Will Durant, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author and historian, once said, “Most of us spend too much time on the last 24 hours of news and not enough time on the last 6,000 years.”
In order to do great things in life, it’s important to have a sense of history. History helps us to understand how life works. It shows us what we have to work with and what humans have done with it in the past.
History isn’t just a warning of many mans follies and mistakes, but it’s also a guide on how we should live our own lives, as we strive toward our own goals.
In the book “The Lessons of History,” Will Durant says,
“The first biological lesson of history is that life is competition. Competition is not only the life of trade, it is the trade of life.”
Too many people are pleasure seekers in life, meaning they don’t wake up early, they don’t work hard, and they place more value on the short term pleasure over the long term reward.
The billionaire investor Charlie Munger says being lazy and unreliable will lead to failure.
The reason you can’t be lazy or procrastinate in life like Munger says, is because life is competition.
When times get tough only those who are good enough will win and those who aren’t will lose.
Durant also says,
“Life is selection. Some organisms succeed and some fail. In the struggle for existence some individuals are better equipped than others to meet the tests of survival. Since nature has not read the American Declaration of Independence or the French Revolutionary Declaration of the Rights of Man, we are all born unfree and unequal: subject to our physical and psychological hereditary.”
When it comes to business, sports or math, not everyone is equal in talent. Some are going to be naturally better than others.
The areas that you’re great in is where you’ll be able to compete the best.
Remember, life is competition so you must know what you’re good at to be able to put yourself in positions where you can compete.
Everyone in the world has at least one thing that they’re good at that they can eventually become great at.
Your goal in life should be to find out what you’re good at as soon as possible because the sooner you find what you’re good at the sooner you’ll be able to compete.
The penalty of not figuring this out is being poor, whether its poor in happiness or poor in money. If you want to be poor, just do what you’re not naturally good at.