10 Simple Statements That Will Make You Think Differently

A few smart sentences can change the way you think. Here are a few I read recently that got my mind twirling.

In his book Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind, Yuval Harari writes that human's quick evolution left us insecure:

This gets to what investor Barry Rithotlz says:

In his biography of Elon Musk, Ashlee Vance shows how Musk is able to innovate at a fraction of the cost of competitors:

The whole book is filled with similar examples. It makes you realize why some companies are astronomically more successful than others; they start with a completely different framework of thinking through problems.

In his bookAt Home: A Short History of Private Life, Bill Bryson writes that life used to be so miserable that no one even tried to make things better:

Key to having a good life is understanding why everything is amazing and no one is happy.

In his biography of the Wright Brothers, David McCullough writes how Wilbur and Orville balanced risk and innovation:

Warren Buffett put this a different way, describing investors who take fatal risks: "If you risk something that is important to you for something that is unimportant to you, it just does not make any sense."

In his book Why Don't We Learn from History, Liddell Hart writes that history is more subjective than most people think:

This is a good reminder that everyone has their own version of history.

In his book Creating the Twentieth Century, Vaclav Smil writes that huge innovation can come from improving or combining what's already in the market:

Innovation isn't dead; it just takes people a long time to notice itand connect the dots.

In Thinking, Fast and Slow, Daniel Kahneman writes that the most important historical events are influenced heavily by luck:

In early 1945, President Roosevelt was asked if the Yalta convention set the stage for global peace. "I can answer that question if you can tell me who your descendants will be in the year 2057. We can look as far ahead as humanity believes in this sort of thing," he said. I wish more people would think like this.

In his book The Thin Green Line, Paul Sullivan writes that a lot of people are rich ... for at least a while:

People talk about "the 1%" like it's a single group of people, but it's always shifting. This is truer the higher the income ladder you go -- the richest group of Americans (by income) is a here-today-gone-tomorrow club.

The book How to Lie With Statistics gives a great example of how large a sample size we need for a study to prove anything:

The desire to prove something is far stronger than the means to create a good study, so the word "proved" can be fickle.

The book This Will Make You Smarter writes that the entire point of science is leaving open the room that everything we know is wrong:

Change your mind when the facts change. Ignore those who refuse to do the same.

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Contact Morgan Housel at mhousel@fool.com. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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