Collection: Charlie Munger - #159 'To Get What You Want, You Have To Deserve What You Want.'



What are the core ideas that have helped me?

Well, luckily, I got at a very early age the idea that the safest way to try and get what you want is to try and deserve what you want. It’s such a simple idea. It’s the golden rule so to speak. You want to deliver to the world what you would buy if you were on the other end. There is no ethos, in my opinion, that is better for any lawyer or any other person to have.

By and large, the people who have this ethos win in life and they don’t win just money, just honors and emoluments. They win the respect, the deserved trust, of the people they deal with, and there is huge pleasure in life to be obtained from getting deserved trust. And so the way to get it is to deliver what you’d want to buy if the circumstances were reversed.

Occasionally, you find a perfect rogue of a person, who dies rich and widely known. But mostly, these people are fully understood by the surrounding civilization, and when the cathedral is full of people at the funeral ceremony, most of them are there to celebrate the fact that the person is dead.

And that reminds me of the story of the time when one of these people died and the minister said, “It’s now time for someone to say something nice about the deceased.”

And nobody came forward.

And nobody came forward.

And nobody came forward.

And finally one man came up and he said, “Well, his brother was worse.” (Laughter)

That is not where you want to go! That’s not the kind of funeral you want to have. You'll leave entirely the wrong example.



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