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.
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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.
“History never repeats itself. Man always does.”
The point is that the more specific a lesson of history is, the less relevant it becomes.
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.
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.
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.
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 strategy.
Zhou Enlai served as premier of the People's Republic of China and throughout his life relentlessly pursued his moderate and pragmatic agenda while attempting to mitigate the worst effects of Mao's policies.
.. was a devastating economic collapse which started in the US in 1929, lasting a decade. Europe was already struggling post the WWI recession, while the US was thriving. As borrowings and stock purchase increased, Wall Street went into a meltdown as soon as the share prices nosedived. This led to the failure of all the major banks and 15 million people losing their jobs.
Sandwiched between two World Wars, The Great Depression affected the entire world in its 10-year run.
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