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Success in Life : What Famous People's Lives Reveal

By Kouloukis, George, Pan

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Book Id: WPLBN0100301725
Format Type: PDF (eBook)
File Size: 1.08 MB
Reproduction Date: 12/30/2018

Title: Success in Life : What Famous People's Lives Reveal  
Author: Kouloukis, George, Pan
Language: English
Subject: Non Fiction, Philosophy
Collections: Authors Community, Philosophy
Publication Date:
Publisher: Self-published
Member Page: George Kouloukis


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Kouloukis, G. P. (2018). Success in Life : What Famous People's Lives Reveal. Retrieved from

This book changes profoundly the way we all cope with our life today. Among other things, you’ll see that when you are in a good season of our life, you mustn’t behave as if you assume that this season will never end. On the contrary, you have to take in time the necessary measures to face successfully the problems that may occur in the bad season that will follow. You must not be spendthrift, for example, but you have to save money for facing possible financial problems that will appear during the bad season. Also, you have to take care of your health, so that you can successfully face serious illnesses that may appear in your bad seasons. In short, you have to make provisions for the winter that will come, so that you can effectively diminish its chilliness. You will also be amazed to learn from this book that if Napoleon the Great knew the theory explained in the book, he wouldn’t have attacked in 1815 the English and Germans at Waterloo where he suffered total destruction that lead him to death. Things may have so taken another course for him, and a new good season, a glorious one again, may have later started for Napoleon! Also, you will be surprised – and really comforted – to learn from this book that you must not blame yourself – and have not any remorse – for the fact that a bad season came in your life. You will realize that you haven’t made any mistake to cause the arrival of this season, and you couldn’t have done anything for avoiding this; the bad season would have inevitably arrived in any case. You will also notice – among the lots of other advantages this book offers – that you can entrust an employee or colleague with the solution of a difficult problem – or a politician to govern your country, or even a coach of a basketball team – only if you know they are in a good season of their life, operating so from a position of strength. Also, you will find of special interest that the discovery cited in this book can help you to foresee the life evolution of the other people – of your friends and relatives, of famous people (artists, singers, actors, and the likes), or even of the politicians that govern you. You can predict, for example, how long a political leader will stay in power after his election, or for how long a famous singer will continue his successful career. All depends on the season – good or bad – these persons are at a given moment, as I explain in detail in the book. The discovery revealed in this book will radically change in the future the mentality and character of all people. People will become more philosophized, realists, and peaceful –they will know that a good season doesn’t last forever, on the contrary a bad season awaits; it hasn’t any meaning, therefore, being quarrelsome and aggressive. On the contrary, the Man will become tolerant and merciful, and have more understanding towards the others. Superficiality and imprudence, even if they don’t disappear completely, will drastically be reduced. Also, the theory explained in this book is a fresh piece of knowledge, as you will see – and I could say that a kind of new science can be born from it. In the light of the book’s findings, therefore, new studies by other persons (scientists or scholars) are absolutely necessary in the future, so that they can enable all of us to take more advantages of the discovery described in the book. There are also a lot of other benefits deriving from the discovery – and most of them are indeed astonishing, as you’ll see in detail in the book.

The moment you finished reading this book, you’ll be able to learn whether the years just ahead are good or bad for you, and how long this season will last. You’ll be able so to act accordingly: if there is a storm on the horizon, you’ll take shelter in time; if sunny days loom ahead, you’ll take advantage before the opportunity passes. In short, you’ll take decisions for all your life’s issues.

