Walking the tight rope of life entails keeping an eye on the past, projecting into the future, and struggling to stay in the present. When it comes to money, I often find myself making projections into the future: a month from now, 6 months from now, a year from now, 5 years from now, a decade from now, decades from now. So often, I’m planning for the future, I find myself struggling to stay in the present. I know that the ultimate goal of all this future oriented goal planning is not to spend the present projecting the future, but often times I feel like all I am wasting the present for a future that has not yet arrived.
There’s a quip that Warren Buffett likes to throw around frequently which goes along the lines of:
The chains of habit are too light to be felt until they are too heavy to be broken.
What’s the first impression you got after reading that? That’s right: a negative impression. You most likely thought of the negative consequences of habit. Things like hookers, blow, needles, hooch, etc.
While it’s advisable to avoid these things in life, there is a whole other side of the equation of that nugget of wisdom that takes a little more effort to ferret out.
Well, apparently writing about philosophy has me thinking even more about philosophy. It got me thinking of a problem a friend of mine has with me: why I always seem to be sitting on the fence in terms of issues. In this specific case with this friend, why I can’t seem to come out on a concrete position on atheism and veganism.
I grew up fascinated by history. I loved it in elementary school. I loved it in high school. I decided to study it in college. I studied it at the undergraduate and graduate level. What I never realized was that it wasn’t necessarily history that I loved – I enjoyed history as it was a discipline trying to piece together what happened in the past. More specifically, it is constantly searching for the truth. Although I don’t believe we can ever know the full truth when looking back on history, the discipline is obsessed with getting as close to it as it can. And that’s what I love, this relentless pursuit of the truth. And through the pursuit of truth lies the path to wisdom.
This must have left an impact on me as it was sitting in a Word document buried in one of my folders somewhere on my computer. Li Ka-shing, Asia’s richest man, shared his advice on how to build a rich life. I’m not exactly sure where I got this from as I had only copy and pasted the article without a source. Take from it what you will: I think there is always something intelligent to take away from a story of success.