A simple lesson from Warren Buffett

July 18, 2022

"A majority of life’s errors are caused by forgetting what one is really trying to do." -Charlie Munger

This is from the book, "The Snowball". I just started reading it this weekend. This piece is from a section where Warren Buffett is getting bad press for saying that the market would crash, around 1999. Some were calling him too old and some of the media were writing that he was out of touch with the current times. This is where he brings up the Inner Scorecard or the Outer Scorecard. A great lesson to learn from and something we can apply to our life. It's not easy, but it's good to be aware of it.

"I feel like I'm on my back, and there's the Sistine Chapel, and I'm painting away. I like it when people say, Gee, that's a pretty good-looking painting. But it's my painting, and when somebody says, 'Why don't you use more red instead of blue?' Good-bye. It's my painting. And I don't care what they sell it for. The painting itself will never be finished. That's one of the great things about it."

"The big question about how people behave is whether they've got an Inner Scorecard or an Outer Scorecard. It helps if you can be satisfied with an Inner Scorecard. I always pose it this way. I say: 'Lookit. Would you rather be the world's greatest lover, but have everyone think you're the world's worst lover? Or would you rather be the world's worst lover but have everyone think you're the world's greatest lover?' Now, that's an interesting question.

"Here's another one. If the world couldn't see your results, would you rather be thought of as the world's greatest investor but in reality have the world's worst record? Or be thought of as the world's worst investor when you were actually the best?

"In teaching your kids, I think the lesson they're learning at a very, very early age is what their parents put the emphasis on. If all the emphasis is on what the world's going to think about you, forgetting about how you really behave, you'll wind up with an Outer Scorecard.

Now my dad: He was a hundred percent Inner Scorecard guy. "He was really a maverick. But he wasn't a maverick for the sake of being a maverick. He just didn't care what other people thought. My dad taught me how life should be lived. I've never seen anybody quite like him."

There's a lot to unpack there, and as I read that and re-read that part I realized that we are all a combination of both. We all struggle with people pleasing to an extent and so does Warren Buffett. The point of it is to be aware of how you feel and what actions you take because of it.

Thanks for reading A Brilliant Tribe.