I recently read Poor Charlie's Almanac, The Wit and Wisdom of Charles T. Munger. The book is a fabulous collection of his thoughts, speeches, writings, mental models, and commentary on Charlie by Warren Buffet, Bill Gates, Bill Gross (Pimco), and others.
I particularly enjoyed the speech he gave at his son's high school reunion.
The speech borrowed from an earlier commencement address by Johnny Carson. Carson told the students that he could not tell the graduating class how to be happy, but he could them from personal experience how to guarantee misery! Carson's prescriptions for sure misery included:
- ingesting chemicals in an effort to alter mood or perception
- envy; and
- be unreliable
- do no faithfully do what you have engaged to do.
- if you like being distrusted and excluded from the best human contribution and company, this prescription is for you
- learn everything you possibly can from your own personal experience, minimizing what you can learn from the good and bad experience of others, living and dead
- the idea is to become as non-educated as you reasonably can
- do not stand on the shoulders of giants, who needs them
- go down and stay down when you get your first, second, and third severe reverse in the battle of life
- given the abundance of adversity in life...this will ensure that you will permanently mired in misery
- ignore disconforming evidence and remain certain in your views
- be one of those people who early achieve and later intensify a tendency to process new and disconforming information so that any original conclusion remains intact
Following all seven prescriptions will help ensure a life of non-felicity and abject misery. "Invert, always invert."