"Chains of habit are too light to be felt until they are too heavy to be broken."
- Warren Buffett
Warren Buffett, one of the most successful investors in the world, donated a majority of his wealth, US $30 billion+, to the Bill Gates Charitable foundation. Here are seven magnificent teachings/quotes from Warren Buffet:
1. It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you'll do things differently.
2. Of the billionaires I have known, money just brings out the basic traits in them. If they were jerks before they had money, they are simply jerks with a billion dollars
3. The business schools reward difficult complex behavior more than simple behavior, but simple behavior is more effective
4. Your premium brand had better be delivering something special, or it's not going to get the business.
5. You only have to do a very few things right in your life so long as you don't do too many things wrong.
6. Of one thing be certain: if a CEO is enthused about a particularly foolish acquisition, both his internal staff and his outside advisors will come up with whatever projections are needed to justify his stance. Only in fairy tales are emperors told that they are naked.
7. Somebody once said that in looking for people to hire, you look for three qualities: integrity, intelligence, and energy. And if they don't have the first, the other two will kill you. You think about it; it's true. If you hire somebody without the first, you really want them to be dumb and lazy.
And some investment advice from One of The Greatest Investors…
"If people knew how hard I worked to get my mastery, it wouldn't seem so wonderful at all."
STORY LINE by Rajiv Shah
A couple of weeks ago I had the privilege of coaching a prominent UFC fighter for a movie audition. This fighter had very limited acting training and had only auditioned a few times before. I wasn't sure what to expect, considering his dominance as a two-time world champion fighter and relative inexperience as an actor.
As we began to work, we would rehearse a scene and I would ask him how he felt about his performance. He looked at me blankly at first and muttered, "fine, I guess." Clearly, how he was feeling was not something he was accustomed to pondering. We continued, working on a scene and then we'd stop and I'd ask how he felt. After one take he said to me, "you know, in what I do it's a weakness to show emotion. I've learned not to show much and here, in acting, it's the opposite. Showing emotion is a strength, it's different." It was clear that tapping into those emotions would be a challenge that he would need to work on before the audition.
He took on the challenge as any athlete would. He drilled and worked each scene. Over and over, he would run them until the scene was second nature to him. No longer did he have to think about what he was doing, he just executed the scenes to the best of his abilities. Later he explained that when his martial arts coach tells him to work a kick, he does the kick 500 times, until it becomes second nature to him. He didn't question it or theorize, he just did it. Even when he was tired. Even when he felt his kicks weren't the best. It was this same work ethic and drive that he applied to his audition preparation.
Once his audition arrived, those emotions he was looking for were there. He had done the work but he had stiff competition as a lot of professional actors were vying for the same part in this major studio film. He wasn't concerned with others, focusing solely on the task he had at hand.
In the end, the same work ethic that made him a UFC champion paid off for him as an actor as well, and he got the part.
When I look back on this experience I come away with five important things:
1. You focus on what you can do, not what you can't.
2. You work hard even if you might not be feeling up to it.
3. There is a clear difference between theory and practice. Theory means nothing unless you get up, make mistakes, and work through them. You learn best by doing.
4. Repitition leads to flow states. By doing something over and over, you stop thinking about it, and it becomes second nature.
5. You can always learn from others, no matter what is the assumed "experience level."
"Everything has beauty, but not everyone sees it."
STORY LINE by Rajiv Shah
Lizzie Velasquez can't gain weight. She's also blind in her right eye. She suffers from a rare disease that apparently affects only two people in the entire United States, Lizzie being one of them.
While in her teens, Lizzie was featured in an online video that proclaimed she was the ugliest woman in the world. Comments to that video included a viewer who wrote that Lizzie would be doing everyone a favor if she would just kill herself.
But Lizzie Velasquez refused to let her appearance, others' opinions, and negativity stop her from finding her power to do something positive with her life. Hear her inspiring story in her own words:
To be honest, I don't know if I'd be able to see the world with the same optimism if I was born with Lizzie's condition. It's inspiring and a kick in my rear to hear her story and what she has done with the challenges she's been given.
Lizzie Velasquez reminds me that whatever challenges we face, it is up to us to decide what we choose to focus on and who we want to be. Because Lizzie proves that there is always a silver lining on the horizon, if we are courageous enough to look for it.