The Operating System For Life

Treat Thompson



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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In 2007 the billionaire investor Charlie Munger gave a timeless commencement speech at USC.

His insightful life advice in the speech is a perfect response to the question: How do we live a life that really works? That led the Farnam Street blog to coin the speech “The Munger Operating System For Life”.

Here are three of the most important lessons from that speech:

To get what you want, deserve what you want

"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."

If you want trust, you have to deserve trust.

If you want admiration, you have to deserve admiration.

If you want success, you have to deserve success.

Become the person who would achieve what you want to achieve.

Personal growth starts with knowledge

"You are not going to get very far in life based on what you already know. You’re going to advance in life by what you’re going to learn after you leave here…if civilization can progress only when it invents the method of invention, you can progress only when you learn the method of learning."

If you spent the rest of your life knowing only what you know now, you wouldn't accomplish much more than you already have. To grow we need to learn new ideas, perspectives, and lessons from our experiences.

If you're not 90+ years old, chances are you won't be satisfied staying put.

Don't live with envy, resentment, or self-pity

"Generally speaking, envy, resentment, revenge and self-pity are disastrous modes of thought. I don’t care what the cause — your child could be dying of cancer — self-pity is not going to improve the situation. It’s a ridiculous way to behave, and when you avoid it you get a great advantage over everybody else."

Negative thinking, like envy, resentment, and self-pity get you no where. They're not productive states of mind.

If you eliminate these mindsets you can overcome failure and work towards success quicker.

This weeks quote

The first rule of compounding: Never interrupt it unnecessarily. - Charlie Munger

The compounding effect is all around us. Albert Einstein called it the eighth wonder of the world.

In this quote, Munger is speaking on the fact that if you compound on something long enough you get incredible results. Although he’s talking about compounding in the context of investing, compounding is well integrated in our lives.

If you keep switching diets because you don’t see changes after a week, you never give them the chance to produce results.

This weeks reflection

Can any principles of Munger's life operating system address something you're struggling with right now?