Charlie Munger on How to Choose the Right Career Path | Daily Journal 2017 【C:C.M Ep.249】

Charlie Munger on How to Choose the Right Career Path | Daily Journal 2017 【C:C.M Ep.249】



AUDIENCE MEMBER: My question comes from the perspective of someone early in their career who is trying to figure out which of several paths to pursue.


Two thoughts that seem helpful for this purpose are;

1) Figuring out what work you have the possibility to become the best at.

2) Ascertaining what kind of work would most help society.


Do you think these ideas are the right ones to focus on, and if so, how would you go about answering them?


CHARLIE MUNGER: Well, in terms of picking what to do, I want to report to all of you that in my whole life, I’ve never succeeded much in something that I wasn’t interested in. So I don’t think you’re going to succeed if what you’re doing all day doesn’t interest you.



You’ve got to find something you’re interested in because it’s just too much to expect of human nature that you’re going to be very good at something you deeply dislike doing. And so that’s one big issue.


And of course you have to play in a game where you’ve got some unusual talents. You do not want to play – if you’re 5 foot 1, you don’t want to play basketball against the guy that's 8 feet 3. It’s just too hard. And so you got to figure out a game where you have an advantage and it has to be something that you’re deeply interested in.


Now you get into the ethical side of life, of course you want to be ethical. On the other hand, you can’t be just dreaming how you think the world should be run and that it’s too dirty for you to get near it. You know like you can get so consumed by some kind of ideological notion particularly in a left-wing university. It’s like you think you’re handling ethics and what you’re doing is not working and watching the world go by and maybe smoking a little pot to boot. This is not the Munger system.


My hero is Maimonides. And all that philosophy and all that writing, he did after working 10 or 12 hours a day as a practicing physician all his life. He believed in the engaged life. And so I recommend the engaged life.


You spend all your time thinking about, you know, some politician who wants it this way or that way, you’re sure you know right, you’re on the wrong track. You want to do something every day where you’re coping with the reality. You want to be more like Maimonides and less like Bernie Sanders.




[YAPSS Takeaway]

Be practical and live in the engaged life.

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