Insights for entrepreneurs

How to know what to do with your life- lessons from Napoleon’s biography

We all want to know what our life is all about.

While some tend to avoid the question, others ask themselves

what am I here for?

These questions are tough and probably impossible to answer.

We aren’t even aware of all the possibilities we have in life,

to figure out what is possible for us to become!


I’m currently reading the biography of a

leader i truly admire- Napoleon.

Personally i believe he is misunderstood and

misrepresented with many texts written about him by

his opposers and enemies.

He was certainly controversial, just like any other major leader,

but there’s a lot we can learn from him.

I have always been wondering whether he knew already

at a young age that he will become an emperor.

Could he possibly predict his own greatness?


The answer to that question is both yes and no.

No, he probably couldn’t know he is destined

to become the emperor of France.

He hated France.

Being a Corsican nationalist from the city of Ajaccio,

he saw France as a foreign land.

He also couldn’t predict the French revolution that

enabled someone like him to eventually rise to power.


Yet Napoleon always knew he will be great.

According to his biology, he was a serious bookworm,

reading ancient philosophy and tales of great leaders

such as Julius Caesar and Hannibal when he was 10 years old.

While his friends were playing outside,

he would read Voltaire, Hume, Machiavelli or Descartes.


Moreover, when Napoleon was about 15 years old,

his father died and left him the worst inheritance

one could possible get- massive debt.

The young boy, who was the 2nd oldest in the family,

took it upon himself to save his family and find a solution.

He found out about his leadership through adversity.


I believe there’s a great lesson here for us!

We can identify two of the most important ingredients

for finding out who we are and why we are here-

Reading books and facing adversity.

As a wise man once said-

books are like conversations with those we admire

but could never meet.

Learning from the best is the best way to become the best.

Napoleon would learn every aspect of the great leaders

and even mimic the way they posed in pictures.

He would also apply the lessons he learned

from his idols in the most difficult situations in his life.

For him, the darkest times were practice time for his greatness.


Make it a goal for this year to read more books,

especially about people you admire.

Then take what you learned from them and apply it

whenever you face difficulties and challenges.

See adversity as your training ground, practice hard

and maybe one day you will become the leader you aspire to be!

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