You all know the story. There is a famous knot which no one can open.
Alexander comes, looks at the knot, takes out his sword and cuts it. He later becomes Alexander the Great.
This is usually used as an example of thinking outside the box. Whatever. I saw it mentioned lately in a book I read, post
and I was thinking the following: What kind of guts does it take to do that!
You come to an unsolvable problem, and you decide on a certain solution that would bar anyone else from ever trying to solve it after you. Maybe there were better ways to open the knot – no one will ever know. Who knows which amazing lessons we lost by that one action. No one can try again.
The solution was not ingenious, it was arrogant to the extreme. A willingness for destruction is needed. A feeling that the world was created for you.
There are many assholes who
wouldn't mind destruction, but that kind of guts is rare; very rare.
are not Alexander the Great, nor would we necessarily want to be (would you?), but
we should still learn from this. We should learn the importance of
demanding your place in the world. The importance of claiming
authority and place in the world. The world owes you nothing, but it
might be willing to reward you if you convince it you deserve it. If you convince it you are willing to take the responsibility upon yourself - not the responsibility of failure, many are willing to do that, but the responsibility to make it work. The responsibility to fix things, and unite the world.
The story of the Gordian knot is not a story of the sphinx riddle, it's a story of the psychology of greatness. There are other ways to be great, or at least we hope so, but we should all take that story to heart.
(I obviously don't care if it actually happened or not. It's a story about how you become Alexander the Great.)