Shane Parrish tries to answer the question.
We make a big deal of skills of investors and financiers but deep down it boils down to basic human qualities.
the biggest thing I’ve taken away from Buffett in particular is his love of life.
I mean here’s a guy who is going on 90 who loves every minute of his life and doesn’t do things he doesn’t want to do.
Every year I go, I take a couple days in December and I go and I, I don’t space out but I start thinking about the past year and what it is that I did that I didn’t like? Do I think that I’ll like that in the future? If I don’t, how do I reduce that? My goal since I’ve been 25 basically has been how do I reduce the things that I don’t want to do and increase the things that I do want to do? I mean we’re not all billionaires. We can’t hire, outsource everything that we don’t want to be doing to other people, but I also don’t want to wake up when I’m 50 and go, “Hey I just did a lot of stuff that I really didn’t like doing for some goal that may or may not come.”
I want to be conscious about how I live life.
I think Buffett is a perfect example. I know so many people who are like, “I hate my job. I don’t want to go to work today.” I don’t want to end up that person. I don’t think the rewards, whether promised or real, are worth it.
I think you end up getting to the end of your life and you start regretting those choices. I don’t want to be in that position. Buffett has taught me to be conscious about happiness, be conscious about being optimistic about the future based on the past, and just constantly having a smile and having fun with life.
What I’ve learned from Munger is completely different.
What I’ve learned from him is that there is a way to think about things that can help you be more rational. I’m not saying rational decision making is the only way or the best way, but I am saying it’s important to know how to make rational decisions.
I think what I’ve learned from Munger is that you can make rational decisions, you can learn about the world, and the world operates incorporating multiple disciplines. If you don’t know those disciplines, as he puts it, you’re going to be a one-legged man in an ass-kicking contest.
I don’t want to be that guy. It’s the blending of those two things that I think is really important. It’s not about being purely rational about every minute of your day and optimizing your time. It’s about living life. We only get one life and we need to be aware of that so that we don’t wake up one day and go, “Man I wish I could have a do over.” Because we don’t get do overs.
He also writes a blog called Farnam Street, (Farnam Street is where iconic Berkshire is located).
Farnam Street, which is a homage to Buffett and Munger, has a clear goal: We want to help you understand how the world really works, in all of its complexity. With that understanding, you can make better decisions, live a better life, and be more helpful to those around you. We think that goal is worth your time and ours.
There is also a reason why we cannot really get closer to these guys. We analyse all kinds of financial strategies which they “seem to follow” but the latter seem to be just doing basic things..