JOHN VESPASIAN is the author of eight books about rational living, including “When Everything Fails, Try This” (2009), “Rationality is the Way to Happiness” (2009), “The Philosophy of Builders” (2010), “The 10 Principles of Rational Living” (2012), “Rational Living, Rational Working” (2013), “Consistency: The Key to Permanent Stress Relief” (2014), “On Becoming Unbreakable” (2015), and “Thriving in Difficult Times” (2016).
-The story of chess player Bobby Fisher is instructive for how to prevent huge mistakes.
-Archaeologist Howard Carter’s success based on ignoring “positive thinking” and sticking to the facts.
-Leonardo Da Vinci, the genius of the century, died early and poor. Dabbled in a lot of things but nothing in depth. Not a model to follow. Better to concentrate on a few fields.
-Children won’t become rational on their own. Need to be taught.
-Promote learning that can create the basis for learning other things. E.g. Need math, grammar as foundations. Think long-term, think ahead.
-Canaletto was successful at selling paintings of views of Venice to English tourists. Sold that business and went to UK. Failed at selling paintings of English sites. Misread the market.
-Can you do what you want? Some markets are too small and people won’t make it. E.g. sports professions.
-People aren’t successful by having huge goals.
-Sigmund Freud successful only after much trial and error, with little by little steps. Started with hypnosis for hysteria, then moved into dream analysis.
-Get out of your head. Need grounding and reality.
-Ancient Greece survived for centuries. Stayed away from conflict and focused on business. Became good at preventing conflicts and did business around the world. Bad deals better than good confrontations.
-George Washington’s axiom was to trade liberally with Europe but stay away from their wars.
John Vespasian on the power of rational thinking and learning from history, August 15, 2017