October 29, 2010

Warren Buffett's View On Success And Happiness

Starting up your own business? Running your own business? In collaborating with hundred's of business owners I know that every one of them had a vision.

When you have that vision or entrepreneurial seizure, you dream of creating a business to help you to a life of greater success and happiness. But, most of us do not have a clear idea of what success and happiness truly is for us.

Warren Buffett, the famous investor, and according to most sources, the second richest man in the United States, was meeting with graduate business students from Rice University in his offices in Omaha.

The students wanted to know how he defined business success. He gave them an answer they didn't expect and that several students found life-changing. He stated that unconditional love was more valuable than any amount of wealth.

Each year he hosts sessions with college students that are closed to the media. The students from Rice were not only impressed with his wisdom but found him down to earth. He was warm. He was affable. He was himself. Part of business success is being able to express yourself and be yourself in the business you choose.

Too often I have observed small business owners whose business suffers greatly because they have lost their ability to relate to others as a human being. They relate to others as it pertains to business and not much more.

One of the students asked Mr. Buffett about the correlation between wealth and happiness and how he has kept his billions from weighing him down.

He told them that success is getting what you want. And, that happiness is wanting what you get.

He elaborated some more by telling them to just be happy with what you have, and don't let it get to you.

Fascinating! There is great depth in what he said. You are out there creating your own business. But are you successful in getting what you want? If the answer is yes, that is good. But, as we can see through Warren Buffett's eyes, success doesn't mean happiness. Happiness is, truly wanting what you get.

How often have you seen someone get what they say they want and they are still unhappy? I have seen that quite often. Mr. Buffett also offered one other piece of advice to the students. Surround yourself with people who love you, and to give love in return.

Yes, he gave some investment advice. But, the investment advice which had the greatest impact on the students had to do with others, love, success and happiness. Whether you are starting up your own business or running your own business take a moment to reflect on what success is for you and if you will be happy when you attain it.

After all, life isn't a practice session. If what you are doing isn't going to bring you the success you want or the happiness you desire then you should be doing something else. Just ask Warren Buffett.

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