Perspective

Warren Buffett on how to judge a life lived well in one word

When it comes to sage-like wisdom, Berkshire Hathaway CEO Warren Buffett has a mountainous surplus of it circulating the internet. Some of his advice is so commonsensical it stops us in our tracks.

By Marcel Schwantes, Inc.

Some of his advice is so commonsensical it stops us in our tracks and makes us think about whether we’re truly measuring up to the things that truly matter. For example, take this truth-telling mirror moment from the Oracle of Omaha:

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 people who have a lot of money, and they get testimonial dinners and 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 sex. You can buy testimonial dinners. But the only way to get love is to be lovable. It’s 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.

This is far from being as simple as it sounds. Society has taught us that we have to compete and “win” at all costs to make it to the top, sometimes at the expense of others. Along the way, we become self-absorbed and forget about service, compassion, gratitude, and respect. In other words, we forget how to love.

I don’t know about you, but when I’m nearing 90 years of age, as Buffett is, the last thing I want is to face the dreadful and sad prospect of failing Buffett’s ultimate test.

I don’t say this from a place of insecurity but of affirmation and praise for one’s life’s work. Human beings are designed to experience the emotions of love–not the squishy, romantic kind of love that will make your human resources team bite their nails.

Let’s examine this further.


Read the full story at Inc.

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