Same as Ever: Timeless Lessons on Risk, Opportunity and Living a Good Life by Morgan Housel, a book review

Post Category: Non-fiction
Same As Ever Timeless Lessons Risk Opportunity Living Good Life Morgan Housel Book Review Indian Book Critics literature
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Well, something here. Something there. And something in between. A self-help book is ready!

Though it appears that the author has applied the same rabbit-out-of-hat-trick here, it’s not the complete fact. It’d be like robbing a nice robber of his well-executed robbery! Morgan Housel, the accomplished author, has stolen a few stories from history, economics, things around you and me, and a few others. However, he has done it to make his book more authentic, interesting, and encouraging for the readers (obviously, to go on reading and finish it).

The book goes with two different titles, it appears. For the Indian Market, the book goes with this title – Same as Ever: Timeless Lessons on Risk, Opportunity and Living a Good Life. And for the global market, as posted by a few readers online, the book is donning this title – Same as Ever: A Guide to What Never Changes. In both cases, fortunately, the author remains present with the same name, Morgan Housel. 🙂

“But what are two of the most common tactics when people pursue something great? Trying to make it faster and bigger.”

Writes Housel in the ninth story (or the chapter) of the book. And this is what the story remains. The author busies himself with telling readers there are certain vices of humankind… and they are here to stay. (Like the COVID-19 virus, remaining here and there in various disguises.) However, let’s dive deep into the book’s content to see what has ‘changed’ and what remains uniformly (and callously) similar to other self-help books by different authors.

In Same as Ever: Timeless Lessons on Risk, Opportunity and Living a Good Life, Morgan Housel takes readers on a fascinating journey through history, economics, politics, and science, revealing timeless lessons that can help us navigate the ever-changing world around us. Drawing on a wealth of knowledge and experience, Housel presents a compelling, thought-provoking, informative, and engaging narrative. There shouldn’t be any doubt about this fact once you read the book, at least 25%. The content is indeed engaging. Unlike many cult self-help books with no bones or substance, this book does impress.

Housel’s work is divided into 23 chapters, each exploring a different aspect of human behaviour and the patterns that never change. Though it might intrigue a few readers, and critics, why did the author focus on things that never change instead of inspiring others to change and adapt? Housel’s storytelling is captivating, and his ability to weave together seemingly disparate events and ideas to create a cohesive narrative is truly remarkable. From the rise and fall of empires to the development of new technologies, Housel demonstrates that the underlying principles that drive human behaviour remain constant. And I bet many readers will find many points that reflect the common traits present in all of us. It’s a win for the author!

One of the most powerful aspects of “Same as Ever” is its emphasis on the importance of understanding history. Housel argues that by studying the past, we can gain valuable insights into the present and make better decisions for the future. This is particularly evident in his discussion of financial markets, where he demonstrates how the same patterns of boom and bust have played out time and time again. And he does it with the help of charts, bars, and figures. So, there is indeed some similarity with other books in the genre.

Housel also emphasises the importance of humility and the need to recognise our limitations. He argues that we often overestimate our ability to predict the future and underestimate the role of chance in shaping our lives. He takes the help of the 2012 movie Zero Dark Thirty, a famous film indeed, among other examples to drive this idea home. This is a crucial lesson for anyone who wants to make better decisions and avoid the pitfalls of overconfidence.

In addition to its historical and economic insights, “Same as Ever” also offers a wealth of practical advice for navigating the challenges of modern life. Housel discusses the importance of resilience, the value of long-term thinking, and the power of compounding. He also provides valuable insights into the psychology of decision-making, showing how our emotions and biases can cloud our judgment and lead us astray.

Critically, from what I could gather, the most impactful thing about Morgan Housel’s style of writing is his remarkable ability to put different things together and offer something whole, something concrete and something awe-inspiringly coherent! His ability to present complex ideas in a clear and accessible manner is what might keep readers indulged with the versatile narrative of the book. Once you read the book halfway, you can be sure that Housel’s writing is engaging and easy to follow, making the book a pleasure to read. The book is also well-researched, with many references and examples to support its arguments.

On the flip side, there are some aspects of Morgan Housel’s “Same As Ever: Timeless Lessons on Risk, Opportunity and Living a Good Life,” that might not find a positive reciprocation from readers. The repetitive nature of the content, where core ideas are revisited in different iterations, potentially diminishes the book’s impact. Additionally, the lack of depth in the exploration of the topics may well leave readers yearning for a more comprehensive analysis. The book’s focus on the enduring aspects of a changing world may not resonate with those seeking a more nuanced understanding of contemporary shifts and trends. While Housel imparts timeless lessons, the lack of exploration into the evolving dynamics of our world might leave some readers yearning for a more balanced blend of perennial wisdom and timely insights.

 

To conclude, I will go with a YES! The book is indeed worth reading! Same As Ever is certainly a thought-provoking and insightful book offering many valuable lessons. The most impressive thing about the book is the author’s effort to churn many things together and create ideas that find almost instant echoes in the minds of readers. Moreover, Housel’s ability to draw on a wide range of sources and present his ideas compellingly and engagingly is truly impressive. Whether you’re interested in history, economics, or simply making better decisions in your own life, this book has something to offer.

I am also requesting my friends at The Best Books to include this book on their amazing list – Best Self-help Books of All Time

 

Click here to get a copy of Same As Ever – Amazon India

 

Review by Alok for Indian Book Critics

Same as Ever: Timeless Lessons on Risk, Opportunity and Living a Good Life by Morgan Housel, a book review
  • IBC Critical Rating
4.3

Summary

A book, surprisingly in the self-help genre, that is interesting… perhaps more than it’s encouraging… as the book tells you what doesn’t change and cope with it! Isn’t that refreshing? Worth your time! Go for it.

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