Warren Buffett, also known as the “Oracle of Omaha,” is one of the greatest investors of our time. He’s my personal favorite, not only because he’s a great investor but also because he has led an exemplary life. Buffett, who turns 91 this year, has a net worth of more than $85 billion. Buffett has taught us many lessons from his speeches and his life.
Here are some of the best life lessons from Warren Buffett:
Buffett has always believed in the power of compounding. He has not only applied this to investing but also to his life. He keeps himself updated by reading more than 500 pages a day. When he finds time, he reads the 10-K reports of companies and analyzes the companies of interest. Nowadays, reading has become harder and harder to do. There are so many apps clamoring for our attention that it becomes almost impossible to free ourselves of distractions and sit down to read. However, if you follow Buffett’s advice, it will become a habit, and the knowledge gained today will go a long way.
“It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you’ll do things differently.” – Warren Buffett
2. Stay simple
Although he’s so wealthy, Buffett prefers to live with simplicity and much below his means. He still lives in the home that he purchased in the 50s. Buffett has his breakfast at McDonald’s and drives the same car he has had for years. This doesn’t mean that he doesn’t live well. He doesn’t feel the need to be extravagant. Living simply will remove the pressure to impress people on social media and focus on what matters. If you feel validated within yourself, you won’t need external validation.
3. Demonstrate integrity
Buffett has always demonstrated integrity in his business dealings. If he promised something, he would consistently deliver. He has delivered value for his shareholders and businesses. Buffett values integrity more than any other quality, even above intelligence or energy. Interestingly, Buffet believes that there are no qualities that cannot be developed because they are all choices that we make. It is crucial to self-introspect and choose integrity to succeed in life. It is something that cannot be traded for anything, no matter what the price is.
4. Learn to communicate
Buffett was very shy when he was young. However, he realized that communicating well is necessary for success, so he joined a public speaking course and improved his communication, which helped him in his business and public life. He has always credited this course as one reason for his success. Buffett shares his wisdom through relatable short stories, a testament to his communication skills. If you are not good at articulating your thoughts, now is an excellent time to join a course to have an audience and practice your public speaking and gain confidence.
5. Love what you do
Buffett found what he loved to do very early in his life and has said that he tap dances on his way to work. He is so successful at what he does because he loves his work. He has always said that working at a job you don’t love is not the best strategy if you want to be happy. He advises students to do what they love because life is too short to be miserable at a job you hate. If you are at a job you hate, work towards changing it. If you don’t love what you do, keep looking until you find your passion. When the going gets tough at work, your passion and interest in your career will carry you through.
6. Be humble
Despite Buffett’s knowledge and wealth, Buffett is incredibly humble and is not afraid to admit mistakes. He has also revealed his lack of expertise in certain areas. When asked why he doesn’t invest in technology, he famously said that he only invests in what he understands. He has admitted that he doesn’t understand specific industries and would be far better positioned to succeed by investing in an industry he understands. Buffett has demonstrated humility and admitted investment mistakes to shareholders when he has made them. Humility can be developed by listening and asking for feedback. It is essential to question your assumptions and recognize that you may be wrong.
“I measure success by how many people love me.” – Warren Buffett
7. Be generous
Warren Buffett has been totally generous with his money. He has pledged to give away over 99% of his wealth. He has already donated more than $34 billion to various foundations. He believes that he would be using less than 1% of his wealth in his lifetime, and the 99% doesn’t have any utility for him. He believes in donating the rest to people who would benefit from this money.
Buffett’s admirable qualities have made him successful and made him tremendously popular among his peers and younger generations. No doubt, imbibing his qualities will help you develop your personality, build your character and help you lead a successful life.