Morgan Housel has shared 23 life-changing stories with five common things: Greed, Risk, Opportunity, Fear, and Jealousy. He says, over the years, the stock market has gone up and down and we have seen world wars but the things which stayed the Same as Ever are Greed, Risk, Opportunity, Fear, and Jealousy.
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Same as Ever Summary
Morgan Housel says it’s impossible to predict the future but it is possible to see what people will do when they face any sort of discomfort and experience good things in life.
“The biggest risk and the most important news story of the next ten years will be something nobody is talking about today.
No matter what year you’re reading this, that truth will remain. I can say that confidently because it’s always been true. The fact that you can’t see it coming is exactly what makes it risky.”
The simple story is that no one knows what will happen in the future. So stop worrying about what will come next and focus more on the present and work on the process.
Now to make it simple for you, I just want to add one paragraph from the book that describes this book:
“Predicting what the world will look like fifty years from now is impossible. But predicting that people will still respond to greed, fear, opportunity, exploitation, risk, uncertainty, tribal affiliations, and social persuasion in the same way is a bet I’d take.”
So let’s explore the book in a compact way.
I’m keeping my promise, this is the mini-ebook of Same as Ever by Morgan Housel. So download right now and read wherever you want for free. Happy Reading.
Forget the Event and Focus on Behavior
Everyone thought that the 2008 financial crisis was the last one and that we would never see something like ever but was it the last one? No, because Covid showed in 2019.
The events will come and go, we might see a recession in the coming year but no one knows when that day will come but we all know how people will react to something like that.
This is because people have seen a recession and a Great Depression.
There will be people who will invest lots of money when they’re in recession while there will be people who will be very conscious because they’re afraid of what might come next.
It’s all about people’s experiences, the ones who have survived the recession will think twice about investing in a recession while the ones who haven’t seen something like that will be eager to invest.
As Morgan Housel wrote in the book:
“It’s why the generation who lived through the Great Depression never viewed money the same afterward. They saved more money, took on less debt, and were wary of risk for the rest of their lives.”
At the end of the day, experience plays a huge part in people’s lives because they have data and from that data, they can predict what might come next.
So focus on how you and the people around you behave rather than worrying about specific times and events. If you can control how you behave then no matter how many events come and go, you will be able to survive.
Lastly, I will leave you with this quote from the book
“It’s uncomfortable to think that what you haven’t experienced might change what you believe because it’s admitting your own ignorance. It’s much easier to assume that those who disagree with you aren’t thinking as hard as you are.”
Truth About Innovation
People think that we haven’t seen huge innovation in the last 10 years, and everything looks the same but that’s not true at all.
In chapter number 17: The Wonders of the Future.
The author shared a story of Thomas Edison, it goes like this.
Everyone believes that Thomas Edison invented the light bulb but that’s not true at all. In 1802 A British inventor named Humphry Davy invented an electric light called an arc lamp, using charcoal rods as a filament.
The problem he faced was that the light bulb was impractically bright; you’d nearly go blind looking at it and could stay lit only for a few moments before burning out, so it was rarely used.
So what Edison did was, moderated the brightness and longevity of the light bulb.
This simply means if you’re not seeing any sort of innovation right now in front of your eyes that doesn’t mean, nothing is happening.
People around the world are working on something and it will show up when it’s ready for the world.
No one knows a random person who worked on a project in 1900 might come in handy in the coming years.
At the end of the day, innovation is not done by one person or company, it’s the contribution of thousands of people who might have tried the same thing in the past.
It’s all About Time
As Baseball player Dan Quisenberry once said, “The future is much like the present, only longer.”
So when you say “I’m thinking about the long term, I know in the short run, things won’t look good but when the time comes, everything will look better”
Now, there is nothing wrong with a long-term plan but following the plan blindly is a big problem.
The only solution is knowing the very few things in your industry that will never change and putting everything else in a bucket that’s in constant need of updating and adapting.
There will be few things that stay the same whether it’s in your life, the business you’re running, the job you’re doing, and how your boss behaves.
The only thing you have to do now is to observe what are the things that don’t change any matter and focus on what needs to be changed.
- Permanent information is: “How do people behave when they encounter a risk they hadn’t fathomed?”
- Expiring information is: “How much profit did Microsoft earn in the second quarter of 2005?”
