and neat.

This is very similar to the short boxed beard, but extends up the cheeks a bit more. Think of it like this in terms of progression of face coverage: Chin Strap > Short Boxed Beard > Tight Beard > Full Beard.

RECOMMENDED TOOLS FOR THIS STYLE

TrimmerPhilips Norelco QT4014 – An all around great trimmer, you won’t have any difficulties keeping up with either the short length requirements or the little bit of detailing work that goes into this beard style.

OLDE ENGLISH

Olde English incorporates several beard styles into one manly and rugged look. Think mutton chops with a thick beard that goes all the way to the chin line. It provides full facial coverage stopping just short of covering the cheekbones. This beard style comes with its own personality and once you grow it, people simply won’t know what happened to you if you change styles. It’s the type of style that gives you a unique look and character. This style works great for musicians, authors and those that need to be remembered. It’s also a good option for those with a weaker jawline and chin.

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RECOMMENDED TOOLS FOR THIS STYLE

TrimmerPanasonic ER224S – Because of the potential to have this beard be fairly long, you might want to op for the very versatile ER224s. It has 14 length settings and goes all the way up to 20mm, which is one of the longest lengths you can find on a beard trimmer.

Conditioner: Virtu Beard Balm by Liberty Premium Grooming Co. – As you start growing your beard out a bit, you’ll want to make sure you take very good care of it. It becomes a big part of your style and who you are, so if it’s not well groomed, you risk looking unkempt and like a slob.

FULL BEARD

No discussion of beards would be complete without talking about the full beard. It requires very little maintenance and is arguably the most popular beard style. Use a trimmer set at about 4 to 6 millimeters to keep it looking neat. Or, let it grow out even further to provide a thick, masculine appearance. The full beard completely covers the upper lip, cheeks, chin and goes all the way back to the neck. It works great for any facial structure, but the style does require some patience if your facial hair grows slowly. Many men quit before obtaining a full beard. Other men will respect you if you wear a full beard properly. Those with beards know how much effort and maintenance goes in to taming a beard and making it look presentable. For those that can grow a full beard, it is still the most sought after bearded style.

RECOMMENDED TOOLS FOR THIS STYLE

TrimmerPanasonic ER-CA35-K – This has the longest length setting available. Sure, you can do the full beard with a pretty short shave, and this will cover you for that, too, but if you’re rocking the classic, full-on face-covering beard, you’ll want a longer setting, I’m sure.

ShearsUtopia Care Professional Barber Razor Edge Hair Cutting Shears – Again, if it’s a longer style you’re after, you may have to skip the trimmer and go with the shears. If you’re the manliest of men and can grow a good beard without shaving (this is super rare – a lot of guys THINK they can pull this off but can’t, so if you really can…you the man!), forgo all trimming, but if you need just a bit of help, getting good with shears can be very helpful.

Conditioner: Virtu Beard Balm by Liberty Premium Grooming Co. – Again, with any length of beard over a few millimeters, you’ll want to keep it very well ‘fed’ with nutrients so it doesn’t get scraggly and dry and unclassy.

Choose a style that works with your facial structure and your willingness to commit to good grooming habits. If you want to be lazy about your facial hair, you’re better off joining the masses that shave daily and don’t have the willpower to maintain a beard. A beard is a status symbol and if properly maintained it shows a strong degree of discipline. Most importantly, a beard is an expression of yourself. The colors, texture and shape all say something about you, so take your time when cultivating your beard and develop a style you can call your own.

For specific styles of facial hair for black men, click here.

More grooming articles await you here!

www.beardinstitute.com