By Arun Krishnadas
Edited by Nidhi Singh, Junior Editor, The Indian Economist
As we walk into a room where he is serving his splendid banquet, we can’t but help observe the characteristics which make this person special. He claims he is no teacher, but if there is a person who has pledged to devote 99% of his huge wealth to charity and is as philanthropic as it gets, we have to question the claim! We have all had our eyes tuned to the likes of Steve Jobs and Bill Gates to inspire ourselves to push to the limits. But there is an air about our protagonist which makes us admire him differently, the air of humility and self-assuredness. And then as he opens his mouth to speak, we are all ears…Very few people have attained a level of success in life as that enjoyed by a man known as “The Wizard of Omaha”. At 83 years of age, he is the CEO of a multi-national conglomerate holding company known as Berkshire Hathaway, and is often listed amongst the richest people in the world. What is it that makes up this unique individual? His life and times are examples for life, as much as they are for a successful outing in world economy..
They are lessons from his life, as to what makes him a successful investment banker. But the setting never inflicts this image on us. Our ears are tuned to the frequency which accepts this as “messages from a decent life”. First and foremost, he assures us that his life of imperial towers is built on the foundations of simple investment ideas and a never-dying ability to work with enthusiasm all day long. Two traits that leave us asking, “Why has no one else ever replicated it then?”. But questions stay questions as we move on at a brisk pace. You are boarding, “Lessons for life, from a sage..”
I requote it in my words. “If you find a falcon that flies over money, don’t have even a speck of doubt, its name is “reputation”. Work your way through life, with integrity, not for bundles of paper, but for earning a good reputation, and then continue working to never lose it. So then the question turns to “work”. Define this as a field in which you have fun even as fears of failure crop up. If you are not failing, then you are not learning. And when it comes to learning, be absolutely sure that the more you learn about anything, the lesser are your chances of doing the “dumb things”. You need to do the stupid things, they are parcels which come with traversing roads less taken. And in these walks, make sure you have selected your best to hold hands with. The best are the ones who will have you in their team, disagree with you, and push you to improve yourself in their company, even when you are comfortable with each other. And at the end of it all, how do we judge if we are moving forwards? Well, the goal always remains to go to bed a little wiser than you were, when you woke up? All you need, is to ask yourselves if you are….”
You are not truly reading this paragraph, because your mind still lingers in the truths of the previous one. A simple, yet profound understanding of that so complicated a journey we call life. Our protagonist epitomises this statement, “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.” A journey he started at the age of 11, saw him reach tremendous heights but what has always made his admirers awestruck is his undying passion for his “art”, for example how many 76-year olds would you find with the initiative to stretch their businesses globally and travel around the globe for the same! As it says, in his biography “The Snowball”, “He rolled the snow into a ball, and eyed the world wickedly”…
The snowball he rolls is the “world economy”. His name is Warren Buffett, and his life is an open buffet. All the dishes for a successful venture are in front of you. You need only serve yourselves…
Arun is a reserved individual, who places his interests at par with those of others around him. He is determined when he sets onto something, but still spends long amounts of time introspecting on his decisions, whatever be the results. He likes to spend time with friends, reading books, watching sports and films, writing his heart out and setting time tables for a better tomorrow. He believes that for some things, there’s today, and for others there’s tomorrow, be it the one that comes or the one that doesn’t.