A critically important, universal success principle is presented on page 14 of the February 6, 2012 Fortune magazine. The very brief article is part of “The Best Advice I Ever Got”series.
Bob Rodriguez, managing partner and CEO of First Pacific Advisors, tells the story of approaching a guest lecturer while in graduate school at the University of Southern California.
The guest lecturer happened to be Charlie Munger, who became one of the most successful investors in America. Charlie’s long time investment partner is none other than one of the most successful investors in history; that would be mega-billionaire Warren Buffet.
After the lecture, Bob Rodriguez approached Charlie Munger and asked the following question:
“What one thing can I do to make me a better investment professional?”
Charlie Munger’s answer was straightforward, direct and simple:
“Read history, read history, read history.”
Based on that excellent advice, Bob Rodriguez became what he calls, “a good historian,” reading economic, financial and general history. Rodriquez writes:
“So when the crisis of 2008 came, it felt like an old friend to me because it had so many similarities to the banking crisis of 1907.”
Regardless of the massive change since Charlie Munger gave Bob Rodriguez that excellent advice in 1974, history continues to repeat itself.
Not only will history continue to repeat itself in the future, you and I, and every person we have met, or will ever meet, also continually repeats himself or herself; in words, intent, habits and actions.
Charlie Munger was and is exactly right. Read, learn, remember and leverage the lessons of history.
The cumulative knowledge and leverage of history is called wisdom. Wisdom is one of the most priceless possessions in the world.
If you desire more wisdom and success in your personal and professional life, “read history, read history, read history.” Read, learn, remember and leverage the lessons of history!