in Life

Munger’s Wit and Wisdom

Take a simple idea, take it seriously.

Another thing you have to do is have a lot of assiduity. I like that word because to me it means: “Sit down on your ass until you do it.

Another thing that I have found is that intense interest in any subject is indispensable if you’re really going to excel in it. I could force myself to be fairly good in a lot of things, but I couldn’t excel in anything in which I didn’t have an intense interest. So to some extent you’re going to have to do as I did. If at all feasible, you want to maneuver yourself into doing something in which you have an intense interest.

You particularly want to avoid working directly under somebody you don’t admire and don’t want to be like.

In life, getting what you want is simple, become deserving of it.

The last idea that I want to give to you, as you go out into a profession that frequently puts a lot of procedure and some mumbo jumbo into what it does, is that complex bureaucratic procedure does not represent the highest reach. One higher form is a seamless, non-bureaucratic web of deserved trust. Not much fancy procedure, just totally reliable people correctly trusting one another. ‘that’s the way an operating room works at the Mayo Clinic.

If your proposed marriage contract has 47 pages, my suggestion is that you not enter.

The quantity of man’s pleasure from a ten dollar gain does not exactly match the quantity of his displeasure from a ten-dollar loss. That is, the loss seems to hurt much more than the gain seems to help.

Charlie’s Book Recommendations

  • Deep Simplicity: Bringing Order to Chaos and Complexity John Gribbin, Random House (2005)
  • F.F.1.A.S.C.O.: The Inside Story of a Wall Street Trader Frank Partnoy, Penguin Books (1999)
  • Ice Age John & Mary Gribbin, Barnes & Noble (2002)
  • How the Scots Invented the Modern World: The True Story of How Western Europe’s Poorest Nation Created Our World & Everything in It Arthur Herman, Three Rivers Press (2002)
  • Models of My Life Herbert A. Simon The MIT Press (1996)
  • A Matter of Degrees: What Temperature Reveals About the Past and Future of Our Species, Planet, and Universe Gino Segre, Viking Books (2002)
  • Andrew Carnegie Joseph Frazier Wall, Oxford University Press (1970)
  • Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies Jared M. Diamond, W. W. Norton & Company
  • The Third Chimpanzee: The Evolution and Future of the Human Animal Jared Nt[. Diamond, Perennial (1992)
  • Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion Robert B. Cialdini, Perennial Currents (1998)
  • The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin Benjamin franklin, Yale Nota Bene (2003)
  • Living Within Limits: Ecology, Economics, and Population Taboos Garrett Hardin, Oxford University Press (1995)
  • The Selfish Gene Richard Dawkins, Oxford University Press (1990)
  • Titan: The Life of John D. Rockefeller Sr. Ron Chernow, Vintage (2004)
  • The Wealth and Poverty of Nations: Why Some Are So Rich and Some So Poor David S. f,andes, W. W Norton & Company (1998)
  • The Warren Buffett Portfolio: Mastering the Power of the Focus Investment
  • Strategist Robert G. Hagstrom, Wiley (2000)
  • Genome: The Autobiography of a Species in 23 Chapters Matt Ridley, Harper Collins Publishers (2000)
  • Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreement Without Giz.ting In Roger Fisher,
  • William, and Bruce Patton, Penguin Books
  • Three Scientists and Their Gods: Looking for Meaning in an Age of Information Robert Wright, Harper Collins Publishers (1989)
  • Only the Paranoid Survive Andy Grove, Currency (1996)”

Source: Poor Charlie’s Almanac