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Collection: Charlie Munger - #156 'A Happy Life Is Very Simple'



Charlie, Victor Lou from Los Angeles. He would like to know, what have you done to live such a long life? And if you could share the secret to living a long, healthy, and happy life?


Well, I think I’m alive because of a lucky genetic accident.

And I don’t think I can teach you how to retroactively get a new – gene – accident yourself. Gerry’s lived a long time too and I think we both have been lucky. No, I don’t have any secrets. I think I would have lived a long time if I had lived a different life.


Any sort of wisdom though on, you know, what it takes to live a happy life? Whether there is kind of principle?


Oh yes, sorry about that.

A happy life is very simple.

The first rule of a happy life is low expectations. That’s one you can easily arrange. And if you have unrealistic expectations, you’re going to be miserable all your life. And I was good at having low expectations and that helped me.

Also if, when you get reverses, if you just suck it in cope, that helps if you don’t just fretfully stew yourself into a lot of misery.

Then there are certain behavioral rules. Some of them – You know, Rose Blumpkin had quite an effect on the Berkshire culture. She created a business with like 500 depression dollars that became a huge business. You know what her mottoes were?

Always tell the truth and never lie to anybody about anything. Those are pretty good rules and they’re pretty simple. And a lot of the good rules of life are like that. They’re just very simple.

And do it right the first time – And that’s a really good rule.



[YAPSS Takeaway]

Low expectations lead to a happy life.

(Perhaps the secret to longevity is having a good mental health.)

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