Tuesday, February 26, 2008

The secret to happiness from one of the richest men in the world

From a recent Q&A with Warren Buffet:

"I enjoy what I do, I tap dance to work every day. I work with people I love, doing what I love. The only thing I would pay to get rid of is firing people. I spend my time thinking about the future, not the past. The future is exciting. As Bertrand Russell says, “Success is getting what you want, happiness is wanting what you get.” I won the ovarian lottery the day I was born and so did all of you. We’re all successful, intelligent, educated. To focus on what you don’t have is a terrible mistake. With the gifts all of us have, if you are unhappy, it’s your own fault.

I know a woman in her 80’s, a Polish Jew woman forced into a concentration camp with her family but not all of them came out. She says, “I am slow to make friends because when I look at people, I have one question in mind; would they hide me?” If you get to be my age, or younger for that matter, and have a lot of people that would hide you, then you can feel pretty good about how you’ve lived your life. I know people on the Forbes 400 list whose children would not hide them. “He’s in the attic, he’s in the attic.” Some of them keep compensating by joining board seats or getting honorary degrees, but it doesn’t change the fact that no one will give a damn when they are gone. The most powerful force in the world is unconditional love. To horde it is a terrible mistake in life. The more you try to give it away, the more you get it back. At an individual level, it’s important to make sure that for the people that count to you, you count to them."

It might seem easy to espouse such ideals from behind a multi-billion dollar fortune, but this is the guy who is giving it all back, leaving next to nothing to his children.

More info: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Warren_Buffett

1 comment:

Neil said...

I'm not leaving anything to my children either, but they are the ones that make me the richest woman on earth...I was born into such a wonderful family. I am what I am because of my brothers and sisters. Warren hasn't got anything over on me......Auntie V.