Charlie Munger passed away recently at 99 years of age, just 34 days away from reaching 100. His life lessons are timeless and worth learning. If you have any interest in finance and investing you surely must have heard of him. He is the business partner and a good friend of Warren Buffett. As a result you must have seen blogs or emails about his famous quotes and life lessons. I did not want to bore you again with the same quotes. Instead, I recently came across a blog post on 40 lessons from 30 years. I thought it was interesting and wanted to see if I agree with any of them and how I measured up in my life. You should read the post and see if it applies to you too.
It’s never the right time. This is very true. We never think this is the right time. Take early retirement for example. No matter how much money we have, we still think it may not be the right time. Same for investment. If the market is high, we worry it may not be the right time since the market might crash. If it is too low, we are worried that it may fall further. Another one is moving back to India if you are living in a foreign country. May be I will work another couple of years before I can move and the day never comes.
I navigated through these decisions by having a hard deadline or a fixed number. I never changed my goal post by tweaking the numbers all the time. You make a goal and you either reach it or you fail. There is no such thing as “this is not the right time” and “may be in some time you will reach the goal”. You failed, so make new plans, don’t keep putting off things. It is somewhat similar to err on the side of too early over too late.
Get in shape. Yes, we have all heard of this one and have delayed it too. I get it. Getting into shape and remaining that way is hard work. Lifting weights or eating healthy is tough in our already stressful life. But there are a few other ways to get fit like playing games. If you enjoy tennis or cricket or badminton, why not just play for fun with your kid, friend or spouse and see how much it improves your mood, health and well being. It is not stressful to get up and play unlike lifting weights. However, whatever form of exercise you choose, one thing you need is time, which is at a premium.
You do your best work when you’re not working. I am unable to do this at all. Every waking minute I am processing some information. I know it is bad, and I really want to cut it down so I have some down time and be in my own world. From the time I wake up, until I sleep, I am always trying to optimize for productivity. Any time my hands are not free to type on my laptop or work on my electronics, like when I make my morning coffee or mopping the floor etc, I have my headphones on listening to some podcast or audiobook. The only time I can think of when I don’t have my headphones is oddly, when I workout :). I listen to music from an external speaker. I want my complete attention on my form when I am working out.
Someone else has already solved your problems. Very true indeed. This is most obvious when I am doing projects. Someone, has already solved the problem and I just have to copy it. So reading and searching the internet helps. Unfortunately I tend to forget this and try to do everything by myself only to realize that someone has already done a better job and I could have just used their work. Need to spend more time reading before I start jumping head first into any project ideas I conjure up.
Money is a tool for freedom. I have started seeing money that way. Money is not for buying things or showing off or indulging in extravagance. It is a tool for my freedom so I can do what I like, when I like.
Rebuild some relationship with nature. I have been working on this. I like to spend most of my time with the electronics (laptop, phone, TV, music system), but I know humans are not designed to be sitting and watching colorful screens. While I started doing some organic gardening and harvesting, I think I can do better. like taking a walk in nature everyday.
You can handle more than you think. If you aren’t occasionally failing at things, you’re not pushing yourself. That says it all.
You find what you like by trying it, not by thinking about it. Procrastination is your enemy.
Increase the difficulty. If life feels easy then you are not doing enough. Of course I don’t mean that you always be in a state of overwork and stress. But if you feel like things are going well for too long, try to make it difficult for yourself. Let it be exercise or trying out new things.
Those were some of the interesting things I found in the blog. Of course, Charlie Munger’s quotes are timeless and very valuable. Here are some of those if you are not already bored.
You don’t have a lot of envy, you don’t have a lot of resentment, you don’t overspend your income, you stay cheerful in spite of your troubles, you deal with reliable people and you do what you’re supposed to do. All these simple rules work so well to make your life better
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 when they got up and boy does that help — particularly when you have a long run ahead of you
To get what you want, you have to deserve what you want. The world is not yet a crazy enough place to reward a whole bunch of undeserving people.
Envy is a really stupid sin because it’s the only one you could never possibly have any fun at. There’s a lot of pain and no fun. Why would you want to get on that trolley?
The best armour of old age is a well spent life preceding it.