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Five Lessons from History

Adopting new views 

One of the interesting parts of the Great Depressions from history is not just how the economy collapsed, but how quickly and dramatically people’s views changed when it did.

People suffering from immediate, unexpected adversity are likely to adopt views they previously thought absurd. It’s not until your life is in full chaos (with your hopes and dreams your dreams unsure) that people begin taking ideas they’d never consider before seriously.

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IDEA EXTRACTED FROM:

Five Lessons from History

Five Lessons from History

https://www.collaborativefund.com/blog/five-lessons-from-history/

collaborativefund.com

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Key Ideas

Voltaire

Voltaire

“History never repeats itself. Man always does.”

History lessons

The most important lessons from history are the takeaways that are so broad they can apply to other fields, other historical times, and other people. 

The point is that the more specific a lesson of history is, the less relevant it becomes.

Adopting new views 

One of the interesting parts of the Great Depressions from history is not just how the economy collapsed, but how quickly and dramatically people’s views changed when it did.

People suffering from immediate, unexpected adversity are likely to adopt views they previously thought absurd. It’s not until your life is in full chaos (with your hopes and dreams your dreams unsure) that people begin taking ideas they’d never consider before seriously.

Reversion to the mean

It occurs when people persuasive enough to make something grow don’t have the type of personality that allows them to stop before pushing too far.

Reversion to the mean is one of the most common stories in history. Part of the reason it happens is because the same personality traits that push people to the top also increase the odds of pushing them over the edge.

Unsustainable things can sustain for a long time

Yes, decisions should be made with facts. But in reality, to those directly involved, they’re made with contextualized facts (with things like social signaling, time horizon, office politics, government politics, year-end bonus targets, making up for past mistakes, insecurities, etc). The easiest way to answer the question “What should I do?” is usually to be guided by a story that makes sense to you. Not a statistic or pure facts, but a good tale.

Progress and setbacks

There are lots of overnight tragedies. There are rarely overnight miracles.

Progress happens too slowly for people to notice; setbacks happen too fast for people to ignore. Growth means compounding and that always takes time. Destruction is driven by single points of failure, which can happen in seconds.

Wounds heal, scars last

There’s a long history of people adapting and rebuilding while the scars of their ordeal remain forever, changing how they think about risk, reward, opportunities, and goals for as long as they live.

SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

Littlewood's law

John Littlewood's law of miracles states that we can expect "miracles" to happen often.
If we see and hear things happening at a rate of one per second, the total number of eve...

Gibson’s law

“For every PhD, there is an equal and opposite PhD.” 

In law and public policy, for every qualified expert witness, there is an expert witness that will come to the opposite conclusion.

Brandolini's law

"The amount of energy needed to refute bullsh*t is an order of magnitude bigger than to produce it."

Albert Brandolini's law acknowledges four truths:

  • People don't like to admit when they don't understand something. When they are confronted with nonsense, they will rather agree than admit they don't understand.
  • In law, the burden of proof lies with the prosecution (You often can't prove something didn't happen).
  • Bad commentary gives readers a cover to hide their own biases and prejudices.
  • Publishing an opinion has become very easy in the last two decades.

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Seven universal plots
Seven universal plots

There are only seven plots that are so fundamental to the way we tell stories that every storyteller uses one of them: Overcoming Monsters, Rags to Riches, The Quest, Voyage and Return Rebirth,...

Economic history

Looking for a few universal plot patterns reveals things fundamental to how all people think, which are likely to be repeated in the future and relevant to your own situation. This idea also applies to how the economy works.

Economic history can seem complicated because it's part of politics, psychology, sociology, criminology, biology, military, technology, education, finance, etc. But within all that complexity is a lot of similarities.

The lens to look through
  • People seem to want the same economic things – security, power, admiration, fulfillment.
  • They tend to use the same tactics to acquire those things - work, risk, incentives, persuasion, theft, control.
  • They tend to fall for the same flaws pursuing those things - overconfidence, pessimism, underestimating how fast things can change, etc.

Although economic history may seem complicated, there are only a small number of broad story plots throughout the world and throughout time.

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5 Ghibli lessons to life
5 Ghibli lessons to life
  • Cooking and cleaning can be fun! The way these films artfully portray everyday tasks encourages us to work hard even at dusting.
  • A human relationship is more than just romanc...
Know When To Step Down

Often leaders have chosen to stay on when they should have bowed out. Without intending to, they often undo much of their own work and cause problems for their successors.

An increasin...

Don’t Believe Your Own Propaganda

Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the father of modern Turkey, accounted for his limitations by issuing an order to ignore instructions he gave in the evenings – when he liked to carouse with his friends. But history has far more examples of leaders whose convictions of infallibility grow in proportion to their power, eventually leading to the failure of their plans.

The Traps That Power Lays

A job can subtly warp your judgement so that you only see things from one perspective.

Think of Richard Nixon trying to use the institutions of the American government to shut down the Watergate scandal. Or the unexpectedly long American war in Vietnam.

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Tactical Hell

It is a place where we are perpetually reactive to other people’s demands and needs, driven by emotional instead of logical impulses.

We need to escape it and see things objectively an...

The Art of Negative Visualization

This is a stoic lesson, to visualize failure in advance.

It helps because if you imagine failure you start seeing all the ways that have led to that result. And you can start actively working on addressing and mitigating them in advance.

The ‘Draw-Down Period’

Before he would jump into an idea and go full steam, take a reflective period to step back ask yourself: "What do I really have here? Do I actually have something? What am I hoping to accomplish?”

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Treat Others With Respect

George Washington was a man of exceptional integrity who carried himself with dignity and self-confidence and was excessively loved among the masses.

Whoever you’re talking to, treat them ...

Always do The Right Thing

Great leaders do the right thing even when no one’s watching. In the times of pseudo-leadership, it’s not hard to spot an authentic leader - someone who is fair, smart, and empathetic, like Martin Luther King Jr

A true leader never shies away from voicing his opinions, breaking stereotypes, and doing the right thing - not just once but every single time.

You Need Other People To Succeed

Richard Branson knew that great things in business are never done by one person, they are done by teams.

Branson aims to find the best candidate for a job, give them enough autonomy, then step back to give them a space to flourish. It not only benefits the business as a whole but also helps them to become a leader in their own right.

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"Most people don’t believe something can happen until it already has. That’s not stupidity, that’s just human nat..."

Max Brooks, World War Z
Lack of practical skills

Our modern job descriptions largely rely on our minds rather than our physical skills in order to get work done.
Having some basic practical skills to complement your “soft” skills will certainly come in handy in survival scenarios, particularly when it comes to rebuilding from catastrophe. And you can develop them by simply trying things out.

Practice self-reliance in advance

Not only will having DIY skills help you rebuild your community, they also greatly increase your self-reliance.
This means being able to take care of yourself and survive with little and work with what you have. But don't wait until you need to be self-reliant to cultivate these skills.

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Making Things Happen

A leader's vision may or may not be that different from the next person's; what can set them apart is the vigour with which they pursue that st...

Boldness Of Vision

Leaders need to have a relatable and understandable long-term view of where an organization is headed.

When faced with the issue of slavery before the Civil War, Abraham Lincoln’s vision was that the United States should be “a nation conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal. "

Changing The Mood

Changing the mood of an organization can be enough to stave off collapse and foster progress.
Nelson Mandela changed the mood of a divided South Africa coming out of the brink of civil war and facing a future with a high likelihood of inter-racial conflict. Once elected, he ran the new multiracial government with a light but decisive touch and set the tone – relaxed, inclusive, cheerful – that would create a new mood in the country.

2 more ideas