Do Good Things Newsletter: Warren Buffett on Happiness

Last year I started a weekly (mostly…sometimes…infrequently) newsletter focusing on the good things that designers and other creatives in the world have been doing to try to make a positive impact on the world.

From coffee shops, to bike paths, to baseball camps for young children…there’s a lot of good going on in a world that we don’t often hear about. Of course, that sounds like so much marketing drivel in the grand scheme of things. “Oh! Yea! Let’s celebrate the good things. That’s original.”

Sure…I get the criticism. But I’m not going to stop. Every small gesture matters. And whether she did or didn’t say it (because at this point, every quotation on the internet seems called into question), I’ll quote Margaret Mead.

I consider us here in NOVA Lab as a small group of thoughtful … citizens looking to do “good things.” That’s at the heart of our class vision: “A collaborative community of creators driven for immense good.” But I also realize that it’s often hard to live that kind of life day in and day out. Not everyone can be so selfless and future focused as to live each day by that vision. We need to be able to pursue our own happiness for our own sake.

Which is why a recent article in Inc. magazine caught my attention.

Yes, going to Warren Buffett, one of the richest men ever, to seek the enlightenment of his highness on how to live a happy life seems rather…silly. Of course a billionaire is happy. Of course he has little to worry about. Of course he is living off the fatted land. But wait… He’s not retired (wholly)? He still works and puts in time at the office and at his non profits?

Yeah…he does, so far as I can tell. And what’s more, he’s darn happy.

All of you are on the cusp of adulthood. All of you are thinking about how to best navigate the open waters of the sea gaping before you as you leave HS. But maybe one thing you’ve not considered is what, exactly, will make you happy?

Click me

Enter stage right…Warren Buffett.

(I swear, a short but definitive read of this article on Buffett will give you some great tips on navigating an especially vexing aspect of your life, regardless of your age.)

Buffett’s advice is not new. When I was a junior in college at Temple Univ. back in 1989, I recall someone suggesting a book to me. The title? Do What You Love, The Money Will Come Later. It was merely one among countless such books whose titles dominated the space in local stores. And sure, it’s a bit hard to take such homespun advice culled from the life of a man whose fortune was once the largest in the world. But he’s also the man who famously still lives in the same home he bought in 1958 for $31,000, and who, while he drives a modestly luxurious vehicle, could certainly afford far more.

In the end, what seems most genuine to me, is Buffett himself. He’s managed to keep an even keel and sail through the often turbulent waters of life with relative, happy ease. If we were to think of Buffett as a Wayfinder, well…I think we could do far worse than to sail on his boat.

Published by Garreth Heidt

Designerly Minded High School Humanities and Liberal Studies Teacher Faculty Mentor FIRST Robotics Team #7414--PV Retrobotics. Constantly learning, trying to be more a maker and less a consumer of culture. I believe in the infinite value of a liberal education and the power of design thinking to help make the world a better place.

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