Success Stories By Dick Kazan - Valuable lessons on how to succeed in business and in life
Entertaining and compelling real-life stories with valuable
lessons on how to succeed in business and in life.
The author is successful business, real estate, and media entrepreneur Dick Kazan.
Published on Tue August 23, 2005

    Would you like a valuable tip from Aristotle, one of the greatest minds in history?

    Aristotle was born in 384 BC, in Stagira, Macedonia, in Greece. His father was the personal physician to the King of Macedonia. But his parents died when Aristotle was a child and he was raised by a family friend.

    At 17, Aristotle had the great honor of attending a prestigious Athens academy to study under Plato, another of history’s preeminent thinkers, which he did for the next 20 years. Aristotle also became a teacher there.

    To Aristotle’s considerable disappointment, when Plato died in 347 BC, it was Plato’s nephew, rather than he who became head of the academy. Aristotle resigned and accepted teaching assignments elsewhere.

    In 343 BC, King Phillip of Macedonia, seeking an outstanding tutor for his son, hired Aristotle. In the two years Aristotle taught the King’s son, they developed a friendship as well as a scholarly relationship.

    When the son became King, he launched a series of military campaigns conquering most of the known world, an empire stretching thousand of miles. The son became famous as Alexander the Great.

    In 335 BC, Aristotle returned to Athens where he established his own Academy, the Lyceum. For the next 12 years, he focused on teaching and on publishing his works and it was the most productive time in his life. Students came from far and wide to hear his lectures.

   But in 323 BC, Aristotle’s life took a terrible turn. On a military campaign, Alexander became ill and died suddenly at 32. To free themselves from Macedonian rule, the Athenians waged a fierce war. Because Aristotle was born in Macedonia and was Alexander’s tutor and friend, he was seen as pro-Macedonian and therefore, anti-Athenian.

    In this highly emotional atmosphere, the Athenians charged Aristotle with “impiety” (disbelief in the established gods), the same charge that led to Socrates being convicted and executed in 399 BC. Before Aristotle could be prosecuted, he voluntarily and quickly went into exile to the distant island city of Chalcis, taking his wife and their son with him.

    A year later, Aristotle died of a long standing stomach ailment.

   But his wisdom lives with us today. What valuable tip from the exceptional mind of Aristotle have we chosen? “Dignity does not consist in possessing honors, but in deserving them.” Please read these words again and give them careful thought; for they could change your life.

    If you want to become a great leader, give others the credit for major accomplishments. Few people can set their own egos aside to do it, but if you do, you’ll help others to feel good about themselves and they’ll help you in return.

    It’s like a wise quarterback in football. He can bask in victory and claim the honors or he can give the credit to other members of the team, thereby benefiting from their gratitude and winning time and again.

    In the next KazanToday, The man who thought his life was “hopeless,” until he took an hour to look within himself. What he discovered could also greatly benefit you.

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Many of these short stories are about people from all walks of life who overcame seemingly insurmountable obstacles to achieve remarkable results. These stories contain practical advice and a recipe for success for each of these renowned individuals. Some of their stories may help you to avoid some of the costly and time consuming mistakes that many of us make in life and at work. Learn from some of history's greatest winners on how to become a winner yourself, no matter what the obstacle, and no matter how daunting the task before you may seem. Good luck!

2005 Kazan Today