The Three Habits That Made Napoleon Great

Habits maketh man

Omar Sharaki
7 min readJan 2, 2024
Napoleon Crossing the Alps - Wikimedia Commons

One of my school teachers once asked us in class to raise our hands if we thought we were destined for greatness. Most of us did.

Of course, statistically speaking, most of us in that classroom would go on to lead normal lives, which by no measure would be deemed great — whatever that meant.

But why would a group of fifteen-year-olds think their lives would amount to more than the average person's? This sense of entitlement stems perhaps from a glorified misinterpretation of our individuality, nurtured perhaps by our parents, leading us to believe we are not just different, but special.

Personally, back when this happened, I didn’t even know what my self-labeled great contribution to the world would be, or how I’d achieve it, only that it will somehow exist. The danger of this premise is that it can lead us to focus not on the road, but on the destination, and similarly, see ourselves as one day belonging to the pantheon of greats, but not what we’d have to sacrifice to reach that status.

However, as I got older and the complexities of the world started putting a damper on my youthful aspirations, “greatness” became a foreign thing, and those who attain it a seemingly special breed.



Omar Sharaki

Software developer, standup comedian, and guy you wouldn’t mind sitting next to on a plane.