I’ve written before about how reading is the key to success. But it can be hard to see the causation because it doesn’t just happen overnight. So below are three firsthand accounts from influential people who have “made it” highlighting how reading has impacted their lives.
1. Warren Buffett and Charlie Munger
I group these two together because of the extent to which they share the same ideologies. The duo is legendary for their longstanding business and investing prowess through investments at Berkshire Hathaway, which has consistently outperformed the market since its inception.
The result has spawned an army of devoted followers and has earned Buffett and Munger titles of two of the richest men on the planet. As a testament to their influence, thousands of people fly in from across the world to spend just a day listening to Buffett and Munger speak at their annual shareholder’s meeting.
So when Buffett or Munger give advice, we should listen. The two largely share the same philosophies on best business practices and investment styles, and they also happen to agree on the same method for success. In a 2007 commencement speech given at the USC School of Law, Charlie Munger said:
I constantly see people rise in life who are not the smartest, sometimes not even the most diligent, but they are learning machines.
They go to bed every night a little wiser than they were when they got up and boy does that help, particularly when you have a long run ahead of you.
He goes on to reference Buffett as an example of such a learning machine:
If you watched Warren Buffett with a time clock, I would say half of all the time he spends is just sitting on his ass and reading. And a big chunk of the rest of the time is spent talking on the phone or personally with people he trusts.
Buffett echoes his partner’s sentiments. When asked how to get smarter at a conference, he held up a stack of papers and said:
Read 500 pages like this every day. That’s how knowledge works. It builds up, like compound interest. All of you can do it, but I guarantee not many of you will.
Read moreHow Reading Impacted Warren Buffett, Mark Cuban, and Malcolm X