“The best armour of old age is a well spent life preceding it.” – Charlie Munger
It’s a natural human tendency to seek comfort in the belief that certain scenarios are beyond the realm of possibility. Whether it’s a health issue, or a personal tragedy, we often tell ourselves, “That could never happen.” We build mental fortresses around these notions, finding solace in the illusion of invincibility.
But life has a way of humbling us, showing us that no one is exempt from its capriciousness.
Today is one such day.
Charlie Munger, whom I have considered a hero in my life, has passed away at the age of 99, just 34 days from turning 100.
And Charlie is not just a hero for me on paper. He has been, and always will be a guiding force in my life, shaping my values, decisions, and aspirations. His wisdom has been my compass, and his principles are sort of my North Star.
As I mourn his passing, I also celebrate the incredible legacy he leaves behind. The impact he had on my life and the lives of countless others is a testament to his extraordinary character and the enduring power of his words.
This is a moment of grief for me, and it may take some time for acceptance to set it. And so, I will stop writing right away, and just leave you with these beautiful quotes from Charlie on how to be happy in life and survive a long time to tell the tale.
Over to Charlie.
If all you succeed in doing in life is getting rich by buying little pieces of paper, it’s a failed life. Life is more than being shrewd in wealth accumulation.
Remember that reputation and integrity are your most valuable assets – and can be lost in a heartbeat.
A lot of success in life and business comes from knowing what you want to avoid: early death, a bad marriage etc.
Envy is a really stupid sin because it’s the only one you could never possibly have any fun at. There’s a lot of pain and no fun. Why would you want to get on that trolley?
Confucius said that real knowledge is knowing the extent of one’s ignorance. Aristotle and Socrates said the same thing. Is it a skill that can be taught or learned? It probably can, if you have enough of a stake riding on the outcome.
Some people are extraordinarily good at knowing the limits of their knowledge, because they have to be. Think of somebody who’s been a professional tightrope walker for 20 years – and has survived. He couldn’t survive as a tightrope walker for 20 years unless he knows exactly what he knows and what he doesn’t know. He’s worked so hard at it, because he knows if he gets it wrong he won’t survive. The survivors know.
Knowing what you don’t know is more useful than being brilliant.
Finally, as Charlie would have said, “I have nothing to add.”
Will miss you, Charlie! 🙁