Chapter 1. Ludwig van Beethoven Beethoven was born in 1770. We don’t know enough about the first five years of his life to know whether it was a good or bad season. But from 1776 on, we know he had a pleasant childhood. Though his family was poor, and his father was strict and severe, he was lucky enough to have a devoted mother, and he spent happy hours in her presence. He also had many friends and many opportunities to have fun.* ________________________________ * I have taken all the facts and details in this chapter from Gino Pugneti’s Beethoven, published in Greek by Fytrakis Publications, Great Men of All Seasons series, Athens, 1965. There are also Beethoven’s biographies in English which you can examine to be confirmed for the truth of this chapter’s facts, as for example: a) Barry Cooper’s Beethoven, Oxford Press, 2001, or b) Maynard Solomon’s Beethoven, Schirmer Books, 2001. ________________________________ In 1778, little Beethoven recognized as “a child prodigy:” he gave his first public concert in Bonn, where he was born. The following year, he began to study with a well-known musician –a director of the National Theater– who immediately recognized his talent and took him under his wing. After two years of instruction, in 1781 –when Beethoven was only 11– he composed three sonatas and one concert for the piano, all of which were published immediately. The same year, he had another reason to be very happy: he became acquainted with a family in Bonn that offered a supportive environment and nurtured his musical talent. Their home was a “refuge for happiness,” as he put it. In 1784, Beethoven became financially independent –while only 14 years old. That year he was appointed deputy organist in Bonn’s court, with an excellent salary. Thus he could support his whole family. His father had become an alcoholic, his mother was seriously ill, and there were two younger brothers to care for. Three years later, in 1787, Beethoven’s big dream came true: he was able to leave Bonn for Vienna. Vienna was a cultural magnet at the time, where all the arts and especially music flourished. Bands “played in the streets and the whole city was awash in music,” while “the theaters and the academies were always overflowing.” There, the young Beethoven met Mozart for the first time and received the first major encouragement of his life from him. He improvised a composition on the piano, but Mozart was skeptical because he believed that the young man had previously memorized the composition. Beethoven then asked Mozart to choose the theme himself – and he improvised again. When Beethoven finished, Mozart said, “This young man will surprise the world someday.” But Beethoven’s first stay in Vienna lasted only a few months, since he became the head of his family and had to return to Bonn. That year his mother died, while his father was still an alcoholic. That bad event didn’t change Beethoven’s good season, however: he soon managed to be granted a substantial allowance by the state with which to take care of his father as well as his two younger brothers. In 1789, Beethoven met Prince Maximilian, who held him in high esteem and received him under his protection. With the prince’s help, Beethoven enrolled that year –at the age of 19– in the university, where he had an opportunity to study the works of the philosophers and writers of his era: Kant, Schiller, Goethe, and others. The next year, Beethoven’s first important musical compositions were published, and he began to be recognized as a composer. At the age of 21, in 1791, he entered high society. He was received at the most exclusive salons, where he taught music, and moved in fashionable court circles. A year later he met the great composer Haydn, who heard him playing a serenade on the piano. Enthusiastic, Haydn invited Beethoven to Vienna. A jubilant Beethoven again left Bonn for Vienna –this time as Haydn’s student. Another dream had become a reality. He was now 22 years old. The Bad Season from 1792 on In Vienna, however, Beethoven’s experiences did not meet his expectations. Haydn, no longer young, had too many other preoccupations, and turned out to be indifferent to his gifted student. Disappointed, Beethoven had to start studying with other, lesser-known musicians in 1793. The next year he was able to accept the hospitality of a prince, but even that was short-lived, because Beethoven found the atmosphere in the prince’s palace uncongenial. To support himself, he was now obliged to give music lessons to a diverse array of students. The big shock in 1794 was more personal: Beethoven began to realize he had a hearing problem. He was only 24. And in 1795, another cause of worry was added: Beethoven gave in Vienna his first major concert, performing his Concerto No 2 for piano and orchestra. It was a novel, stunning piece that made people think: Beethoven was bringing a more philosophical perspective to music. But the Viennese, accustomed to joyful music and entertainment, had serious reservations. Beethoven continued giving concerts in other cities –Nuremberg, Berlin, Dresden, Prague. But though he had great success, at the end of one of those concerts he realized with terror that his hearing had become worse. He began experiencing an incessant buzzing in his ears that sounding like a waterfall. And he couldn’t always understand speech clearly. At first he kept quite about his problem. But over the next several years (1797-1800), the situation became catastrophic: Beethoven became almost totally deaf. The “winter” has entered now Beethoven’s life. While the previous bad years