Warren Buffett has said "We enjoy the process far more than the proceeds."

I wholeheartedly subscribe to this advice.  For me, this means that it is important that everyday, I enjoy what I'm doing.  It has always been difficult for me to accept the idea that I should suffer now to be happy at some point in the future.

Now, there are some clarifications about this.  In no way do I think that Warren is saying that you should sit by the pool every day, sipping our favorite beverage.  Hard work and personal challenges are included in this advice.  The key is to try and make sure that these tough periods are moving you towards a goal that you really want.

An example, is when I was younger, I wanted to own a business.  The idea of owning a business was scary to me and I had no idea what to do.  I was lucky to find a class that was specifically about how to run a small business.  I then took small steps every week to work towards this goal.  Some of the time it was uncomfortable and I would have preferred to be doing something else, though I was able to persist because I had a clear end goal of owning a business.  So, was I technically enjoying the process?  At some points, probably not, though I was able to persist because of the clear goal.

I just realized that this advice also could be a little deceptive.  I suggest you go watch this TED talk video by Daniel Kahneman.  The basic premise is that what people experience and what they remember are not always the same.  He says that if someone takes a vacation and you ask them everyday how much they are enjoying the vacation, that if everyday they enjoy the vacation except the last day something terrible happens, it is common for people to say something like "That ruined our vacation."

This idea of ruining something that has already past is a little bit of faulty thinking because once something has past there is no changing what happened.  A more accurate description would be that you had a great vacation up until the last day where something terrible happened, though again, many people will allow whatever happened last to affect the complete memory of the experience.

BTW, the same is also true the other way around, if people have an unpleasant experience over a period of time and in the end something wonderful happens, people will tend to lessen the unpleasant things that came before and remember most strongly the positive outcome.

After reflecting on this knowledge about experience and memory related to happiness, this advice from Warren may be deceptive.  If Warrens proceeds are large enough, it is truly possibly that they overshadow the difficulties of the process.

Darn, I was sure hoping to have some magic advice from the "Oracle of Omaha" that says I would never have to have challenges in my life and I could lead the life of luxury, just like the Rich Kids of Instagram.  I guess it's back to setting goals, taking action towards the goals, reviewing them, and accepting the wisdom of Adam Savage, "Failure is always an option".


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