Warren Buffett’s Timeless Test For A Blessed Life Is Going Viral
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Warren Buffett is a master at simplifying the complex. He also has an excellent way to distill money moves into actionable principles, minus the complicated financial jargon.
His secret sauce to success? Patience, discipline, and a long-term mindset.
Warren Buffett encourages investors to steer clear of the crowd mentality and focus on the nitty-gritty of a company. Despite being worth over $100 billion, Buffett keeps it real and prefers to invest in reliable companies over overhyped new ones.
Warren Buffett, billionaire philosopher
In the Buffett biography The Snowball: Warren Buffett and the Business of Life by Alice Schroeder, the Ohama billionaire put his success in perspective with a simple philosophy.
The key? Acting selflessly and with gratitude, without expecting anything in return:
“Basically, when you get to my age, you’ll really measure your success in life by how many of the people you want to have love you actually do love you.
I know many people who have a lot of money, and they get testimonial dinners and they get hospital wings named after them. But the truth is that nobody in the world loves them.
That’s the ultimate test of how you have lived your life. The trouble with love is that you can’t buy it…. You can buy testimonial dinners. But the only way to get love is to be lovable. It’s very irritating if you have a lot of money. You’d like to think you could write a check: I’ll buy a million dollars’ worth of love. But it doesn’t work that way. The more you give love away, the more you get.”
The Warren Buffett test for a blessed life
Another one of his most thought-provoking ideas is the “marble jar” analogy, where he encourages people to reflect on their own lives.
He poses a hypothetical question: if every person on earth were a marble in a jar and you had the chance to switch your marble with someone else’s, would you?
Warren Buffett often suggests the following thought experiment: Assume that every human being currently alive, all eight billion souls on Earth, is a marble placed in a massive jar. If given the opportunity, would you put your marble in with the others, shake the jar, take another marble at random, and live that life instead? If the answer is no, then you know you have a blessed life.
It’s a fascinating hypothetical: On the one hand, you could get lucky and pick a richly rewarding marble. On the other hand, there’s a higher probability you’d pick one significantly worse.
The analogy is going viral on Twitter, where many are thinking about if they’d pick another marble.
— Rob Henderson (@robkhenderson) April 16, 2023
“This is also a litmus test for a just society and a great thought experiment to consider one’s privilege,” one person writes.
Another shares, “Interesting but overstated. Someone with a terrible life might want to be switched. But I have a reasonably successful life both financially and personally, I wouldn’t give up my identity in order to move up the chain a bit. Quite possibly, most people would say the same thing.”
Another adds, “He’s assuming that what really matters is relative status, rather than absolute wellbeing.”
“An interesting perspective, although the trouble is people are biased toward ‘the devil you know.’,” writes another Twitter user. “Familiar problems are more comfortable than unfamiliar problems, even if the latter are more manageable. You could have a rough life and still not want to chance things being worse.”
So, what about you? Would you be willing to exchange your marble with someone else’s in the jar of life?
Take a moment to reflect on Buffett’s analogy and how it applies to your own life. Perhaps this thought experiment can help you appreciate the blessings in your life and inspire you to make the most of the opportunities you have.