can be described as “autumn,” the years that followed are real “winter.” In 1801 Beethoven decided to confide in a close friend: “I am extremely distressed,” he wrote to him, continuing that: “the most vital part of myself –my hearing– has become impaired and is steadily worsening. And I do not know whether I will ever be cured.” To his doctor he also wrote: “For the last two years I have avoided any social interaction –I cannot tell people that I am deaf. It is terrible.” In 1802, his doctor advised him to spend the summer recuperating in the countryside. But “it was a summer full of despair.” Beethoven composed a letter to his brothers that was meant to serve as a kind of will, with the proviso that it be read after his death. He was only 32 years old. The document said, among other things: “I want to end my life, but the music prevents me from doing so. For so long, I have never felt any real happiness. I live as if I am in exile, since it is impossible for me to participate in the company of others, to talk with friends, to hear and be heard. I feel I am indeed a miserable creature.” The same year, a new reason for despair was added to Beethoven’s life. The woman he loved, Giulietta Guicciardi –said to have been “frivolous and self centered” – abandoned him after a two-year relationship. His despair over the lost relationship, combined with his illness, created the worst crisis of his life so far. Beethoven was on the brink of suicide. He didn’t know that his bad season would follow by a good one at a certain time. Things were not much better in the musical arena, normally his only consolation. In 1805 Beethoven’s melodrama Fidelio was performed –the only opera he wrote. Though it would later be considered a masterpiece, the initial production was a total failure; it closed after only three days. This failure was repeated the following year. Fidelio was presented again, in a new form, but only for two performances –the theater was almost empty, the earnings insignificant. Things only got worse between 1807 and 1809. Beethoven experienced another disappointment in love. He fell in love with a young, aristocratic Hungarian woman, Theresa von Brunschwick. Though they became engaged, her mother disapproved, and did not allow them to see each other. Finally they broke off the engagement. Beethoven was also beset by financial problems. In 1808 he decided to leave Vienna to accept position as a choir director in Kassel. But some of his friends interceded and helped him get a state allowance, so he could stay in Vienna. In 1809, however, the situation worsened: Napoleon’s army seized Vienna after a violent attack that convulsed the city. The “royal court and all the nobility abandoned the city, while in the streets and homes chaos prevailed.” Beethoven “found shelter in a pub, covering his aching ears with pillows to avoid the deafening report of the cannons.” Ordinary life in Vienna came to a standstill. The currency “became worthless, prices soared, and inflation loomed.” Beethoven’s state allowance almost evaporated, and he often didn’t even have enough money for food. At the same time, he suffered “from excruciating abdominal pain.” Shabbily dressed, “ill, and stooped over, he attended the funeral of his former teacher Haydn, under the menacing guard of armed French soldiers.” But at some point in 1809, this bad season finally ended for Beethoven. The New Good Season from 1809 on Just after this season began –in 1810– Beethoven finally achieved a major goal: he became acquainted with a charming, clever woman, Bettina Brentano, who would devote herself to him, and would make up for all the failed relationships he had experienced with other women. “Being close to Beethoven,” she wrote in a letter to Goethe, “causes me to forget the world.” The most important fact however, is that in this favorable season Beethoven managed to triumph over his cruel fate –over the problem of his deafness. This problem stopped bothering him, because he found a solution: he would hold with his teeth a wooden hearing aid –basically a long, slim piece of wood– and touch it to the piano; this allowed him to perceive the sound of the music through the mouth to the inner ear. In other ways too, the good days returned: In 1812 Beethoven became acquainted with Goethe, and a comfortable friendship evolved between them despite their age difference (Beethoven was 42, Goethe 62). When they strolled through the streets of Vienna, people would bow –something that annoyed Goethe, but for Beethoven it was heaven sent: “Don’t worry, Your Excellency,” he once said to Goethe jokingly, “maybe the bows are only for me.” In 1813, Napoleon began to lose power, and Beethoven, full of enthusiasm, started to compose the Victory of Wellington –an immediate success. The following year Beethoven performed that work at the congress that took place in Vienna after Napoleon’s downfall. The czar of Russia, the emperor of Austria, the kings of Denmark, Prussia, and Bavaria, “princes, ministers, diplomats, and other statesmen” were all present, and they paid homage to Beethoven. It was a concert triumph. From then on, Beethoven’s life was glorious. The years that followed can be described as “summer” in his life compared with the previous good years which were rather “springtime.” In 1814, Beethoven’s melodrama Fidelio –a failure a few years earlier– was performed again in Vienna, this time in revised better form –the good season in which he was had helped very much – and it was a tremendous success. Repeat performances of Fidelio were held in other European cities, including