10 Things We Can Learn from Charles Darwin

1. Bear in mind at the outset that when Darwin was asked by Galton to fill out a questionnaire concerning his main talents in the 1850s, Darwin said his main talent was speculating in the consols.

2. Darwin established a routine. Every day was mapped out the same way for 40 years. Walk before breakfast, work until 11 am. Walk the dog. Listen to wife Emma read the family letters. Lunch. Read the newspapers (to check on his holdings and plan future speculative undertakings and to see what important flexions he could get on his side. Take a nap. Work from 4:30 to 6:30. Small dinner. Play backgammon or billiards. Listen to wife play piano. Such a routine enables you to speculate when you are prepared and not to let emotions interfere.

3. He listened to music every day. The wife played very well. An interlude to take the mind off the fray of the day, and to enjoy another language, gives one insight into the battle for investment survival.

4. Play some backgammon with the kids. Important to stay young at heart or else you’ll be unable to adjust to the new things and ever changing cycles.

5. He had a secret mirror to warn of the approach of uninvited guests so he could absent hide and pretend not to be home. (Gino Paoloochi had a similar trick, although he often supplemented it by always wearing a hat so he could say “of glad to see you. Sorry I am just going out.”)

6. Darwin always studied his worms, and beetles each day. We are part of a community with nature, and the same principles that govern nature apply to speculation. Trollope’s maid who worked as a governess for Darwin confided to him that she felt very sorry for Darwin as he was so bored that he spent hours at a time just sitting on his sand path, with his looking glass studying worms.

7. Plant a seed properly and a strong oak will grow. “It may be doubted whether there are many other animals which have played so important a part in the history of the human race than these lowly organized creatures”.

8. Keep good records. He kept notebooks with all his observations including the play of his children. He watched them play and laugh and cry, keeping notebooks of the human animals they were.

9. Live near the exchange. Darwin lived only 15 miles from London so he would be able to attend the important meetings of the societies, flexionize, and keep in touch with his brokers, and solicitors.

10. Always be ready to change. He was constantly building new paths and extensions to the house as he had to keep up with the change in his circumstances.

Go to top