Berkshire Hathaway 2017 Annual Meeting Audience Question # 57

Look for the job that you would take if you didn’t need a job

Warren Buffett:

OK. Station 9.

Audience Member:

Good afternoon, Mr. Munger and Mr. Buffett.

My name is Ji Wen Yue. I come from China. It’s my first time to come to this meeting. And I think I’m very lucky to have a chance to ask question.

Warren Buffett:

We’re glad to have you.

Audience Member:

Thank you. Everyone has personal dreams. And at a different age, maybe dreams will come different to you. And what’s your dream now?

Warren Buffett:

Charlie, we’ll let you go first.

Charlie Munger:

I didn’t quite hear that.

Warren Buffett:

Oh, I… what’s your dream now? She says…

Charlie Munger:

My dream. Well…

Warren Buffett:

Let’s skip the first one.

Charlie Munger:

Sometime when I’m especially wishful, I think, oh, to be 90 again.

And I got some advice for the young. If you got anything you really want to do, don’t wait till you’re 93.

Warren Buffett:

No, do it.

No, that’s the same thing I would tell students is, you can’t always find it the first time or the second time. But when you go out in the world, look for the job that you would take if you didn’t need a job.

I mean, don’t postpone that sort of thing. Somebody… I think it was Kierkegaard, said that, you know, life must be evaluated backwards but it must be lived forwards.

And you want to sort of… Charlie says all he wants to know is where he’ll die so he’ll never go there, you know. And so you…

You do want to do a certain amount of reverse engineering in life. I mean, that’s not… that doesn’t mean you can do everything that way.

But you really want to think about what will make you feel good, when you get older, about your life.

And you, at least generally, want to keep going in that direction. And, you know, you need some luck in life. And you got to accept some bad things that are going to happen as you go along.

But life has been awfully good to me and Charlie, so we have no complaints.

Charlie Munger:

What you don’t want to be is like the man, when they held his funeral, and the minister said, “Now, it’s the time for somebody to say something nice about the deceased.” And nobody came forward. And nobody came forward.”

He said, “Surely, somebody can say somebody… something nice… about the deceased.” And nobody came forward.

And finally, one man came up. And he said, “Well,” he said, “His brother was worse.”

Warren Buffett:

Yeah.

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