Alexander the Great and The Trumpet Of Victory

In Blog, Confidence, Leadership, Mental Toughness
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Alexander the Great is a known name in history for one simple reason: Victory. Alexander won a lot. And as Winston Churchill said, history is written by the victors. Alexander had many victories to his name.

But one particular battle wasn’t going so well for Alexander’s army.

In the heat of a losing battle, Alexander recognized the situation for what it was. He decided his army needed to disengage and retreat. Calling to his trumpet master, Alexander gave the order: Sound the trumpet of retreat! Then Alexander went back out to the battlefield himself, where he was known to fight right alongside his soldiers.

Back in those days, there were no radios or satellites. The only way to get a message to the entire army during battle army was by some signal the army knew how to interpret. Alexander’s army was trained to know each trumpet signal by sound. Alexander had decided this time to retreat, and live to fight another day.

But minutes had gone by, and the damn trumpet hadn’t yet sounded.

Alexander made his way back to the trumpeters’ area again, and again commanded the “retreat” trumpet to be played. After a few more minutes of fighting and his army losing more ground, Alexander was vexed to still not hear the signal playing.

Alexander came back to the trumpeters again and demanded an explanation. He had given a command, why had it not been followed?

The trumpeter finally admitted to the source of his disobedience. He had neglected to bring the trumpet of retreat. The trumpeter had grown used to only using the trumpet of victory, sounded when Alexander’s army was close to finishing the opponent. The trumpeter had stopped even carrying the retreat trumpet.

Taking a moment to ponder this, Alexander took the only option he had.

Sound the trumpet of victory, then! 

Alexander’s army, meanwhile, was ignorant of any of this conversation or the big-picture situation of the battle; each soldier could only see what was in front of him. Upon hearing the trumpet of victory sound, the soldiers did what they’d been trained to do: give one last push needed to finish off the enemy and win another battle.

Which is exactly what happened.

***

Each Of Us

We all have a personal trumpet of victory and defeat. Some of us have stopped packing one or the other, or even both.

Think of that person you know who always starts thinking bad things as soon as the smallest detail isn’t perfect. Do you know anyone who seems to mess up even the most fortuitous of circumstances? What about someone unable to even enjoy success, as they are convinced it must be a fluke or mistake? [shareable cite=”@DreAllDay”]Some people find failure and defeat in even the most fortuitous of circumstances. [/shareable]

These are people who have used their trumpet of defeat/retreat so often, it’s the only tune they know. And they respond to it, quickly and efficiently, every time.

You probably have someone in mind right now who this description fits well.

There are others, though, who always seem to be UP emotionally. Always happy, positive, looking for the way to make every circumstance work to his advantage. The person who, just by walking in the room, changes the energy of the whole situation. This is the guy or girl you love to hang with or look up online, because you know you’re gonna get something uplifting and empowering. A breath of fresh air for your mind and soul.

These are the people who, no matter what, only play their trumpet of victory. Doesn’t mean they don’t recognize issues that need to be handled; it means they recognize them only to figure out how to make them work. Not why it’s bad, who’s to blame or how this ruins everything. [shareable cite=”@DreAllDay”]Some people, no matter what, ONLY play their trumpet of victory.[/shareable]

Then you have people who play neither trumpet. This is the person whose life, happiness, sadness and results are always based on what someone else is (not) doing. They listen for other trumpets and follow what they hear, even if it has nothing to do with them.

You

Your every thought is the playing of a trumpet. And you respond to whichever notes you’ve programmed yourself to respond to. A foreign note, no matter how loud, can’t even get your attention.

Question: Which notes do YOU know best?

Keep in mind, no one is ever too old to learn new music.

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