This is a republishing of The Steady Fella Newsletter. Every week readers use the timeless insights on passion, productivity, philosophy, and happiness from this newsletter to build towards the life they want.
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Humans are social animals. A fundamental part of that is our need for hierarchy.
We seek acceptance, admiration, and status from others, and we feel jealousy, desire, and discontentment when they have more than us.
This instinct becomes an issue when we compromise our dreams, values, and standards to earn that validation - when we choose to focus on what others think over what’s real.
Warren Buffett frames this dilemma well with his question:
“If the world couldn’t see your results, would you rather be thought of as the world’s greatest investor but in reality have the world’s worst record? Or be thought of as the world’s worst investor when you were actually the best?”
With these two questions he creates two models of living: living by an inner scorecard or living by an outer scorecard.
If you choose to be thought of as the world’s worst investor when you are actually the best, then you choose to live by an inner scorecard.
It’s when only you can define your success, not others. Warren Buffets father taught him this concept when he was a child and he’s lived by it ever since.
If life was a game, living by an inner scorecard means you keep your own score and only you can know if you’re winning or not.
If you choose to be thought of as the world’s greatest investor but in reality have the world’s worst record, then you choose to live by an outer scorecard.
Everything you do in the game of life is to get points from others. You live for external validation.
The problem here is when you live by the standards of others, you don’t have the independence to be truly happy and achieve fulfillment.
We’ve all heard of celebrities that have power, fame, and fortune but are deeply unhappy and unsatisfied. They have an A+ outer scorecard and an F inner scorecard. They’ve satisfied everyone except themselves.
Along their way, they began living for admiration and meeting external expectations.
The old adage “true happiness comes from within” applies here.
As humans it’s not enough to earn praise, to be fulfilled we need to feel as though we deserve it. And the only person that can tell you if you deserve it is you.
Our dissatisfaction with ourselves will always trump achievements we don’t feel we deserve.
To get what you want, deserve what you want - Charles Munger
All the things worth having in life are earned. Munger is saying to get them we have to be worthy of them.
The best example I can think of is a YouTube creator wanting a sponsorship. To get the sponsorship you have to be worthy of it. You have to have quality content and the right audience.
In the last 2 years who’s been keeping score of your life?