A marriage counselor was giving a seminar to a room filled with people seeking marital advice…

— From Invest Like a Guru – How to Generate Higher Returns at Reduced Risk with Value Investing P. 39

… he projected his first slide, the key to a successful marriage, which showed just one phrase:

‘Love each other, forever.’

Participants started to shake their heads and said the sentiment was hard to put in practice. Then the marriage counselor put up his second slide, which said:

‘If you cannot do that, now you need to follow these four rules: (1) Compromise, tolerate, and forgive. (2) Make it a habit to compromise, tolerate, and forgive. (3) Pretend to be a fool. (4) Make that a habit, too.’

The participants grew more vocal, saying the four rules are impossible to follow. Waiting until they quieted down, the counselor put up his third slide, which said:

‘If you cannot follow these four rules, now you need to do these 16 things right: (1) Don’t lose your tempers at the same time. (2) Don’t yell unless it is an emergency. (3) When getting into an argument, let your spouse win. (4) Don’t let an argument last overnight. (5) Always be ready to apologize …’

After reading these, some laughed and some sighed. The counselor then showed his fourth slide, which said:

‘If you still cannot follow 16 rules, now you need to do these 256 things right…’ 

 

In a wiser, more self-aware society than our own, a standard question on any early dinner date would be: “And how are you crazy?”

New York Times

we have a bewildering array of problems that emerge when we try to get close to others. We seem normal only to those who don’t know us very well. In a wiser, more self-aware society than our own, a standard question on any early dinner date would be: “And how are you crazy?”

Mr. Buffett replied: “When you get to my age, you’ll really measure your success in life by how many of the people you want to have love you actually do love you … If you get to my age in life and nobody thinks well of you, I don’t care how big your bank account is, your life is a disaster …

The More You Give Love Away, the More You Get”

I’d like to end with my absolute favorite Buffett quote. His late wife, Susan, was a famously kind and loving person, and he has often said that marrying her was the most important decision he ever made. When Susan had cancer, he visited her in a hospital in San Francisco, then flew to Georgia to speak with a class of college students. According to Alice Schroeder’s book, The Snowball, the students asked him about his greatest success and his greatest failure.

Mr. Buffett replied: “When you get to my age, you’ll really measure your success in life by how many of the people you want to have love you actually do love you. I know people who have a lot of money, and they get testimonial dinners and they get hospital wings named after them. But the truth is that nobody in the world loves them. If you get to my age in life and nobody thinks well of you, I don’t care how big your bank account is, your life is a disaster.

“That’s the ultimate test of how you have lived your life. The trouble with love is that you can’t buy it. You can buy sex. You can buy testimonial dinners. You can buy pamphlets that say how wonderful you are. But the only way to get love is to be lovable. It’s very irritating if you have a lot of money. You’d like to think you could write a check: I’ll buy a million dollars’ worth of love. But it doesn’t work that way. The more you give love away, the more you get.”