I’ve just finished reading an insanely good book on business, life, and success. Poor Charlie’s Almanac is a compellation of the wisdom filled thoughts and expressions from billionaire investor Charlie Munger. This book is a must read for anyone who wants to be an entrepreneur and also one that I think provides great information for basically anybody who wants to reach the peak of achievement. Here are some quotes from the book that are in essence a how-to-guide on getting everything you want out of life.
The safest way to get what you want is to deserve what you want. Deliver to the world what you would buy if you were on the other end.
There is huge pleasure in life to be obtained from getting deserved trust. And the way to get it is to deliver what you would want to buy if the circumstances were reversed.
Wisdom acquisition is a moral duty. It’s not something you do just to advance in life. As a corollary to that proposition, which is very important, it means that you are hooked for lifetime learning.
And without lifetime learning, you are not going to do very well. You are not going to get very far in life based on what you already know. I constantly see people rise in life that 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.
Nothing has served me better in my long life than continuous learning.
I went through life constantly practicing (because if you don’t practice it, you lose it) a multi-disciplinary approach to learning and I can’t tell you what that’s done for me. It’s made life more fun, it’s made me more constructive, it’s made me more helpful to others; it’s made me enormously rich. You name it, that attitude really helps.
Marcus Cicero is famous for saying that the man who doesn’t know what happened before he was born goes through life like a child. That is a very correct idea.
If you generalize Cicero, as I think one should, there are all these other things that you should know in addition to history. And those other things are the big ideas in all the other disciplines. It doesn’t help just to know them enough so you can repeat them back on an exam and get an A.
You have to learn these things in such a way that they’re in a mental latticework in your head and you automatically use them for the rest of your life. You have to be eclectic, read many different topics, not just the ones exactly applicable to your life.
If you do that I solemnly promise you that one day you’ll be walking down the street and you’ll look to your right and left and you’ll think ‘my heavenly days, I’m now one of the of the few most competent people in my whole age cohort.’ If you don’t do it, many of the brightest of you will live in the middle ranks or in the shallows.
Spend each day trying to become a little wiser than you were when you woke up. Step by step you get ahead, but not necessarily in fast spurts. You build discipline by preparing for fast spurts. Discharge your duties faithfully and well. Slug it out one inch at a time, day by day – if you live long enough, most people get what they deserve.