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Collection: Charlie Munger - #163 ' I’m Really Following a Very Key Idea of Marcus Tullius Cicero.'



Another idea, and by the way, when I talk about this multidisciplinary attitude I’m really following a very key idea of the greatest lawyer of antiquity, Marcus Tullius Cicero.

Cicero is famous for saying, “A man who doesn’t know what happened before he was born goes through life like a child.” That is a very correct idea of Cicero’s. And he’s right to ridicule somebody so foolish as not to know what happened before he was born.

But if you generalize Cicero as I think one should, there are all these other things that you should know in addition to history, and those other things are the big ideas in all the other disciplines.

And it doesn’t help you just to know them enough just so you can prattle them back on an exam and get an A. You have to learn these things in such a way that they’re in a mental latticework in your head and you automatically use them for the rest of your life.

If you do that, I solemnly promise you that one day you’ll be walking down the street and look to your right and left and think, “My heavenly days! I’m now one of the few most competent people of my whole age forward.” If you don’t do it, many of the brightest of you will live in the middle ranks or in the shallows.



[YAPSS Takeaway]

Learn and Use,

Not Score and Forget.

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