I Read Life Advice from Late Billionaire Charles Munger and Got Inspired Lolol!

Just a list of values I find important that you may or may not find important too— that’s all.

Carolyn Wang
ILLUMINATION

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Photo by Fuu on Unsplash

Last Updated: 5/22/24. This article is, and will always be, a work-in-progress :3

Well, it’s exactly what the headline says! I read life advice from the late billionaire Charles Munger and got inspired lolol, so I decided to compile a list of my own values.

I won’t write too long of an intro like I usually do since you, [my dear, fantabulous reader], probably don’t care. But in case anyone’s curious, here’s the source inspiration from CNBC featuring Charles Munger’s words of wisdom. Who’s Charles Munger? Here’s his wiki page.

As for the list of values I’ve found important? They’re just bits and pieces I’ve gleaned over the years.

Whether you agree with me is up to you. Critical thinking, am I right?

Values

  1. How you treat others is a reflection of yourself.
  2. Give others credit where it’s due.
  3. There is no perfect. Only better.
  4. If you’re No. 1 in the room, it’s time to switch rooms.
  5. Consistency is key. (Credit to my Cal Triathlon coach.)
  6. Challenge yourself. If something becomes easy, find something that isn’t.
  7. It never hurts to ask.
  8. Speak up for yourself. Don’t be afraid to say no. (And more of my favs from TwoSet’s 30 Life Lessons We Wish We Knew Before 30.)
  9. Talent only takes you so far. The most successful people are the ones who are disciplined, strategic, and willing to make sacrifices. Oh — and they don’t just work hard—they work hard AND smart.
  10. Don’t step on other people. Just, don’t.
  11. Time spent having fun is not time wasted. Time spent well, doing things you love, is time well spent. (Credit to atomiumjae)
  12. Treat others with kindness and respect. It takes the same effort as treating others unkindly.

Tips

  1. Make connections with positive, genuine, driven people. Your support network matters.
  2. On a similar note, cut contact with “toxic people and toxic activities.” Cut contact with people who are un-driven and lack goals. Cut contact with people who put others down, take advantage of people, and lack human decency or respect. And cut people who are happy if your success stays on the same level as theirs, but drag you down the minute you achieve anything more. As Charles Munger says, “look out for those who are trying to fool you or lie to you or aren’t reliable in meeting their commitments … a great lesson of life is get them the hell out of your life — and do it fast.”
  3. Break big aspirations down into little manageable chunks. Glorious things start small and build over time.
  4. Forgive people. Not just for the sake of others, but for the sake of your own happiness and peace of mind.
  5. If you want it, just ask. You have nothing to lose.
  6. If you’re the type who’s used to always diminishing yourself, remember that self-confidence is half the battle. Oftentimes, others will start to believe in you once you believe in yourself.

The Growth Mindset

  1. Take on what you don’t know. If it’s uncomfortable, you’re doing something right.
  2. There is no unqualified — if you do it, you become qualified.
  3. Go out there, try new things, and embarrass yourself. People care less than you think. As my favorite cartoon teacher from the Magic School Bus says, “Take chances. Make mistakes. Get messy.”
  4. You never know until you try.

On Success, Achievement, and the Like

1. “Comparison is the thief of joy.”

One of my favorites. While I’ve seen this concept in various forms, my favorite rendition/phrasing of this idea is the one spoken above by my CS61A professor (John DeNero). Because comparison truly is the thief of joy.

TLDR: Stop comparing yourself with others; Compare yourself with yourself and constantly strive to do better. You’ll be much happier.

2. “The world was wide enough for Hamilton and me.”

Same concept as #1, except replace “Hamilton” with whichever arch-nemesis or competitor pops into your mind first, if you have one. Aaron Burr learned that the hard way.

3. Remember the things that matter. Don’t let insecure, jealous people tear you or your self esteem down.

Been through it. Personal experience. There’s always someone out there who will put a target on your back as you rise up the ranks and do anything remotely important. Don’t let one or two people ruin something great you’re doing. Don’t change yourself for people who don’t matter.

4. Practice naive optimism. — Mark Rober

Staying optimistic, even naively optimistic, is an active choice … so practice it! Often, analyzing the challenges ahead too much, and hence getting rid of the “naive” aspect, will deter you from getting started at all. (Think of the hardest thing you’ve done. If you had to go through it all over again, knowing some of the painful obstacles you’d encounter, would you have even gotten started?) Naive optimism can help you push your limits beyond what you ever thought you were capable of, and decrease some of the negative “what ifs” that might prevent you from reaching your potential.

5. The secret to a happy life is being cheerful despite your troubles, and avoiding traits commonly associated with toxic people, like envy or resentment.” — Charles Munger

Well said Mr. Munger. Well said.

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Carolyn Wang
ILLUMINATION

CS, Stats, + PPL @ UC Berkeley. Writer, musician, triathlete, & explorer. More about me: carolynwangjy.medium.com/ae3eb5de2324