How many situations will you face that have not already been experienced by someone else? Billions of people, thousands of years … probably not too many. It’s been done.
Luckily, sometimes those experiences are captured by history, and thus they become valuable tools for us to learn and prepare for similar situations. This is part of the central ethos of Farnam Street.
In an email that went viral in 2013, U.S. Marine General James Mattis (now the U.S. Secretary of Defense) candidly wrote about the value of this approach near the beginning of the Iraq War. Advising a colleague, he wrote: