book recommendation

Same as Ever - a Book by Morgan Housel

Timeless life wisdom.

I'm not going to review Morgan Housel's new book, Same as Ever, other than to say you should buy it, read it, and keep it on your bookshelf to reread again and again, like wisdom literature. It is jam-packed with truth for the ages. He lays out principles that were true, are true, and will still be true in the future.
Below are my favorites. I've included chapter titles, quotes, direct text from the book, or slight variations on the author's words. I am giving full attribution to Mr. Housel and claiming none as my own—because they are not, and because I didn't go to Harvard.
Here we go:
Instead of asking what will change in the next ten years, ask, what won't change.
Lower your expectations, and don't try to impress people.
People who can explain and teach conventional concepts with humor and compelling narrative beat the super smart people who can't communicate with a normal person.
In a competitive industry, the best storytellers win.
Anecdotes beat data.
Don't seek certainty. The world is not logical and reasonable. It's messy.
Be content with enough.
Most things have a natural growth trajectory, and pushing things beyond their natural speed and size will backfire.
A good idea sped up too fast quickly becomes a terrible idea.
Stress and desperation are the mother of innovation.
When everything is great—when wealth is flush, the outlook is bright, responsibility is low, and threats appear gone—you get some of the worst, dumbest, least productive human behavior.
Quote from Richard Nixon, "The unhappiest people of the world are those in the international watering places like the South Coast of France, and Newport, and Palm Springs, and Palm Beach. Going to parties every night. Playing golf every afternoon. Drinking too much. Talking too much. Thinking too little. Retired. No purpose."
The most important things come from compounding. But compounding takes a while, so it's easy to ignore.
The trick in any field, from finance to careers to relationships, is being able to survive the short-run problems so you can stick around long enough to enjoy the long-term growth.
Wasting time can be a good thing while maximizing every minute for productivity is crushing.
The more precise and perfect you try to be, the less time you have to focus on the important big-picture.
Walking increases creativity by 60%.
"The only measure of success is how much time you have to kill." Nassim Taleb
A booked calendar comes at the expense of curious wandering and uninterrupted thinking, which leads to success.
Good enough is good enough.
Striving for perfection makes you vulnerable.
Everything worth pursuing comes with a little pain. The trick is not minding that it hurts.
"A coworker at an old employer once hired a social media consultant. During a three-hour session, the consultant walked us through hashtags, what time of day you should post on Twitter, how threading posts increases engagement and a slew of other hacks. He was nice, but he never mentioned the most effective media trick: write good stuff that people want to read."
Writing good stuff isn't a hack. It's hard.
BS is ubiquitous, and you can't avoid it. Successful people understand this and grind through it.
Most competitive advantages eventually die. Keep running.
You never know what struggles people are hiding. Everyone is dealing with struggles they don't advertise, at least until you get to know them. Keep that in mind and you become more forgiving - of yourself and them.
Nothing is more persuasive than what you've experienced first-hand.
Long term is harder than most people imagine, which is why it's more lucrative than many people think.
Baseball player Dan Quisenberry once said, "The future is much like the present, only longer."
The odds of success are highest when you combine a long time horizon with a flexible end date.
And never forget John Maynard Keynes: "In the long run, we're all dead."
One of the enduring quirks of human behavior is the allure of the complex over the simple.
Most people don't read more than a few chapters in a book. The extra chapters, which may be superfluous, are to impress the reader that the writer is an expert.
Simplicity is the hallmark of truth, but complexity sells better.
In most situations, a handful of simple variables drive most outcomes.
There are no points awarded for difficulty. It's possible to try too hard, to be too attracted to complexity, and doing so can backfire spectacularly.
Mindsets are harder to heal than buildings and cash flows.
Reading history is more productive than reading forecasts. When you focus on what never changes, you stop trying to predict uncertain events and spend more time understanding timeless behavior.

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