“I constantly see people rise in life who are not the smartest, sometimes not even the most diligent, but they are learning machines. They go to bed every night a little wiser than they were when they got up and boy does that help, particularly when you have a long run ahead of you.
Spend each day trying to be a little wiser than you were when you woke up. Discharge your duties faithfully and well. Step by step you get ahead, but not necessarily in fast spurts. But you build discipline by preparing for fast spurts.
Slug it out one inch at a time, day by day. At the end of the day – if you live long enough – most people get what they deserve.”
That’s one of the hardest things for people to accept – that you get what you deserve. Look in the mirror. You have the body you deserve based on your diet and how much you exercise. You have the social life you deserve. Your bank account probably has the amount you deserve.
The world doesn’t owe us anything. You don’t have an intrinsic right to happiness. You have to create it yourself.
Stephen Hawking says, “The past, like the future, is indefinite and exists only as a spectrum of possibilities.”
What he means is that you create your own meaning in life.
To get what you want, you have to deserve what you want.
Take a look at your life – what can you do to earn the right to deserve more?
charlie munger, the greatest quotes, rise in life, your bank account, wiser
If you had one wish and could change anything in the world what would it be? I would eradicate convictions.
Nietzsche said “Convictions are greater enemies of the truth than lies” and it’s absolutely true. Take a look around the world.
Everything that you don’t like comes from somebody having a black and white mindset.
I’ve done a lot of things wrong in my life, and I’ve done a few things right as well.
One of the things that I did right was that even as a teen, when I met somebody who said something I hadn’t heard before or maybe didn’t agree with I would still listen to them and consider the merit of their ideas.
So many people just instantly dismiss opinions that are foreign to them, often without even noticing that they’re doing it.
Eradicate the black and white mind. For all those things that you have strong convictions about, remember that somebody else might see something that you can’t see yet. We know psychologically why this happens.
Charlie Munger calls it the “superpower” that we use to resolve cognitive dissonance. We don’t like to not know so we’re always judging. That’s where racism comes from, that’s why we make snap judgments based on physical appearance. Sometimes we’re correct and sometimes we’re not.
The important thing is to be open to new ideas and opinions so our minds can continue to grow and adapt in a world that is constantly changing.
First I did my TED talk in Luxembourg (thanks to you for all the help and feedback on planning my talk). The talk will be released in a month or so.
Then I went to Turkey and Transylvania, Romania to see Count Dracula’s castle. Check it out below.
Dracula’s Castle with Ciprian
Once back to the USA, before I went home, I stopped at the Berkshire Hathaway annual meeting in Omaha, Nebraska.
15,000 top investors from around the world gathered to listen to Warren Buffett and Charlie Munger discuss their $300 billion dollar company, their outlook for the future, and their wit and wisdom on life.
Check out this picture from the conference, it’s the “world’s richest selfie” with Buffett, Munger, Gates – total net worth $143 billion.
World’s richest selfie: combined net worth $143 billion
Let me share the key takeaways I learned from listening to these guys in person:
1. Charlie Munger said competence is relative and what you really want to do is compete against idiots.
Munger said when he was in college he realized one kid, Homer, was always going to be better at him in science and engineering. So Munger switched majors so he didn’t have to compete against people like Homer.
So he advised the crowd to find an industry that’s not full of smart people. He said, “Luckily idiots are in large supply”… Haha
2. Keep large cash reserves. Buffett said he keeps $20 billion minimum so that he never has to ‘rely on the kindness of strangers’ (a little outside my budget right now) haha.
When the time comes and you need cash you will find it a nightmare to have to get others to invest in you or lend you money.
3. Munger said, “Focus on ignorance removal”, i.e. each year get less dumb. He is 90 years old and figures it will take another 20 years to remove all of his business ignorance.
4. Buffet says only play in something you know you can win at. Stay in your competence. Sit down at poker games you know you will win and stand up and leave when you know you will lose.
He said if you don’t know your competence ask your friends for their honest opinion. But don’t be surprised if the truth stings a little bit.
5. Munger said its easier to know your competence than most people think. If you weigh 100 lbs. don’t try to play pro football.
6. Buffett said if you don’t know what you should do for a career, find a subject you have a lot of curiosity in and visit the top ten companies in that industry. Then ask the owners of those companies tons of questions and eventually what you should do will become obvious.
He says the key is to find something you have tremendous curiosity in.
7. Buffett said at some point more money is not helpful. But you need to make enough to live comfortably. So you have to find the optimal point where more money doesn’t decrease your happiness.
He said he buys everything he wants, like his private jet. But he doesn’t mind living in the same house he bought in 1954 because he thinks owning a ton of houses will just complicate his life and make him less happy.
8. Scramble quickly out of your failures. Don’t wait. Munger said he and Buffett started out by investing a bad business, a textile company, but realized it quickly and changed the business model.
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