11 Lessons on Living Mindfully Like Warren Buffett

When a self-made billionaire gives you advice, you better take it!

July 22, 2015
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Warren Buffet is known as the “Oracle of Omaha” for his expertise in business and investing. Buffet, the chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, is now a self-made billionaire thanks to the choices he’s made over the years. When a self-made billionaire give you advice, you better take it!

1. Focus On You

Buffet has said, “investing in yourself is the best thing you can do.” An investment in yourself is an investment of which you have total control. You need to trust yourself and know where your talents lie. Once you know that, double down and do everything you can to improve those talents. Even if it doesn’t seem like it at the time, it will pay off down the road. 

2. Breaking Bad…Habits

Recognizing bad habits or weaknesses in you is tough for everyone. However, it’s even tougher to recognize a bad habit and make a change. The younger you recognize destructive behavior, the better. Buffet said it’s one of main things that hold people back. But you can decide to make a change before it becomes ingrained. Buffett told the students at University of Florida: “You can get rid of it a lot easier at your age than at my age, because most behaviors are habitual. The chains of habit are too light to be felt until they are too heavy to be broken.”

3. Strengths and Weaknesses

The previous entries add up to this: Know your strengths and weaknesses. Not everyone is Superman. Be realistic and know your limits. It’s to your advantage to not to get in over your head. In 2001, Buffet told Georgia State University students, “You don’t have to be an expert on everything, but knowing where the perimeter of that circle of what you know and what you don’t know is, and staying inside of it is all important.”

4. Think About The Risks You’re Taking

There’s nothing wrong with taking a risk every once and while, but think about why you’re doing it. Buffet said he’s seen many individuals fall prey to greed and take risks for something they didn’t need, or even really want. Essentially, never risk something you need to get something you don’t need. 

5. Love What You Do

Buffet’s advice is to try to find a job that lets you do something you would do if you didn’t have to worry about money. You’ll be ready to learn and excited to work each day. It’s hard to put a price on that sort of thing. “I get to work in a job that I love, but I have always worked at a job that I loved.” Buffett said. “I loved it just as much when I thought it was a big deal to make $1,000.”

6. The Golden Rule

This is pretty simple; treat others how you would like to be treated. Or as Buffet put it, “It’s so simple that it’s almost too obvious to notice. Look around at the people you like. Isn’t it a logical assumption that if you like traits in other people, then other people would like you if you developed those same traits?”

7. Think of Time As a Resource

Now, you’re probably not a billionaire like Buffet, but your time is still valuable. You only get 24 hours in each day, so use them wisely. Don’t fill up your day with appointments and functions that provide no value or educational opportunities to you. 

8. Find Those You Admire

Mentorship is an important aspect of any job or education. Buffet has been very open about the importance of his mentor Benjamin Graham, his professor at Columbia University, to his education and investment career. Graham helped Buffet build an investment philosophy responsible for his empire. Of his mentor, Buffet said, “He was a generous man.”

9. Fear Factor

It’s important to face your fears. If you don’t, you’ll only regret the opportunities you missed because you were afraid. Buffet himself was very afraid of public speaking. However, at some point in his career, he realized he would be required to do it. He decided to take the Dale Carnegie public speaking course. Now, because of his proactive approach, he’s one of the most highly regarded public speakers in the country. 

10. Recognize Opportunity

While addressing students at Georgia State, Buffet said, “We don’t do very many things, but when we get the chance to do something that’s right and big, we’ve got to do it. And even to do it in a small scale is just as big a mistake almost as not doing it at all.” He continued, “You’ve really got to grab them when they come, because you’re not going to get 500 great opportunities.”

11. Body and Mind

Last but not least, make sure you’re taking care of your body and mind. It sounds simple, but it’s something a lot of people ignore. Buffet illustrated the importance with a hypothetical situation. He said to imagine a genie came to you at the age of 16 and said you can have your dream car, any car you want. However, the catch is, it’s the only car you’ll own for your entire life. Buffet said if that were the case, he would read the manual over and over, garage it whenever he could and fix any scratch, dent or problem immediately. Buffet said, “That’s exactly the position you are in concerning your mind and body. You only get one mind and one body. And it’s got to last a lifetime. Now, it’s very easy to let them ride for many years. But if you don’t take care of that mind and that body, they’ll be a wreck 40 years later, just like the car would be.”

Now that Warren Buffet has set you straight, go seize the day!

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