Buffett’s Most Counterculture Habit Could Be the Secret to Building Wealth – The Motley Fool Canada
Image source: The Motley Fool
Who doesn’t like a good Warren Buffett quote, right? The Oracle of Omaha often stuns us not with poetic utterances, but with simple, almost rural-like, sayings — ones that’s perfectly encapsulate the wisdom he’s gathered from his 70 years of active investing.
While digging through some of Buffett’s most memorable quotes, I came across this gem:
I insist on a lot of time being spent, almost every day, to just sit and think. That is very uncommon in American business. I read and think. So, I do more reading and thinking, and make less impulse decisions than most people in business. I do it because I like this kind of life.
Sit and think. Easier said than done, right? Aside from perhaps a 10-minute meditation app, or yoga classes, most of us don’t stop, sit, and think. As a culture still heavily influenced by business and commerce, we look up to leaders who can make decisions on the fly, who don’t vacillate often, and who don’t look insecure or act indecisive.
Sit and think. Try it. But not when you’re feeling impassive. Try it when you’re actively seeking something, when you’re absorbed in a new pursuit, or when you have a goal that you’re obsessed with. In moments like those, your emotions can easily overpower your thinking. And that’s when you make impulsive decisions.
How sitting and thinking can help you build wealth
One of the best pieces of advice my father gave me was this: before you buy something, big or small, sleep on it.
He didn’t mean essentials, like groceries or gas. He meant impulsive purchases — those things that I didn’t really need but wanted in the moment.
Buffett’s habit of sitting and thinking reminds me of this advice. When you’re shopping for essentials, and you spot something that you don’t need but want, stop and think — will I want this tomorrow morning? Then sleep on it. Give it a few days, if you have to. If you decide that the purchase is a necessity, then go back and buy it. More likely than not, your mind will have already moved on, and you’ll save yourself some money (or a trip to the return counter).
Stopping and thinking can also translate into delayed gratification. Most of us are so accustomed to instant gratification, spurred by social media, that we never stop to question an impulsive buying decision. Too many budgets are broken, and too much money is spent on purchases we could have delayed. When …….