No one gets another shot at life, but imagining what you might do with one can be a useful thought exercise. It's even more enlightening when the person doing it has already been hugely successful the first time around -- like, $82 billion successful.
In a 1998 lecture to University of Florida MBA students, business magnate Warren Buffett, CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, fielded a host of questions on investments and valuations before a thoughtful student asked, "What would you do to live a happier life if you could live over again?"
According to the Oracle of Omaha, "The way to do it is to play out the game and do something you enjoy all your life and be associated with people you like. I work only with people I like."
He drives the point home by raising the stakes.
"If I could make $100 million dollars with a guy who causes my stomach to churn, I would say no because in a way that is very much like marrying for money -- which is probably not a very good idea in any circumstances, but if you are already rich, it's crazy."
Good or bad, relationships are everything
While you hopefully haven't (or won't) marry for money, there's a pretty decent chance you're doing something similar at work. Whether it's keeping on a client you don't like or working for a boss who's a lousy human being, people tend to imagine they have no choice but to put up with individuals they would rather not be around.
Nothing could be further from the truth -- in fact, staying around those people could very well be holding you back. In a 2017 talk with Bill Gates at Columbia University, Buffett explained that "you will move in the direction of the people that you associate with. So it's important to associate with people who are better than yourself."
Everyone's heard the famous adage that claims you're the average of the five people you spend the most time with, and further research has increasingly drawn connections between our relationships and our health. One Harvard study in particular even says that not having close friends is just as bad for your health as smoking.
Clearly, if you're still putting up with people you don't like just for a paycheck, it's time to make a change.