I am sometimes taken aback by how people can have a miserable day or get angry because they feel cheated by a bad meal, cold coffee, a social rebuff or a rude reception…

…We are quick to forget that just being alive is an extraordinary piece of good luck, a remote event, a chance occurrence of monstrous proportions.

Imagine a speck of dust next to a planet a billion times the size of the earth. The speck of dust represents the odds in favour of your being born; the huge planet would be the odds against it. So stop sweating the small stuff. Don’t be like the ingrate who got a castle as a present and worried about the mildew in the bathroom. Stop looking the gift horse in the mouth – remember that you are a Black Swan.”

Nassim Taleb

Charlie Munger on the secret to a long and happy life…

… Now that is easy, because it’s so simple. 

You don’t have a lot of envy. You don’t have a lot of resentment, You don’t overspend your income. You stay cheerful in spite of your troubles. You deal with reliable people and you do what you’re supposed to do. And all these simple rules work so well to make your life better. And they’re so trite. 

‘How old were you when you figured this out?’

About seven. I could tell that some of my older people were a little bonkers. I’ve always been able to recognize that other people were a little bonkers. And it helped me because there’s so much irrationality in the world. And I’ve been thinking about it for a long time, its causes and its preventions, and so forth. Sure it’s helped me. 

And–staying cheerful…because it’s a wise thing to do. Is that so hard? And can you be cheerful when you’re absolutely mired in deep hatred and resentment? Of course you can’t. So why would you take it on? 

‘Is there any advice you would go back and give your 20-year-old self? ’

Many of my children have worked out well. And I’ve had very little to do with it. I think they come into the world, to a certain extent, pre-made. And you just sit there and watch…. It’s been simply amazing to me as a parent to note know much is sort of preordained. The shy baby is the shy adult. The booming, obnoxious, domineering baby is the booming, domineering, obnoxious adult. I’ve never found a way to fix that. I can be cheerful about it, but I can’t fix it. I can change my reaction, but I can’t change the outcome.

— Charlie Munger