Practice English Speaking&Listening with: A Day In The Life Of The Richest Person That Ever Lived

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- [Narrator] Some people believe it's the root of all evil,

while others say it makes the world go round.

There are those that say it brings happiness,

and others who blame all the world's problems on it.

But no matter what you think about it,

we all want be rich enough

to live the life we want worry free.

So that begs the question,

how do we become as rich as the richest people in the world?

What sort of habits and behaviors do they have

that allow them to accrue such gigantic wealth.

From the effective habits of the world's current richest man

to the life of the richest man in history,

who you've probably never heard of,

this is a day in the life of the richest man ever.

(electronic music) - Amazing.

- [Narrator] To join the ranks of the super-rich,

it's obvious you need a good routine

that will allow you to work hard

and at the peak of your physical and mental capabilities.

Let's take a look at Microsoft founder Bill Gates,

a man who's made around 100 billion

from his well-known businesses.

He starts the day with breakfast and exercise,

and manages his time meticulously,

breaking the entire day up into five minute chunks.

It's this organization and preparation

that allows him to maximize his productivity

and keep on top of his workload,

and as a result he now lives an extremely lavish lifestyle.

Bill Gates is so rich he actually admits

he wouldn't be able to spend it all, even if he tried.

But while Gates might be unimaginably rich,

he doesn't come close to being the richest person ever.

That title is reserved

for a relatively unknown person, coming up soon.

In fact, Gates isn't even the richest man alive today.

The richest man alive is no longer Bill Gates,

but the founder and CEO of Amazon, Jeff Bezos.

Here's Jeff in 1999 in his very first office,

starting out at Amazon using a door propped up

with two by fours as a desk.

From his humble beginnings, Jeff now runs a gigantic company

that is worth over $800 billion

and sells pretty much everything under the sun,

from streaming TV services to space travel.

Owning over 16% of all Amazon shares in existence,

Bezos is worth around 140 billion.

So, how did Bezos do it?

One crucial reason is his military discipline

and highly organized daily routine.

Bezos starts each day early.

This is actually pretty common among successful people.

Apple CEO Tim Cook even gets up at 3:45 a.m.

But Bezos wakes up naturally, with no alarm clock.

He spends the first couple of hours

of his day pottering around.

He has a coffee and reads the newspaper.

He has breakfast with his kids,

and has been known to eat some extravagant meals.

Bezos likes to try new things,

like eating octopus for breakfast.

He's even been known to like eating iguana.

He says it's good for the brain.

But he also enjoys a greasy burger from a food truck,

or at least he does when he wants

to make himself look like a human.

As his morning moves on,

he has his first important meetings of the day.

His hardest decisions are always made first, at 10:00 a.m.,

when his brain is most alert and proactive.

As the day wears on, he takes on easier and easier tasks,

that are more fitting to the way the human brain

naturally gets tired and affected by decision fatigue.

Bezos keeps his afternoons free

from high-intensity appointments,

and if an emergency pops up in the evening,

he'll put it off until 10:00 a.m. the next day,

when his brain is firing on all cylinders again.

By 5:00 p.m. he clocks off,

and spends the rest of the day unwinding,

making sure he does the dishes after dinner.

He reserves some time for hobbies too,

and has made a cameo appearance in Star Trek,

as well as totally normal hobbies like piloting submarines.

When Bezos' day is over, he goes to bed,

making sure he has enough time

to get a full eight hours of sleep

before he does the whole thing all over again.

So it's likely his razor-sharp routine

and commitment to a small number

of high-quality decisions each day

has helped him amass his personal fortune.

Of course, paying his employees very low wages

and dodging millions in tax might help a little too.

But despite how insanely wealthy he is,

Jeff Bezos is far from being the richest person in history.

That title goes to a man who had the equivalent

of $400 billion dollars relative to today's prices,

four times as much as Bill Gates

and over two and a half times as much as Jeff Bezos.

The richest man ever was wealthy beyond your wildest dreams,

and you've probably never heard his name.

This man was the 10th ruler of the Mali Empire,

and his name was Kankan Musa, better known as Mansa Musa,

the richest man in human history.

This is what we think he looked like.

So, what would a day in his life have been like?

He never kept a diary or if he did, we haven't found it,

so his day to day life was never officially recorded.

But that doesn't mean we can't take an educated guess

based on the evidence uncovered

by historians and archaeologists.

The first thing Mansa Musa would likely have done

is look out of his window to survey his vast empire.

At its peak, this empire spanned 439,400 square miles

and stretched across land occupied

by 10 of the 54 countries in Africa today.

That's almost five times bigger than the United Kingdom

and had a population of over 20 million,

no small feat in those days.

The Mali empire lasted from 1235 to 1600,

so it's fair to say it had a decent run.

Across the empire, the majority of people

spoke a similar language and had a similar culture,

and its cultural legacy can still be seen today.

As he would have lived in a palace,

his morning routine probably involved looking out the window

and surveying his royal complex.

