From Morgan Housel, bestselling author of The Psychology of Money, stories about what people have always done, and will always do
Everyone wants to see the future. Few are good at it. From business to economics, politics to social trends, we’re just not very good at predicting what happens next.
According to Morgan Housel, this is because we focus too much on what we think will change and not enough on what we know will stay the same.
If you traveled in time to 500 years ago or 500 years from now, you would be astounded at how much technology and medicine has changed. The geopolitical order would make no sense to you. The language and dialect may be completely foreign. But you’d notice people falling for greed and fear just like they do in our current world.
You’d see people persuaded by risk, jealousy, and tribal affiliations in ways that are familiar to you.
You’d see overconfidence and short-sightedness that reminds you of people's behavior today.
You’d find people seeking the secret to a happy life and trying to find certainty when none exists in ways that are so relatable.
When transported to an unfamiliar world, you’d spend a few minutes watching people behave and say, “Ah. I’ve seen this before. Same as ever.”
History is filled with surprises no one could have seen coming. But if we learn to see what doesn’t change, we can be more confident in our choices, no matter what the future brings.