Seeking Wisdom: From Darwin To Munger by Peter Bevelin [Actionable Summary]

This is a comprehensive summary of the book Seeking Wisdom: From Darwin To Munger by Peter Bevelin. Covering the key ideas and proposing practical ways for achieving what’s mentioned in the text. Written by book fanatic and online librarian Ivaylo Durmonski. Supporting Members get full access.

The Book In Three Or More Sentences:

Packed with wisdom, this book will help you see the world as it is. Not as you want it to be. Peter Bevelin offers a compilation of the sage advice from outstanding scientists like Darwin, Einstein, and the famous investors Charles Munger and Warren Buffett. Primarily, it’s a book about studying wisdom. The text explores what influences our thinking, what psychological flaws in our brains cause errors in our thinking, and finally, it offers ways to improve the way we reason.

The Core Idea:

Avoid the roads that lead to unhappiness. Understand when and where you are going to “die” to guarantee that you will never go there. Seeking Wisdom dumps insights from a range of books to ensure that you will never repeat the same mistake twice. The main concept of the book is to introduce the casual reader to the way smart folks think so he can defend himself, from himself. Plainly, change the way you think about business and life to change the way you act.

Reason To Read:

Rarely do we have the chance to speak with intelligent people. But we do have the chance to peek behind the curtain of their grey matter and get closer to their way of thinking thanks to books like this. The ideas and the rules to play the game of life and avoid misery suggested in the book are nothing new – especially if you have read Thinking, Fast and Slow. Yet, refreshing your knowledge on how our thoughts can influence our behavior in a bad way will distance you away from destruction and closer to making better judgments.


  • Consistently avoiding stupid mistakes is often way better than consistently trying to come up with new smart ideas.
  • If you are in a boat with immoral people. It’s best to change boats than trying to patch the leaks.
  • Create checklists that help you avoid ruin but don’t let them prevent you from thinking.

7 Key Lessons From Seeking Wisdom:

Lesson #1: How You Think is How You Behave

What happens to us is not that important. What really counts is what we think about what happens to us.

Our behavior is based on our thoughts and state of mind.

You are having a bad day not only because something awful happened. But because you interpret the events as harmful.

As Marcus Aurelius, the Roman emperor and philosopher, said a long time ago: “Our life is what our thoughts make it.”

Think you won’t do a good job, and you probably won’t.

In the book, the author shares a study that observes people who are constantly worried about their health. The results reveal that these folks who have negative expectations about their health were four times more likely to actually have health problems.

Or in other words, if you plant a seed in your head about having problems. Guess what? It’s almost certain that you will have such problems.

Opposingly, if you encode thoughts about a healthy body and a clear mind. These will take shape eventually.

I know, it sounds too good to be true.

Just change how you think to change how experience life. Where is the science in that?

But as observed by the author, the placebo effect is a famous therapeutic treatment.

The only requirement for it to work is for the patient to believe in the treatment.

If you are convinced that the medication will clear your mind and lessen the pain, it will surely do – regardless of whether the remedy is real or just a sugar pill.

Wondering why this is important?

Simply put, you can’t change the way you behave unless you first change the way you think.

Our thoughts guide our actions.

So, the conclusion is simple: Change your thoughts to change the way you act.

“A placebo is an inactive or ineffective treatment or substance (for example, sugar pills or injections with saline solution) that is often used in comparison with active treatments. Studies show that a placebo can improve a patient’s condition simply because the patient expects it will work.” Peter Bevelin

Hey there, sorry to interrupt…

Since you’ve come this far, it seems that you are really passionate about books and learning. I’m too! And while what I’m about to say next probably won’t quite excite you, I have to say it…

Look, this is members-only content.

(Already a member? You can log-in using this link, here.)

See, I digest acres of complex ideas from various books and morph my findings into straight-to-the-point book summaries. The main goal is not only to help you understand the underlying ideas from famous, and not-so-famous, titles. But, also, to help you stay curious, inspired, and well-informed. Above all, though, I want to help you transition from a passive online consumer to an active mindful go-getter with a sense of purpose.

By becoming a supporting member, you’ll unlock a well-curated online selection of book summaries that aim to move you in the right direction.

You can join as a MONTHLY ($29.95 USD), or QUARTERLY ($59.95 USD) member. Read more about the membership, here.

Share with others: