Readings: ‘Charlie Munger USC Law commencement speech’


  1. To deserve what one wants

It’s quite common. It’s a disease which has infected us all. However, the challenge always remain to measure it. Sticking to one’s internal standards — a disciplined life — seems to be the only way.

2. To deliver the way you want to receive (Karma?)

3. Wisdom acquisition is a moral duty — Confucius.

As I grow in time, I observe my foolish patterns. These are so apparent. Wisdom is a necessity. Not only for the worldly but for the Other.

4. Method of learning

I am not clear what method of learning did he refer to. It seems he refers to becoming a learning machine. Also, the importance of continuous growth — like a plant growing from a seed to a tree.

5. Values

He mentioned about a guy who wrote a book during his sabbatical working 17 hours a day for the entire year. He was driven. A purpose. It’s divine.

6. Know your past — and all the big ideas in various disciplines

Inspired from Cicero, Munger urges us to dissolve the big ideas from various disciplines in our psyche or routines so that they become usable. Also, just like anything else, if those ideas are not utilized regularly, they’ll decimate.

7. Inversion — the other approach

Munger gave a beautiful example. ‘What can I do to help India?’. Inversion: ‘What’s hurting India the most, and how can I avoid it?’.

Avoiding follies.

8. Eliminate: Sloth and unreliability. Envy, resentment, revenge & self-pity.

9. Trap of committing to a big idea: Worldview, religion or cult

Iron test: Not to commit to an idea unless one is best in opposing it.

10. Appeal to interest than to reason

Allow self-serving bias in others and appeal to their self-interest. However, to grow over one’s self-serving bias.

11. Avoid perverse incentives and associations

Work under those who one aspire to be.

12. Objectivity maintenance: Special attention to disconfirming evidence and checklist routines

13. Practice. Assiduity. Prudence. Opportunism. Anticipating trouble- prepared. Becoming and allowing for experts. Be aware of chauffeur knowledge.

14. Intense interest required for excellence

15. Web of deserved trust

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