Thursday, June 14, 2007

Charlie Munger's lessons on life

Just read, Sharad Sharma's excellent blog post on Charlie Munger's commencement speech that summarizes some core principles and ways of being that one should embody for happiness and success. For those who do not know Charlie, he is a close friend and business partner of Warren Buffett (yes, that guy who made & then gave away his billions). Whether you are fascinated by Buffett's money making prowess (materialist) or his charity (spiritualist) - this would be an interesting read. Sadagopan (also an Irregular) has a post on it too. So why am I chiming in?

Because I want everyone that stumbles upon my blog to read this address. Here is an excerpt from the middle:
Another thing, perverse incentives. You do not want to be in a perverse incentive system that’s causing you to behave more and more foolishly or worse and worse - incentives are too powerful a control over human cognition or human behavior. If you’re in one, I don’t have a solution for you. You’ll have to figure it out for yourself, but it’s a significant problem.

Perverse associations, also to be avoided. You particularly want to avoid working under somebody you really don’t admire and don’t want to be like. We’re all subject to control to some extent by authority figures, particularly authority figures that are rewarding us. Getting to work under people we admire requires some talent. The way I solved that is I figured out the people I did admire and I maneuvered cleverly without criticizing anybody so I was working entirely under people I admired. You’re outcome in life will be way more satisfactory and way better if you work under people you really admire. The alternative is not a good idea.

Read full speech here.
I would love to add my comments, my learnings and ideas on what is the right way to live but I know for sure Charlie would advise against it (as he says in the speech 'keep the light under the bushel').

(Update: For the interested reader, read this post by Sharad on Work Life Balance; Another update/correction: I menitioned Sharad is an Irregulars member- that was an error).

No comments: