History Will Help Predict the Future

by Byron on March 1, 2015

Guys,

As you get older, you will eventually specialize your knowledge to one degree or another.  It’s how we make a living in this world.  Sometimes your specialization finds you.  For instance, swim coaches watching Michael Phelps as a little boy knew he was beyond gifted and that there would be a future for him in swimming.  Warren Buffett was picking stocks while doing a paper route in grade school.  Zuckerberg started building Facebook early in college.

For most of us, we have to look a little bit harder.  We poke around, try out things, and poke around some more.  We study somewhat generic things, in hopes that our narrowing emerges.  These are things like communications, psychology, and political science.  Some of us, like Dad, go to law school without ever thinking we’ll even practice law.  We just know that broad based knowledge will be good.

If you want to study something broadly in hope of gaining insight for your future career, might I suggest history?  I studied business.  I might have been as well served studying history.  Lt me explain…

If you are a lawyer, a businessperson, an entrepreneur, a software developer, an advertiser, a marketer, a politician, a real estate investor, a financial advisor, or about a thousand other things, you are, in essence, trying to predict the future.  You think about doing X, in the hope that it produces Y result.

The hunter who could predict the location of the herd fed his family and his tribe.  It’s still the same in many ways.  He who predicts where things are moving will have the greatest success.

There’s no better way to predict the future than know the history.  “History doesn’t repeat, it rhymes” is something they (maybe Mark Twain) say.  It’s true.  It’s true on a large and theoretical scale, and also true on a small and practical scale.

See: Historic Recurrence

And Quotes:

  • “I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones.” – Albert Einstein
  • “We will learn an enormous amount in the very short term, quite a bit in the medium term and absolutely nothing in the long term.” –Michael Rivero
  • “People can foresee the future only when it coincides with their own wishes, and the most grossly obvious facts can be ignored when they are unwelcome.” – George Orwell

Learning how to understand history is a vital skill.  So if you don’t know you want to be a doctor when you’re 18, and organic chemistry isn’t in your near future, maybe history should be.

I love you guys!

Dad

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