How To Use Timeless Ideas as a Foundation For a Successful Life

There is a reason we still quote the Stoics and other Ancient Greek philosophers: because certain wisdom is timeless.

There is a concept known as "the lindy effect," which Nassim Taleb has written about often. It's the idea that the longer a book, for example, has been a best-seller, the higher the likelihood the book will continue to be a best-seller in the future.

If a book has been selling for 100 years, it will likely keep selling for another 100 years.

Interesting concept.

The same applies to any good idea.

If an idea has been useful for 100 years, it's likely to remain useful for another 100 years.

Here are some of those old sayings that keep sticking around:

  • Haste makes waste
  • Squeaky wheel gets the grease
  • The golden rule = do unto others as you want them to do unto you
  • If it ain't broke, don't fix it
  • Nothing ventured, nothing gained
  • People who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones
  • Jack of all trades, master of none
  • Don't put all your eggs in one basket

There's a reason you've heard all of these before; because they are based on foundational principles of life, and they aren't going to change anytime soon, maybe never.

The basics aren't flashy. After all, it's harder to sell you a book telling you things you've already heard. And you won't get the same clicks and attention today if you aren't touting something new, something "fresh."

But that is irrelevant to the fact that the truisms of life are still the truism of life... and to ignore them is dangerous.

Everything "new" is actually a play built on things that are not new.

No one has an original idea. Your ideas come from others, your upbringing, your environment.

And anything you've ever put together has been built upon the backs of giants.

Who cares?

It's the wrong question anyway, and the wrong thing to focus on.

A better question is figuring out how you can get better results by not ignoring the things right in front of your face.

This is easy. Do this: Don't ignore the basics.

Then, focus on the basics. This will accelerate your results. Master them.

Then daily revisit them and find how you can innovate creatively on the back of timeless ideas.