By Marie Snider
Somehow, I have never been very interested in who the millionaires and billionaires of the world are, so I had never heard the name of Warren Buffett until about 15 years ago when our son lived in Omaha.
Then Conrad told us about this very rich man who drove an older model car, lived in a three-bedroom house he bought when he first got married, and ate luncheon meat sandwiches for lunch.
I pictured Buffet as a miserly eccentric. Was I wrong!
It turns out that 78-year-old Buffet is a philanthropist and one of the most satisfied people around.
The son of an Omaha stock broker, Buffet was so astute that he had to pay income tax at age 13, deducting his $35 bicycle as a work expense.
After high school, he attended Wharton Business School at the University of Pennsylvania. And then in 1950, he applied for admission to Harvard Business School.
In the worst mistake Harvard ever made, they turned him down. As a result, Buffet attended Columbia Business School.
By age 32, he was a millionaire. Now, he is worth $62 billion and Forbes magazine named Buffet “the richest man on the planet” in February, 2008, stealing the title from Bill Gates.
Fortunately, these two very rich men are not competitive. Rather, they are good friends, often playing bridge online 12 hours a week. And in 2006, Buffet donated more than $30 billion to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation—the largest charitable donation in history.
Buffet is not only rich, but very frugal. Seeing money as an opportunity to do good in the world, he also raised his children that way.
Shilpan Patel has written an article titled “Warren Buffet’s 7 Secrets for Living a Happy and Simple Life.” A happy and simple life is not quite what you would expect from the richest man in the world. But here are some of his secrets.
The first three were of most interest to me.
•Secret #1—Happiness comes from within.
Buffet is a person who loves his work. According to Patel, he says, “I tap-dance to work, and when I get there it’s tremendous fun.”
Rich or poor—it doesn’t matter—still happiness comes from within. It comes from doing what we love, not from the things we own.
•Secret #2—Find happiness in simple pleasures.
That’s why Buffet plays bridge with Bill Gates. It’s fun, and it doesn’t cost anything.
You can do the same thing if you want to. But, I would recommend bridge or rook, pinochle, or dominoes with friends across the table instead of across the country.
•Secret #3—Live a simple life.
Says Buffet, “I don’t care what other rich people are doing.” He doesn’t have a cell phone or a yacht. He never flies in a private jet, although he owns the largest private jet company.
He lives on his $100,000 salary and drives his own car. In spite of his immense wealth, Buffet lives very simply and happily.
Think about your own life. Where do you find your happiness? What simple pleasures do you engage in?
And could following the advice of the richest man on the planet help you find more happiness in your life today?