Expiring information tells you what happened; Permanent information tells you why something happened and is likely to happen again.
Permanent information is like a loop. Few things will stay the same all the time.
So rather than thinking about the future and past, why not focus on the present and accept reality as it is?
Be like Yourself
I’m sure you have heard this “Never Meet Your Hero” but why? Because you have imagined that one person the way you wanted and if that person turned out different then things won’t stay the same forever for you.
As the author says:
- Steve Jobs was both a genius and could be a monster of a boss.
- Walt Disney, whose ambitions pushed every company he touched to the razor’s edge of bankruptcy.
So you can’t just say “I want to be like Steve Jobs but I just want the positive sides and just leave the negative ones”
Naval Ravikant once wrote:
“One day, I realized with all these people I was jealous of, I couldn’t just choose little aspects of their lives.
I couldn’t say I want his body, I want her money, I want his personality. You have to be that person.
Do you want to actually be that person with all of their reactions, their desires, their family, their happiness level, their outlook on life, their self-image?
If you’re not willing to do a wholesale, 24/7, 100 percent swap with who that person is, then there is no point in being jealous.”
Either you want someone else’s life or you don’t. Either is equally powerful. Just know which is which when finding role models.
So rather than becoming someone, be yourself, and still, if you want to look up to someone then just see what kind of mistake they have made and don’t repeat the same.
Same as Ever
Things will come and go but the only constant thing that remains the same is the present.
The meaning of Same as Ever is simply, observing what stays the same whether it is how humans behave when they face hard times, or when they’re happy.
Related: 15 Must-Read Books in Life
When the next recession comes, the people who haven’t seen the recession will behave the same as the people who have seen the last recession.
So the events will be repeated but when? no one knows but how people will behave in those movements is well documented which is the same as ever.
Same as Ever Lessons
- Events will come and go but the Greed, Risk, Opportunity, Fear, and Jealousy will never change.
- Innovation is not an effort of one person or company, it’s the contribution of thousands of people who have worked in the past and working in the present.
- Thinking about the past and future won’t change anything for anyone including yourself, so stay in the present and only see what kind of mistakes other people have made and don’t repeat the same.
- Be yourself because that’s the only true thing that you have that is real.
- The data you see about the company is just a number. So see the real picture otherwise, you will be with those people who run after Profit and Loss.
Same as Ever Quotes
“In 1,000 parallel universes, you want to be wealthy in 999 of them. You don’t want to be wealthy in the fifty of them where you got lucky, so we want to factor luck out of it…I want to live in a way that if my life played out 1,000 times, Naval is successful 999 times.”
“People like to say, “To know where we’re going, you have to know where we’ve been.” But more realistic is admitting that if you know where we’ve been, you realize we have no idea where we’re going. Events compound in unfathomable ways.”
“The biggest risk is always what no one sees coming because if no one sees it coming, no one’s prepared for it; and if no one’s prepared for it, its damage will be amplified when it arrives”
“The core here is that people think they want an accurate view of the future, but what they really crave is certainty.”
“A management style that works brilliantly at a ten-person company can destroy a thousand-person company, which is a hard lesson to learn when some companies grow that fast in a few short years.”
“People tend to have short memories. Most of the time they can forget about bad experiences and fail to heed lessons previously learned. But hard-core stress leaves a scar.”
Same As Ever Review
This is going to be a fun review,
Same as Ever: A Guide to What Never Changes by Morgan Housel is not written for every single reader, it’s mostly for new readers who have only read a few personal finance books excluding The Psychology of Money.
The book has lots of stories which is great but sometimes, the author just ends the story in the middle and you start wondering what’s next, and in the next paragraph, a new story starts.
This doesn’t feel good at all, it’s like, I’m telling you Mahabharat, I said everything, and when Arjun marries the Draupadi and goes home with his brothers.
Now, I will cut here and start telling you about Ramayana and so on.
How does this feel?
I felt that the book was too fast. Maybe this was intentional but it wasn’t a good call at all.
Because of this, I was disconnected from the book but I finished because I have this website and I wanted to write this article.
In your case, you can skip it, or if you’re a fan of Morgan Housel’s writing then give it a try.
Lastly, it’s a great book for new readers, but not so good for everyone else.
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