Alexander III (356-323 B.C.), king of Macedon, parlayed his
father Philip II’s conquest of Greece into an empire that
expanded from the Balkans to the Nile to the Himalayas,
subduing tens of millions of people along the way.
Alexander led his troops into every encounter.
A bit of an over-achiever, the historian Plutarch wrote that Alexander
wept upon learning that the universe was infinite. When asked what
was wrong, he replied: “There are so many worlds, and I have not yet
conquered even one.” Here are 15 Life Lessons from him :
Lesson 1 : Have the great mentor
Alexander’s father, Philip, chose Aristotle (384-322 B.C.) to instruct his 13year-old son. Aristotle taught the young prince geography, zoology, politics
and medicine. Alexander was greatly influenced by the philosopher’s
teachings. On later military campaigns, Alexander brought scientists with
him and sent plant and animal specimens back to his former mentor.
Lesson 2 : Seize the opportunity when your time comes
Alexander’s mentor and father Philip was assassinated. Alexander
had to act boldly and consolidate power to avoid letting his destiny
slip through his grasp.
Lesson 3 : Have clear vision
After solidifying his rule of Macedonia and Greece, Alexander looked
east to Asia and the Persian Empire, which was led by Darius III. As he
took his first steps in Asia, he pulled his weapon from the sand and
declared that these lands would be won by the spear.
Lesson 4 : Lead From The Front
Alexander envisioned a great empire for himself and
Macedonia and inspired his army by leading from the
front and boldness of action.
Lesson 5 : Declare your name big
Alexander decided to enter Egypt, which had been under Persian rule for
almost 200 years. It is said that he was guided by ravens and blessed with
rain. Upon his arrival, the priest apparently told him he was the son of
Zeus. Whether or not Alexander believed in his own divinity, he played it up
to his own advantage.
Lesson 6 : Keep it simple and think different
Solved the “unsolvable” Gordian Knot dilemma with quick action
and a sword he did not get caught up in unneeded thought.
Lesson 7 : Change your strategy.
If you see something in your life isn’t working, change it up. You must
be flexible in your quest to succeed. That’s what Alexander did. He
started with the idea of the mole, but when that alone didn’t work, he
added catapults and naval ships.
Lesson 8 : Be supremely confident.
Darius the III, King of Persia, offered Alexander a truce, land, and his
daughter’s hand in marriage. Alexander refused the offer and instructed
Darius to henceforth refer to Alexander as “Lord of Asia,” and not as an
equal. He added, “I shall pursue you, wherever you may be.” Never doubt
you can accomplish what you set out to do and do not compromise.
Lesson 9 : Reward yourself.
Alexander’s men were famously and supremely loyal to him. He bred this
loyalty and kept his men’s resolution strong by recognizing and rewarding
them individually for the brave deeds in battle. Apply this same principle in
your own life. After you fulfill one step, go out and treat yourself to something.
Lesson 10 : Listen to your trusted advisers
It soon became clear that Asia was larger than had been estimated. After
years of conquest even Alexander’s battle hardened army reached its
limits. He had a mutiny on his hands when he desired to press on past the
Hyphasis River and had to temper his desires of conquest or risk total loss.
Lesson 11 : Learn from the greatest mistakes
It was probably Alexander’s greatest mistake, as 15,000 of his men died of
starvation or heat in the Gedrosan Desert — more than all those he lost in
battle. The journey may have taken its toll on Alexander as well. Alexander
succumbed to his men’s pleas and turned back to his homeland.
Lesson 12 : Don’t take life for granted.
With death staring him in his face, Alexander realized how his conquests,
his great army, his sharp sword and all his wealth were of no consequence.
“I want my physicians to carry my coffin because people should realize that
no doctor can really cure any body. They are powerless and cannot save a
person from the clutches of death. So let not people take life for granted.”
Lesson 13 : Don’t waste time to chase wealth
Alexander said, “The second wish of strewing gold, silver and other riches on
the way to the graveyard is to tell People that not even a fraction of gold will
come with me. I spent all my life earning riches but cannot take anything
with me. Let people realize that it is a sheer waste of time to chase wealth.”
Lesson 14 : Only wisdom and goodness can go with you after death
Alexander said, “And about my third wish of having my hands dangling out
of the coffin, I wish people to know that I came empty handed into this
world and empty handed I go out of this world.” With these words, the king
closed his eyes. Soon he let death conquer him and breathed his last. . . . .
Lesson 15 : Leave a legacy
Alexander’s name will never be forgotten until the world ends. A man for
the ages leaves his mark on the earth and is remembered for excellence
in his chosen field. Alexander the Great was trained from birth to be a
conqueror and he lived up to his destiny and then some.
I am indebted to my
father for living, but
to my teacher for
Thank You Very Much