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Charlie Munger's top 3 secrets to long-term high performance
I listened to episode #255 on Charlie Munger twice yesterday! Am I allowed to say that about my own podcast?
Isn’t that a low bar for success — being my own satisfied listener? You know who would resonate with that… Charles T. Munger, Warren Buffet’s right-hand man and the 98-year-old long-term high performer.
Hang on, what the heck is high performance anyway?
Let’s answer that at the end.
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Secret no. 1 — having low expectations
Munger encourages us to have low expectations. He and Buffet get more joy from family time and working with great people every day than making billions.
He didn’t expect to get rich. His aspiration was to freedom, which was a much lower bar.
Please lower your expectations for this newsletter so I can more easily satisfy you.
I always work towards improving it — always tinkering and changing things up. You know who else does that?
Secret no. 2 — Munger is big on continuous learning
Charlie Munger thinks we have:
A moral obligation to continuously learn.
Can we just appreciate that for a second? A moral obligation. Why?
We interact with family and friends. We impact broader society. We participate in the exchange of value in the way of goods and services. Our biases impact others — think of your least favorite world leader. See my point?
My new hairdresser is a beginner. I don’t mind that — we must all start somewhere. But if she isn’t willing to continuously learn, what good is she to me, herself, or anyone else?
How can you do what’s best for yourself or your customers if you’re not continuously learning?
The skill that got Berkshire through one decade would not have sufficed to get it through the next decade — Charlie Munger
Okay maybe not that much. When you’re doing that, it seems like hard work.
This is why I’m angry at my Dad — growing up he taught me the importance of hard work. He always ‘worked hard’ — but when I talked to him years later, I realised something.
He enjoyed it! He bloody enjoyed it! That doesn’t count Ray.
Secret no. 3 — avoid hard work
Munger teaches us to do only things we’re interested in, find places where we have unique advantages, and avoid ‘hard work’.
I think back to Naval:
I love writing. I love podcasting. I love mapping out ideas, strategising and idea-laden conversations with Liam Hounsell. I’m writing this newsletter at 8:35pm on a Sunday.
Sometimes joyful activities feel like work when I lose perspective and get attached to the outcome. More often than not, it’s fun and meaningful — that makes it durable.
Have low expectations. Continuously learn. Avoid ‘hard work’.
Doesn’t read like a recipe for high performance at all… but there’s no evidence that Charlie Munger pursued high performance — it seems that it just ensued, that it was a consequence of being authentic. So what’s the takeaway?
Seek wisdom, not advancement — Charles T. Munger.
Check out the full episode below or on another podcast player.
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Hey, I just open the Doors — it’s up to you if you want to walk through.