Now let's consider Beowulf's leadership. Beowulf ruled the Geat people for 50 years before he died after defeating the dragon. Beowulf does not give much insight into the protagonists' qualities as a leader or his specific actions while king. Nevertheless, the author reveals that his people were extremely sorrowful at his death, and they repeatedly declared that he was a good king. But perhaps Beowulf's virtues as a leader are not so cut-and-dried, for Beowulf's death left the Geat people in dire straits.
During Beowulf's fight with the dragon, only one of his hand-picked warriors--the young Wiglaf--did not flee in terror. Could this indicate that Beowulf--relying on his own strength as a warrior--had done a poor job of training his mean to be valiant warriors themselves?
Moreover, following his lord's death, Wiglaf lamented that the Frisians, Franks, and Swedes would probably now invade and conquer the Geats. Beowulf had to have known that his death would embolden the Geats' foes, yet he chose to ignore the risk of death and fight the dragon anyway. Was he being a heroic leader by fighting the dragon himself instead of sending in his men, or was recklessly pursuing his own glory at the expense of his kingdom's future?
A sample thesis for this topic could be as follows:
Although Beowulf was valiant warrior, he was a poor leader because he put his own glory before the well-being of his kingdom.
My biggest weakness is how hard I am on myself. I put a lot of pressure on myself to succeed. I think if I'm not doing everything in my power to succeed right at that moment, then I'm not using my time wisely. I'm always thinking about the future and what my next move is. And if I don't feel like I'm doing enough to be impressive or successful, I feel really bad about myself.
I put too much pressure on myself to look impressive and to look successful. I need to appear driven, balanced and determined at all times. I don't even allow myself to consider what makes me happy. In the last six months, I've pushed myself farther than I should have. I took on way too many responsibilities, and I felt miserable at all times. I didn't even do a good job of balancing them. I felt like if I wasn't pushing myself to get experience and improve my resume, I wasn't allowed to feel proud of myself. I never just allow my accomplishments are "enough". Although a healthy amount of drive is good, there is a line, and I tend to cross it.
I've recently let go of a lot of responsibilities, and I've begun to do the things that make me happy, rather than the things that make me look impressive. Trying to conform to what I believe society deems "successful" is exhausting and unhealthy. I have a lot more free time now than I've had in over a year, and it feels scary and exciting.
I've taken a lot of pressure off myself, and even though I have those negative thoughts telling me I'm not doing enough to feel good about myself, I have never felt more content and balanced with my life.
I used to believe success was a linear progression. I used to think there were certain steps to take to get where you're going until you finally arrive. But success and life are nothing like that. There are high's and low's and plateau's all the time. Some chapters in our life are meant to end, and that's OK. Some things that used to be good for us can no longer be good for us, and that's OK. We can change our minds, we can change our direction, and we can change our goals. There is one pathway to a successful life, and I need to learn to take my own path and not the one I believe society expects me to take.
I'm currently in a transitional period of where I don't know where I'm going and exactly what I want, and I'm trying to find joy and excitement at this stage. I want to live life in the present, and I want to be happy to be where I am right now. Although goals and a drive to succeed are important, it's just as important to be happy in the present and content with what we have now. I know that one day I'll figure out all the things that confuse me right now, and I'm doing great where I am right now.