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Why We All Misunderstand Power

The concept of Power is often fascinating to me. People tend to interpret “power” as “strength”. They see someone bigger than them or with large muscles like Arnold Swarzennegar in his prime and believe that person is more powerful. But I don’t truly think that’s the case. Personally, I think power should always be synonymous with “Influence”. He or She with the most influence is the most powerful. A 10-foot tall giant that no one listens to or is cared about by no one can inflict damage on a few people that he makes contact with, but will easily be taken down by an influential figure (regardless of the giant’s size) that can either convince the giant to limit his strength or convince the masses to stop the giant. Look at classic wars, for example. Alexander the Great and Napoleon were both considered mighty and powerful leaders. Their influence has persisted for centuries and will continue to live on even after you or I exist on this planet. Neither of them was known for their physical strength nor were they known for their size. In fact, the opposite is true. Some stories indicate that Alexander the Great had to receive custom armor because the default armor size was too big for him. As for Napoleon, while he received a negative stigma for being short (although according to historians, he was of average height for a French male at the time), he still wasn’t a significantly large individual, nor was he physically strong in relation to his peers.

According to historians, both were determined to be around 5’6 or 5’7. And yet, their influence allowed them to command other men who were likely bigger and stronger than them to wage war on other nations and craft a name for themselves that withstood the sands of time. For them, raw strength wasn’t their power. Their influence was. Do you agree?


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