Most of the wealth was in the form of salt,

a very valuable commodity back then, and gold,

and so he probably saw plenty of shining monuments

and heaps of salt being carried by donkeys.

The palace he woke up in was undoubtedly

the height of luxury.

As a lover of gold,

it's fair to assume he owned a few pieces himself.

In fact, the evidence suggests this guy would've put

the Donald and his little hotel chain to shame.

Getting ready would have been easy,

as he had a small army of slaves working for him,

slaves who would've dressed him in his royal robes

and prepared him a luxury breakfast.

No records of his diet have been kept,

but it would likely have involved local staples

like onions, tomatoes, eggplant, yams, mangoes,

bananas, or watermelon, fit for a king.

After breakfast, he probably would have read a book.

This was a king with a reputation for wisdom.

He was extremely dedicated to education and learning,

and the morning would have been

the ideal time to relax with a good book.

But Mansa Musa wasn't just concerned

with learning about the world.

He put his ideas into practice and was committed

to helping the lives of his subjects.

Like Bill Gates, Mansa Musa was also

an extremely charitable man

who would give to the poor at every opportunity he could.

He dramatically improved the education standards

of the people in his empire by building schools,

universities, and libraries where people could learn

about science, philosophy, poetry, mathematics,

and the most cutting-edge knowledge of the day.

He might not have been an angel, and he did own slaves,

but he was certainly not selfish,

and he wasn't one of those rulers

who's only out for himself.

So, what would the rest of the day have in store

for Mansa Musa, the richest person in history?

Well, as with most politicians,

he would have had regular meetings with his advisors,

who would give him advice on running his vast empire.

Many of his policies would have been influenced

by his personal beliefs,

and unlike most of the richest people alive today,

this guy was extremely religious.

Mansa Musa lived his life as a devout Muslim

and used his immense wealth to spread Islam.

Some modern scholars think he could be at least partially

responsible for the global size and spread of Islam today.

In the evening, it's quite likely Musa would have gone

for a visit to his local mosque,

or perhaps even his personal mosque, to pray.

As an incredibly devout Muslim,

it would be amazing if he didn't visit the mosque

on at least a weekly basis.

When he went on his Hajj, the Islamic pilgrimage to Mecca,

he spread the Muslim religion to wherever he visited,

and brought with him a gigantic procession of servants,

bodyguards and assistants on a journey

that would have taken months.

His pilgrimage was the stuff of legend,

and his entourage numbered many thousands of people.

Everywhere he went he took gold

and handed it out to crowds he met.

In fact, during his Hajj, he gave so much out in Cairo

that the value of gold plummeted,

and the Egyptian economy tanked.

On his way home, he had to buy back some of his gold

and take out loans with a huge interest rate

to help stabilise their economy.

Some say Mansa Musa even built a brand new mosque

on his journey every Friday, the Muslim holy day.

I personally prefer a good movie and a bag of chips,

but to each their own.

As he wanted to spread his religion

to as many people as he possibly could,

this was a pretty smart idea.

Give people a load of gold to get them to like you,

then build a mosque so that they'll think,

hey, this guy seems cool, I'll give his religion a try.

And his message certainly had appeal.

14th century Islam was actually

way ahead of 14th century Christianity.

In Europe, Christianity was busy hating science,

and accusing everyone of sorcery or witchcraft.

While Europe was burning people at the stake

and trying to cure the plague by reading the Bible,

Islam was encouraging free thinking,

science and mathematics.

After visiting the Mosque,

Mansa Musa would probably have gone home

to have dinner with his family.

It's not known exactly how many wives he had,

but his favorite was a woman called Inari Kunate,

who accompanied Musa on his Hajj,

along with 500 maids in waiting.

When you've had the life that Musa had,

I'm sure it's something you would mention

at the dinner table.

Musa would probably take great pleasure

in boring his children with stories

about the charity he provided, the gold he gave away,

and all the spectacular buildings he erected.

His kids were probably sick and tired of hearing that story

of how he built the University of Sankore.

Dad's are always the same, eh?

And once dinner was over,

I doubt Mansa Musa would've offered to do the dishes.

Mansa Musa's kids eventually took over from him

when he died sometime in the late 1340s.

Nobody knows exactly what he died from,

but it was probably natural causes.

His son succeeded him, but his reign lasted only four years.

Mansa Musa's family ended up squabbling

over the inheritance and the empire fell into disrepair.

Finally, his life's work fell apart,

but the Mali Empire left an important mark

on world history in the 750 years that followed.

Mansa Musa's personal wealth was valued

at $400 billion in today's money,

meaning that even now the richest man ever

was not the CEO of big tech company

or a banker born into the right family.

He was an African emperor

you've probably only just heard of.

Who knows if the world will ever see a man like him again?

Have you heard of Mansa Musa?

Why do you think this powerful king

has been left out of our history books?

Let me know your thoughts

in the comments section down below,

and thanks for watching.

(electronic music)

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