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.
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 10 Life Lessons from him : Alexander was a great military commander, leading his troops into every encounter.
Lesson 1 : Have the great mentor Alexander’s father, Philip, chose Aristotle (384-322 B.C.) to instruct his 13-year-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 : 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 3 : Declare your name big After defeating the Persians at the Battle of Issus, 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 4 : Be supremely confident. Right before Alexander’s siege of Tyre, 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 5 : 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 6 : 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 7 : Learn from the greatest mistakes It soon became clear that Asia was larger than had been estimated. With his campaign suffering from ‘mission drift,’ Alexander succumbed to his men’s pleas and turned back. 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.
Lesson 8 : 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 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 9 : 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 10 : 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. . . . .
Thank You Very Much. Sompong Yusoontorn “ I am not afraid of an army of lions led by a sheep; I am afraid of an army of sheep led by a lion.”