As someone who started their career in trading global markets, I quickly began to observe and recognize trends and patterns that repeat.
I describe these repeating patterns as cycles. When one stops to look, there are repeating cycles all around us; day and night, sunrise and sunset, summer autumn winter spring, women’s cycles, business cycles, economic cycles, solar and lunar cycles, planetary cycles, etc.
One of the major cycles that I have observed and follow is an 18.6 year economic cycle (I could go in to great detail about this cycle, but I won’t at this time).
In summary, why does this particular cycle work and have such strength? The simple answer is that 18.6 years is about a generation, and human beings are mostly optimistic and do a fairly good job of minimizing or forgetting the past.
King Solomon said in Ecclesiastes 1:9 NASB “What has been, it is what will be, And what has been done, it is what will be done. So there is nothing new under the sun.” Or in another translation (NLT) “History merely repeats itself. It has all been done before. Nothing under the sun is truly new.”
I have observed that many great leaders, both political and business are diligent students of history.
I think Winston Churchill, one of the most celebrated leaders in modern history, known for his powerful speeches and strong leadership during World War II, summed it up well with his quote; “The farther back you can look, the farther forward you are likely to see.”
This quote is a powerful reminder of the importance of studying history to enable us to gain a greater understanding of what the future may look like.
As one studies human nature, one starts to observe different repeating cycles in human nature.
In Ray Dalio’s excellent book The Changing World Order, Ray studied the rise and fall of empires going back 500 years and the identifying markers at each stage including social, economic, educational, military and political. By identifying these historical markers then overlaying them on current data points, one can gain reasonable insights of what is likely coming next in the future.
I encourage everyone to gain strong insights into the future by becoming a student of history.
Remember; “The farther back you can look, the farther forward you are likely to see.”