I watched a documentary on Warren Buffett the other night on HBO.
[I tried to put a link to the doc here for you, but kept getting an error message]
I’ve done a tremendous amount of research on Warren Buffett. Most while collaborating on our book – which is based on his philosophy,
What I didn’t know is all the nooks and crannies of his life.
That’s when I became riveted.
Not what he owns or how much he’s worth.
It’s the stories.
Many years ago I assumed he was just an incredibly smart investment guy, worth a gazillion dollars.
What I didn’t know is how he got there.
And how he continues to be there.
For instance, did you know he was married to Susan Buffett from 1952 until her death in 2004, but Buffett spent many years living with another woman named Astrid Menks?
While living with Astrid and still married, Susan ran his charitable foundation and they got together often. They were all great friends.
But there’s another tidbit that has consumed me.
It’s his intense mindset that permeates every aspect of his life.
From billion dollar investments to the smallest of expenses.
Doesn’t matter to him.
It’s all a mental game. He has his rules and never strays from them.
No matter what.
Illustrated by his daily breakfast choice.
On his five minute drive to the office, from the same home he’s owned since 1958, he stops at McDonald’s for breakfast.
The key to those mornings is whether he orders just a plain egg McMuffin ($2.61), the classic Canadian bacon McMuffin ($2.95), or the Sausage McMuffin ($3.17).
It all depends.
If the market is down that morning, he’ll opt for the cheaper egg only McMuffin.
If things are going well financially, he’ll go for the full on Sausage McMuffin.
If it’s a lukewarm day in the market, he’ll buy the middle of the road McMuffin.
All very calculated and important to him.
He decides on this well before he leaves the house.
Once decided, Astrid will put exact change in a styrofoam cup, which he takes in the car on his way to the McDonald’s drive through.
It takes a singular focused guy to be like this.
I get off track every 10 minutes. A call. An email. A text.
Something that robs me of my attention.
I have to stop doing that.
Oddly enough this is the point of a book I’m reading called Deep Work, by Cal Newport.
Where he says, “Who you are, what you think, feel, and do, what you love – is the sum of what you focus on.”
I’m so envious of Buffett.
Not because of his wealth.
But with his ability to laser focus on a mental state and remain in that state under all circumstances.
It feels like an impossible task for me, but I have to change that.
I say this as I run out to grab an overpriced $15 sandwich at the deli.
I’m still learning!
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