As I listened to Warren Buffett and Charlie Monger address their shareholders at the May 2023 annual meeting, the message emerging from the two billionaires’ investors were “spend less than you earn, invest shrewdly, and avoid at all costs toxic people and toxic activities”. If you manage to adopt this message by age 40, you will certainly be more successful than most.
The bottom line here is to be frugal with your spending, ensuring that you invest in yourself. This is the investment that will yield the highest returns no matter what. To do that effectively, you should start removing people and activities that don’t contribute to your identified long-term objective. As you do that, you will gain a high level of focus that when reiterated over a long period of time it will make you exceptional. As your expertise increases, so will your income, and when you add all the small everyday victories and learning from setbacks, you will reach a dangerous powerful level of freedom and independence.
Focus or Be F….d
Seek consistency and focus at all costs. Invest in your learning and fine tuning your unique skills so that you can become exceptional at what you do. To get there you have to seek a high level of focus and self-discipline. Plan to stay on this path for at least 5 years. No success has been built overnight, and most of the celebrated companies and leaders have spent at least 10 years on their projects or missions before gaining market recognition. Read the Obstacle is the Way to get insights how to convert obstacle into triumphs.
It’s clear that people who maintain focus on long-term goals achieve much bigger results in spite of short-term setbacks. Long term focus is more challenging to maintain as it requires longer term focus, and it may take months and even years to show progress and results. Two actions that help stick to the long-term plans are: a) ensure that your long-term plans are aligned with your core values and dreams; and b) celebrate the small progress and incremental momentum as you move towards your goals.
As you seek to establish the tough self-discipline, start treating time as your bank account. Yes, that is your most important asset. You have 1440 minutes a day to use to your advantage. Keep in mind that when you say ‘yes’ to a social engagement, or a meeting, you are saying ‘no’ to something else. Adopt no as a default decision setting unless “yes” means an incremental step towards your long-term goal.