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19 Life Lessons We Can Learn From Marquis De Lafayette

He went to France for more funds, he came back with more guns and TIPS!

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1. Take risks.

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Lafayette was born into an extremely wealthy family and had a secured and safe future in the French Army, but nonetheless he wanted to join the American cause. He had never been in combat, he didn't speak English, and even the King of France had ordered him to not go, but his thirst for glory called him to give that all up. So, next time you feel a calling for something and feel the odds are against you, remember Lafayette and do it. Just do it.

2. It's never too early to start.

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Lafayette was only 19 years old when he set sail for America to be an officer in the Continental Army. Don't think you have to wait until you're a certain age to go for your dreams.

3. Don't take no for an answer.

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Congress was already skeptical of all the French volunteers and told Lafayette that they didn't need anymore French officers, he persuaded them with passion and his willingness to serve for free. Congress was later convinced of his genuineness and granted him an honorary commission in the Army at the rank of Major General. Persistence is key. #majorkey

4. Be humble.

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In Lafayette's first conversation with Washington, he said "I've come here to learn from you and from the American Army. I am not here as a teacher, I am here to learn." This impressed Washington because the other foreigners came with the idea that they were going to teach the American Army what they needed to do. So, no need to put on the facade that you know it all. Just show that you are willing to learn.

5. It's okay to be pushy sometimes.


In his first battle, as Lafayette saw the British attacking the American troop he pestered Washington into letting him go out to fight. Because Washington was trying to speak with other officers, he let him into battle just so he could stop his pleading. He ultimately ended up saving many lives by organizing the retreat of the soldiers that were being viciously fired at. So don't think about it as being annoying, think about it as making sure you're getting to where you need to be.

6. Keep on fighting.


In that same battle, while trying to get all the soldiers to retreat in an orderly manner, he got shot in the leg. But, he refused to leave the battle until the troops on the field pulled back from the fight. So whether you're tired, hurt, or upset, just keep on moving.

7. Remember where you come from.


He always took time to write home. In these letters, he also explained how the American troops were good soldiers, how the Revolution was a good cause, and also how it was a good opportunity for France. So, wherever you are never forget the people who were there since day one.

8. Keep on setting higher goals.


Lafayette decided he wanted his own command and begged Washington for one. Washington asked Congress to give him a command of a division of the Continental Army and they granted Washington's wish. Never satisfy with where you are and don't be afraid to set your goals and standards higher.

9. Stay loyal to your friends.


In the winter of 1778, Washington's army was struggling to survive in the face of hunger, disease, and deprivation. A few people in Congress and the military began to doubt Washington's command and a conspiracy was formed to replace him. Lafayette attended one of their meetings after being invited, and in their toast Lafayette interjected adding, "And to General Washington." (#savage) He made it clear that he had George Washington's back no matter what and this strengthened their bond. Acknowledge the friends in your life who have always been there and don't be afraid to stick up for them when no one else is.

10. Think outside the box.


When Congress pressured Washington to retake Philadelphia, he ordered Lafayette and some troops to follow the British. They stationed themselves for some time and the British surrounded them on all three sides. Lafayette created a clever plan of dividing into small groups in the wood and having the men come out, shoot at the British and then go back in the woods. This created the impression that there were many more troops than there actually where. So, as the British retreated to take positions for an all-out battle, Lafayette moved his troops out and escaped. Whenever a problem arises or you have an opportunity to pitch in an idea, make sure to step back to assess to situation appropriately and try to bring in an idea that hasn't been done before.

11. Good leaders are also followers.


Lafayette was proving to be a great leader as he always listened attentively to the troop he commanded and trusted them fiercely. Because of this, he realized that war tactics in America were very different to those in Europe so he decided he would use a guerrilla approach (attacks on rearguard, campaigning in the winter, and moving quickly at night) with the British knowing this was not common for them. He couldn't have done this without letting his troop guide him with their knowledge, so remember that a leader isn't someone who is just able to speak, but is someone that is able to listen.

12. Don't be afraid to ask.


Lafayette went to the French court to ask for increased support. He was very persistent in negotiating with them and explained that if they sent the troops more men, weapons, and ships they would be able to win the war. Remember that if you don't ask, the answer will always be no.

13. Be grateful.


When Lafayette's first son was born, he named him George Washington Lafayette. *sheds tear* This might sound excessive, but you get the point. Make sure the people who support you know how appreciative you are of them.

14. It's very useful to know other languages.


In 1780, George Washington met with French commander Rochambeau and, at the time, Lafayette was the only one able to speak both French and English fluently so he acted as translator and was able to take part in that important conversation. Knowing more languages other than your primary one can put you in a very advantageous position whether it be in your career or everyday situations.

15. It's okay if people don't believe in you at first.


When Washington and Lafayette asked Rochambeau for full troop support, he told him he was not yet prepared to commit his men. At the time, the French were willing to help by sending a few troops, ammunition, and ships, but did not want to fully commit because they still doubted the outcome of American success. There will be those who don't believe you can, but the only opinion that matters is yours. So, just keep on doing you, boo boo.

16. Work with what you have.


When Lafayette was ordered to attack the British troops who had just been defeated in two states he was significantly outnumbered and was to face 8,000 soldiers. Instead of having an up-front battle, Lafayette used a sniper tactic to make it seem like the Army was larger than it was and that effectively terrorized the British. You may not be exactly where you want to be or have all you want to have right now, but you can start now and use the resources you do have to their maximum potential.

17. Haters gon' hate.


The British leader Cornwallace became quite obsessed with Lafayette and wanted to take advantage of any situation to capture him. But Lafayette had really mastered the ability to run and hide. In your long journey, there will be those envious of your progress, but there is no reason why you should pay any mind to that. Focus on your journey and don't let the haters stop you from doin' your thang.

18. If you think long, you think wrong.

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When Cornwallace broke off his advance, the British headed to the coast and Lafayette quickly decided to follow close behind. This decision ultimately led them closer to victory because had he let them go, the British may have been able to resupply their troops. It's hard to make decisions, but don't wait for the perfect moment to do so because in all that time you will have missed out on opportunities or let other factors incorrectly influence you. Make a decision and know that you can simply work from there.

19. Everything is meant to be.


All the time that Lafayette was in Virginia following Cornwallace towards the coast, he worried that he would be missing out on the important battle that was to take place in New York. But seeing as that the British troops were already exposed, Washington decided to take on the British in Virginia. And, thus, he was at the central point for the most important campaign of the war. The campaign that would ultimately lead the British to surrender in Yorktown. So, don't worry too much about your future or on missing out on certain things because as long as you are doing what you are supposed to right now, everything else will align.

So, Lafayette, for these tips and so much more...

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