How Reading History Improves Decision Making

Life is complex and we often need guidance. It’s easy to think we should look around us or ahead for advice, but there’s a valuable resource we sometimes forget – history.

The great Roman leader, Marcus Aurelius wrote in Meditations, “Time is a sort of river of passing events, and strong is its current; no sooner is a thing brought to sight than it is swept by and another takes its place, and this too will be swept away.” Here, he notes the impermanence of all things, inviting us to learn from the ever-changing course of events. History isn’t just a list of what’s happened. It’s full of lessons that can help us navigate our lives today.

Successful business people know this. Take John D. Rockefeller. He used his knowledge of past market trends to build a successful business in a tough industry. By learning about history, we can spot trends, be ready for challenges, and seize opportunities.

When we read history, we’re learning from the experiences of others before us. This helps us understand patterns that can guide our decisions. We learn to think more broadly and to make smarter choices.

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