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Hannibal and Me

What History’s Greatest Military Strategist Can Teach Us About Success and Failure

By Andreas Kluth
16-minute read
Hannibal and Me: What History’s Greatest Military Strategist Can Teach Us About Success and Failure by Andreas Kluth

Hannibal and Me details the famous Carthaginian general Hannibal’s quest to conquer Rome. The author Andreas Kluth draws from Hannibal’s biography valuable lessons on strategy, coping and finding the meaning of life.

  • Anyone who wants to improve their life
  • Anyone interested in Roman and Carthaginian history
  • Military history buffs

Kluth is a German-American journalist and author, who worked at various posts with the magazine The Economist since 1997.

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Hannibal and Me

What History’s Greatest Military Strategist Can Teach Us About Success and Failure

By Andreas Kluth
  • Read in 16 minutes
  • Contains 10 key ideas
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Hannibal and Me: What History’s Greatest Military Strategist Can Teach Us About Success and Failure by Andreas Kluth
Synopsis

Hannibal and Me details the famous Carthaginian general Hannibal’s quest to conquer Rome. The author Andreas Kluth draws from Hannibal’s biography valuable lessons on strategy, coping and finding the meaning of life.

Key idea 1 of 10

Your parents have a great influence on you – whether you emulate them, yearn for their affection or rebel against them.

Do you admire your parents’ accomplishments, or would you want to live a completely different life? No matter how you answer, your life is ultimately influenced by your parents.

Some wish to emulate their parents, seeing them as role models. If your parents are successful in a way you admire, it’s likely that you’ll feel pressure to follow suit.

Hannibal’s father, for example, was a highly regarded Carthaginian general. For Hannibal, it was clear even at an early age that he should emulate – if not exceed – his father’s valor. Despite all his father’s  successes, he was unable to defeat the Roman army in the first Punic War, and so Hannibal made it his life’s mission to exceed his father’s reputation by conquering Rome.

Yet, even if your parents were absent in your life, it’s still common to search instead for the idea of a parent. Unfortunately, many people don’t know their parents – they may be orphans or might even be abandoned by their parents. This doesn’t mean, however, that their parents don’t influence them.

For instance, a child might start a search for their missing parent, often knowing only their name or having just a picture to go by. The child might satisfy her expectations through this quest to find her parent, which would help in forming a stable identity, or maybe the search will continue forever, preventing the child from ever settling down. But even this restlessness is a form of parental influence.

On the other hand, children who receive too much attention from their parents tend to rebel against them. If a child becomes overwhelmed by their parents’ presence, then he or she will typically rebel, perhaps by seeking out rebellious relationships or by dressing provocatively.

But even in her rebellion, the child is still influenced by the parents: her actions are a response to those of her parents, without which the rebellion would have no basis.

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