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Takeaways from Saladin by John Man

Takeaways from Saladin by John Man

I’ve heard about him many times before but never in as much detail as now. I’ve also heard about the glory of Islam and the rule we once had over several countries. It was amazing seeing how much control we had and how far our power spread.

Obsession with reading

One thing that struck me, in particular, was how much Muslims used to read. I read that at one time, a street in Damascus had over 80 bookshops. I’ve read about the Shia Suni conflict, how Assasins (hashish) were created and destroyed, the crusades, and more.

Take care of your ambitions

I learned that you must keep your ambitions hidden no matter how big or small. You also must proceed with caution and create displays of power to avoid getting into fights. It also convinces people of your invincibility.

People don’t know they need help

Even if you want to do good for people, they’ll still resist your helping hand not knowing they need it. Hence, you must first make them see their benefit in following you and pursue them to do so with reasoning.

Clear your future vision

Always calculate the implications of your actions. Sometimes, you may behave a certain way in anger or some other emotion and miss foreseeing the disadvantages you end up creating for yourself.

Surround yourself with loyal people

Keep your closed circle filled with loyal people. No one else should be allowed close. The people you trust the most will be the ones who do their job with determination to fulfill your goals.

Power makes you a target

When you gain power, you’ll be the target of an enormous amount of people. They want to take from you, dispose you of your position or even send you under the ground. Always keep your guard up.

People will never be happy

The most important lesson of them all: people will never be happy so stop trying to live up to their expectations.

Saladin did what seemed impossible and freed Jerusalem and yet The Caliph still doubted him. But his happiness and contentment were internalized and that’s how we should try to live. Do what makes you satisfied without regard to what is expected out of you.