During the Migration Period in Europe in Late Antiquity and the Early Middle Ages, pagan oral story telling was the main way of conveying cultural histories. In the High Middle Ages, these stories were written down by Christian authors and now this is how we know that Attila the Hun was real, as he warred with various Germanic kings and princes. These stories revolved around the narrative of the hero. It was the hero’s desire to reach fame, in other words transcend humanity and the physical existence. If a hero was recorded in stories, his mission had become successful, for fame in many pagan cultures is literally the afterlife. After all, if people are still talking about you 200 years after you’re dead then one could argue that you’re still alive.
Now I’d like to compare this concept of the pagan hero in Celtic and Germanic epics transcending reality by reaching fame to the modern business man. Today, sports players, whom one might consider a business man for his business is playing sports, can reach fame and already many have died and we still remember them as heroes. In other sectors, too, business men like Elon Musk, Steve Jobs and Bill Gates will transcend physical existence to live on in the stories future humans will share.
Now for many business men today the ultimate goal is to get rich or change the world, but I would like to argue that you would benefit greatly by following the early medieval Christian’s advice and focus on the afterlife rather than this physical existence. By planning your legacy carefully you could become like the hero in pagan mythology and transcend our realm by reaching the ultimate goal–the star in the firmament–so that not only can you change the world and get rich while you’re here but you can also do so when you’re gone.
I advise you to reach for the greatest success, not the greater success, by following the examples of heroes like Siegfried and Sigmund to transcend existence. After all, Jesus said don’t seek what the moth can consume, and to me he touched on exactly what I’m relaying here. By seeking what can live on after we’re dead, we can become like the hero.
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