Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Happiness and success

One young questioner asked Buffett and Munger to share their thoughts on happiness and success. Buffett replied:

"I tell college students, when you get to be my age you will be successful if the people who you hope to have love you, do love you. Charlie and I know people who have buildings named after them, receive great honors, etc., and nobody loves them -- not even the people who give them honors. Charlie and I talk about wouldn't it be great if we could buy love for $1 million. But the only way to be loved is to be lovable. You always get back more than you give away.... There's nobody I know who commands the love of others who doesn't feel like a success. And I can't imagine people who aren't loved feel very successful."

Munger added, "You don't want to be like the motion picture exec who had so many people at his funeral, but they were there just make sure he was dead. Or how about the guy who, at his funeral, the priest said, 'Won't anyone stand up and say anything nice for the deceased?' and finally someone said, 'Well, his brother was worse.'"

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