When Dwight D. Eisenhower was eight or nine, he wanted to go trick or treating on Halloween. Unfortunately, his mother didn’t allow him to. As a result, he threw a temper tantrum, and punched a tree in the front yard. He punched it so hard that skin on his fingers was torn apart.
Eisenhower’s mom sent Einsenhower to his room, had him cry for an hour, later came to his room, and recited a verse to Einsenhower, which had a profound impact on his whole life.
“He that conquereth his own soul is greater than he who taketh a city.”
It was sixty years later that Dwight D. Eisenhower revealed that particular verse taught him two important life lessons: The first one was humility, which was not thinking holy of oneself; rather, a radical self-awareness from a distance. It was the ability to see one’s strengths also weaknesses; the second lesson that Eisenhower learned was the essential drama of life was not the external climb to success; rather, the internal confrontation against one’s weakness. And every decision one made turned that core self into something slightly higher or slightly lower.