Prague, Leipzig, and Berlin, always to great acclaim. As Beethoven’s reputation reached its apogee, he began to earn a great deal of money. His performances attracted audiences of thousands, among them many celebrities. The Austrian government offered state-owned halls for his performances. And friends began to surround him and draw him into an active social life. He frequented the various cafés and restaurants of Vienna, where the previously gloomy Beethoven became unrecognizably gregarious, telling jokes and drinking champagne. He walked the streets of Vienna, stopping in shops to browse or buy things and talk with ordinary people. In Vienna’s central park, the Pratter, children would offer him flowers. After his walk, Beethoven would meet his friends in the park’s noisy cafés, where “amidst cigarette smoke and the smell of alcohol, all the artistic and intellectual problems of the times were solved.” To communicate, he would hand a notebook to his companions and have them write down their questions or comments. He would respond orally with ease and humor. In this good season, too, the women who had previously ignored him began to fill his life. They were young, beautiful, and from the upper social echelons. His biographers report that there were at least fifteen of them: besides Bettina Brentano, they included Dorothy von Ertmann, Marianne von Westerholt, Eleonore von Breunig, Rachel von Ense, and Josephine von Brunschwick (the sister of Theresa von Brunschwick, to whom Beethoven had been engaged in 1807, until her mother cut it off). Giulietta Guicciardi –the Italian woman who had abandoned him in 1802, leading him to contemplate suicide– also returned, but Beethoven was no longer interested. In the professional arena, Beethoven had a prodigious musical output: he finished his 32 sonatas for the piano, composed his famous oratorio Missa Solemnis, and finished part of the Ninth Symphony. The oratorio Missa Solemnis –“Beethoven’s hymn to God” – was completed in 1820. From then on, Beethoven had a deeply spiritual outlook. The same year (1820), the city of Vienna proclaimed Beethoven an honorary citizen of the city, an honor that thrilled him. In 1825 –at the age of 55– Beethoven arrived at the high point of his life: his Ninth Symphony was performed in Vienna and was an unprecedented triumph. The audience went wild, and Beethoven was profoundly moved. When the concert was over, several theater workers “had to carry him out: he had fainted!” The New Bad Season After 1825 Starting in 1825, Beethoven began facing serious health problems: arthritis and eye ailments. He remained at home, often in bed. He was forced to ask his brother for help, and retreated to his brother’s home in the countryside, staying in a small room and subsisting on an inadequate diet. The next year (1826), things got worse. Beethoven’s friends abandoned him, he gave up composing, and his works stopped being performed. After the Ninth Symphony’s success in 1825, no other concerts featured his works. Deeply disappointed, he complained in his diary: “Vienna’s high society seems interested only in dancing, horseback riding, and attending the ballet.” Beethoven tried to get all of his works published, but without success –his bad season didn’t allow it. The royal court that previously supported him now ignored him. Late in 1826, on a chilly December day, he abandoned his brother’s “lukewarm hospitality” in the countryside and returned to Vienna –on the “milkman’s cart,” because his brother, despite having his own coach, had not made it available to him. As a result, Beethoven arrived in Vienna seriously ill with pneumonia. After a few days his health took a turn for the worse: his feet became swollen and he suffered from abdominal pain. On January 3, 1827, he wrote his will. Bedridden, he complained to two friends visiting him, that he had been left alone in life, without family members to care for him. Besides him was a portrait of Theresa von Brunschwick, the woman he had been engaged to two decades earlier. On March 24, 1827, the end came. Beethoven asked the two friends attending him for Rhein wine. But it was too late. Two days later, on March 26, 1827, the great Beethoven died –at the age of 57– while a violent storm battered Vienna. Conclusion From Beethoven’s life derives that in 1776 a good season begun for him. Then, a bad season started in 1792. A new good season begun in 1809 while another bad season started in 1825. We’ll see later what that means. We also see later why Beethoven would not have contemplated suicide at age of 32, because he had become totally deaf, if he knew the revelation we’ll see later in this book. Meanwhile, we’ll see in the next chapter what derives from the life of great Italian composer Giuseppe Verdi.

Table of Contents
Contents Introduction Chapter 1. Ludwig van Beethoven Chapter 2. Giuseppe Verdi Chapter 3. Pablo Picasso Chapter 4. Mikhail Gorbachev Chapter 5. The Dalai Lama of Tibet Chapter 6. Margaret Thatcher Chapter 7. Elizabeth Taylor Chapter 8. Jackie Kennedy Onassis Chapter 9. Christopher Columbus Chapter 10. Queen Elizabeth I of England Chapter 11. Napoleon I Chapter 12. Victor Hugo Chapter 13. August Rodin Chapter 14. Winston Churchill Chapter 15. Aristotle Onassis Chapter 16. Nelson Mandela Chapter 17. Maria Callas Chapter 18. Sarah Bernhardt Chapter 19. Josephine, Napoleon’s wife Chapter 20. King Henry VIII of England Chapter 21. Jimmy Carter Chapter 22. John Glenn Chapter 23. The Astonishing Discovery Chapter 24. The Advantages Endnotes Bibliography


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