People look for retreats for themselves, in the country, by the coast, or in the hills; and you too are especially inclined to feel this desire. But this is altogether unphilosophical, when it is possible for you to retreat into yourself at any time you want.
There is nowhere that a person can find a more peaceful and trouble-free retreat than in his own mind, especially if he has within himself the kind of thoughts that let him dip into them and so at once gain complete ease of mind; and by ease of mind, I mean nothing but having one’s own mind in good order. So constantly give yourself this retreat and renew yourself.
You should have at hand concise and fundamental principles, which will be enough, as soon as you encounter them, to cleanse you from all distress and send you back without resentment at the activities to which you return.Marcus Aurelius
… 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