Wisdom from the Iron Lady

This past weekend we watched the acclaimed performance of Meryl Streep in The Iron Lady, the movie depicting Margaret Thatcher’s life.  As most of you probably know, the movie is a series of flashbacks from the Prime Minister’ life and her impact on history. Her life story is remarkable on many levels. I took away four quotations from the movie, which I believe to be applicable to each of our lives today, and wanted to share with my readers.

“You can rewind it, yet you can’t change it.”

Often when we look back on our lives, decisions, and choices; we think of how things may have been different if other paths had been taken. Other times when we reminisce we revel in the happy memories and joyous times. Regardless, the past is something from which to learn, grow, and often treasure. Yet, we cannot change anything which has happened, we can only steer our choices for the future.

“Steady, old girl.”

Dennis, Prime Minister Thatcher’s husband, would always whisper this in her ear when strong winds of adversity confronted her. Her resolve was unquestionable and became the anchor on which her country relied.  She dug deep. She found her core, her courage; and steadied herself and a nation through extremely challenging times.

“Life used to be about doing something; now it seems it is more about becoming someone.”

Prime Minister Thatcher’s ambition and stalwart intentions to make a difference are legendary. Yet, it has been accounted many times that her desire was not for personal fame; it was to foster real change according to her values and beliefs for her beloved Britain.  This particular quotation struck me. I actually believe when we focus on making a difference and we tie our efforts to a purpose greater than ourselves, we reveal our true selves, and realize we already are ‘someone’.

“Everyone asks about how I feel; no one is asking about what I think. We become what we think about. You see: thoughts become words; words become actions; actions become habits; habits become our character and our character determines our destiny.”

Her character is undeniable and her destiny has certainly been secured. We each have that same opportunity for our lives.

13 responses to “Wisdom from the Iron Lady

  1. I love reading what you blog, and use much of your wisdom in working with my staff to help them develop themselves. Thank you for imparting such gems.

  2. You know “you can rewind it” and “yet you can’t change it” but you can change how you think about it. I too like the “We become what we think about” quote.

    So let’s say you experience a negative outcome – think two thoughts.
    1.) “that’s not like me…”
    2.) “the next time…” and finish it with affirming positive goal desired.
    I learned these two simple tools from Lou Tice and it has helped me significantly.

    Bottom Line: Don’t let your thoughts wallow in negative – instead quickly pivot to positive. Because “we become what we think about”.

  3. Hi Kristin, I recently watched this too and found it fascinating. I noted the line about becoming what we think as i have always believed that everything good or bad begins with a thought in the mind and how we choose to feed that thought or not. However, I missed the line: you can rewind it yet you can’t change it. One thing that I have learned through the years when looking back on the past is that I should not ask questions beginning with why?…because they usually turn me into a victim, but instead I ask questions that start with what? The answers to the questions usually taking me into a direction of moving forward. Thanks for reminding me of this.

  4. I lived in England during the ‘Maggie’ years – she had many detractors of which i am not.
    She was strong and steady in the face of much adversity and she made strides for women and broke through many gender barriers. The world is better for her having been here.

  5. Kristin,
    Thank you for celebrating, via Mrs. Thatcher, the ways women can and do change the world! She never wavered, she knew her friends and adversaries, and the world is a better place for her being in it! Thank you for keeping her in our thoughts and memories –

  6. Thank you to many who have sent emails today and/or commented on the blog post. Margaret Thatcher was a true leader. Not everyone liked her – thought most respected her. She was a force – and will go down in history as a pioneer among women.

  7. If everyone had liked Mrs. Thatcher, she would not have been the force she was.
    Her integrity, her honesty, her commitment and her successes should be an inspiration to women for a long time to come.

  8. I respected Ms. Thatcher but I also seek notice for the man who was the ‘wind beneath her wings’ urging her to soar and hold steady. Both icons for me.

  9. Regardless of how anyone might feel about her politics- this was one AMAZING LADY! She will always be recognized as one of the most powerful forces in advancing women in the public arena- worldwide!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *