Philosophy Friday: Learn From The Giants
Imagine if you could increase the quality of your high-value decisions by 20%. Imagine how much better your life would be. How many foreseeably ill-judged choices—some it might take years to recover from—would you avoid?
In 1988 Warren Buffett bought $1 billion worth of Coca-Cola shares. By 2000 these had gone up 34 times. Buffett had realised that Coca-Cola had huge untapped global potential. Buffett invests his money only every now and then and only after careful reflection. And the results speak for themselves: He’s one of the richest men on the planet. Buffett tries to become wiser and smarter each day. It’s a strategy that has worked for him. It can work for us too, whatever your goals.
“Go to bed smarter than when you woke up.”
― Warren Buffett, Billionaire Investor.
Some knowledge is much more important than others. Knowing how Anchoring can affect you and your counterpart in a negotiation will likely make you tens of thousands of dollars. Following the lives of the Kardashian sisters is unlikely to help you as much.
If you want to be extraordinarily successful, you must seek out those critical few ideas that have the most impact. Those concepts that once you apply them will provide you with huge leverage in your life.
You won’t find many of these high-value ideas, this wisdom, on Twitter or Instagram. No, it comes from books, especially old books. Books written by wise and insightful people, most of them dead for many decades or centuries: Abraham Lincoln, Seneca, Albert Einstein, Xenophon, Daniel Kahneman, Charlie Munger, Anne Frank, Marcus Aurelius, Shakespeare, Miyamoto Musashi, Victor Frankl, to only scratch the surface.
Imagine if you could absorb the collective wisdom of these luminaries. How much clearer would you see the world? How much better would your decisions be?
“Only a fool learns from his own mistakes.
The wise man learns from the mistakes of others.”
― Otto von Bismarck, German Chancellor.
Bismarck had the right idea: It’s a massive loss of opportunity to learn only from one’s own experience. The process is too slow and costly in mistakes—it may take years to recover from serious blunders. You don’t have the time. No-one does.
Learn from successful and intelligent people, those ideas that helped them. Then imitate them. Remember that many insightful people are dead. However, they left us their writings. Read those to deepen your understanding of the crucial few concepts that lead to success.