One of Warren Buffett's most famous stories he tells young adults is the "fable of the genie".
The story begins with Buffett stating how when he was 16 years old, he "only had two things on [his] mind - girls and cars". "I wasn't very good with girls. So I thought about cars," he said jokingly.
He then goes on to formulate a situation where on his 17th birthday, a genie were to appear to him and offer him any car of his choice. But there was a catch - it would be the only car he would ever have throughout his life; so it would have to last a lifetime.
Now aware of the big catch, Warren realized the amount of care he would have to put into the car to keep it in excellent condition.
"I would read the manual about five times. I would always keep it garaged. If there was the least little dent or scratch, I’d have it fixed right away because I wouldn’t want it rusting. I would baby that car, because it would have to last a lifetime," he explained.
The point of the fable is to say that often times we take the most important things in our lives for granted. We live in a country where we have so much, and it leads me to wonder if less truly is more.
Imagine if you knew you could only sleep with 2 women in your entire life. You would be much more careful before getting into such an intimate act.
When I started Steiner Sports, I didn't have much advertising money so I had to use the money I did have very wisely. I partnered and collaborated with a lot of companies, and I may have done some of my best promotional work during that time because every dime counted so much.
I remember back during the mid '90's wanting to quit the memorabilia business because I didn't think Steiner would work. My wife said it was time to pursue another job because we wanted to start a family. I came so close to leaving it all behind.
But I didn't.
Instead, I went to the bank and took out $10,000; knowing damn well it was the only $10,000 I had, and I got to work. I used every nickel and dime to the utmost. I negotiated every quarter and penny just to get my business going.
Fortunately, the hard work payed off for my family and I.
We have so many choices these days. You could pick from thousands of different TV channels, books to read, and people to meet. A lot of us seem to take the basic premise of what we have for granted.
As you get older, you realize that nothing lasts forever, and the most important things are the most important things. Make the right things count. You only get one body, so nurture it or you could face some serious health issues.
You have to respect your closest relationships and nurture them to keep them going strong. Nurture them like you would nurture that one car, because you certainly wouldn't want to lose them.
Quote of the Day:
"Don’t risk what is important to you, to get what is not important to you." - Warren Buffett
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