Knowledge of the Greats: 10 Simple Lessons on Success from the perspective of Charlie Munger

Originally posted on my old investment blog on 26th June 2013

Mahatma Gandhi once said:

“Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.”

One thing that I am a true advocate of is the belief that we must never stop our own personal pursuit of learning. Seeking the knowledge and wisdom of others and going on to make good use of what you find is a solid foundation to great personal development.

I spend a lot of time in pursuit of wisdom that can be found from the words of an individual with a wealth of experience themselves. There is no better way of learning than to avoid the mistakes that others have already made in their lifetime, and using the patterns from a template drawn out by an already successful person’s journey as a way to construct and plan your own route to becoming the best person you can be.

One of my many idols Charlie Munger, he is a man who works alongside the legendary investor and philanthropist Warren Buffet at Berkshire Hathaway. As a pair, they make the investment decisions for the holding company’s portfolio of businesses, worth hundreds of billions of dollars.

This blog post is  my effort to help spread a little of this great man’s insight into the world, and to help give it the exposure it deserves. The lessons Charlie Munger has learned on his journey to obtaining great success in business are invaluable to anyone, especially to those who are young and ambitious like me. The wealth of wisdom he has obtained from 89 years on this planet is like gold and I invite you to learn more about Charlie’s life story and work.

So, here are some of my personal favourite quotes that I’ve extracted and consolidated from Charlie’s many speeches, talks and interviews. There are no explanations to accompany the rules, I’ll leave that up to you to interpret this great mans words in any way you please! I present you with:

10 Simple Lessons on Success from the words of Charlie Munger

  1. “If you keep going at it, it will come to you – keep plugging
  2. “The best way to get what you want in life is to deserve what you want”
  3. “The world is not looking for a load of undeserving people to reward”
  4. “Two Things you should never do: a) Feel sorry for yourself b) Envy
  5. “The favourable tide will come in due course”
  6. “Don’t worry about the things you can’t change, just get on with it”
  7. Remember what Rudyard Kipling said: “If you can keep your wits about you while all others are losing theirs, and blaming you. The world will be yours and everything in it, what’s more, you’ll be a man, my son.”
  8. “Keep your head down and behave credibly every day”
  9. “Seize opportunities boldly, there are few major ones that will come your way”

And finally my personal favourite (something he recites from someone else):

“For evil to triumph in this world, all that is needed is for the good to do nothing”

We can all learn something from each other, no matter how simple, small or big it may be. Knowledge and wisdom are the most valuable, yet zero cost commodities on earth!

I hope I’ve provided you with something useful in this short post to help you along in your journey towards further success in whatever you endeavour.