You know what is the single most prevalent commonality between any two individuals on this planet? Take a guess.
It is relationships. We all have relationships that we have to live, build and survive. Not all of us may have monetary investments in shares and bonds, but we all have investments in the form of time and effort and sweat and blood in our relationships. And while a lot is written about these relationships, I believe no one can say it better than the king of investments himself, Mr. Warren Buffet.
I’m sure many of you are his ardent admirers, having hung on to his each and every word, his wisdom, his quotes and his knowledge about money and what it can do for you. Why not use the same wisdom to understand the very personal, the most intimate of our investments – our relationships? What would it be like, if he gave you relationship advice too, along with extremely awesome tips on how to make money?
I found 15 of Warren Buffet’s quotes to be extremely relevant in the context of relationships. Sharing 8 of them with you in the first part. They are a great peek into how to get better returns for these life-long investments. So, if Warren Buffet were to give you relationship advice, he would probably say:-
- “Risk comes from not knowing what you are doing.”
You have to know what you are looking for in a relationship. It is as simple as that. Yes, the other person is an uncertainty. But do not forget, if you do not know what you want from your being together – then you are as much a risk for your other half as he / she is for you.
If you will know your priorities, your goals, your desired outcomes from your relationships, there will still be unknown times. But then you will be unaware of your roads to be taken, not your destinations. When there are bigger decisions to be taken, between your partner and you, there will be clarity about the things you have to absolutely hold on to and the things you can let go. No matter what modern literature teaches you, being together entails adjustments. Not knowing what you are doing, will lead to more adjustments on your part. And that would mean more uncertainty and hence more risk.
Sort out your head about the top 3 things you would want in your relationship. The lesser the uncertainty, the lesser the risk.
- “It’s better to hang out with people better than you. Pick out associates whose behaviour is better than yours and you’ll drift in that direction.
This one is like an unspoken rule of successful hiring. Now, I am not saying that you have to hire your partner. And even if you do feel so, do not say it to their faces! 🙂 … but think about this idea of being with a person who you believe to be better than you.
It is said that the company of our closest people rubs on to us. You become like the five people you spend your maximum time with. Why not then, be on the road to super-stardom by choosing to be with someone who is a better human being?
I don’t know how you choose people. I have been often called out for suggesting checklists. But how else would you know if the other person meets your basic minimum or not! Living with a good human being changes you in irrevocably better ways. A kind person will make you appreciate the virtue of kindness, a polite person’s company will teach you how to not lose your cool and then regret later. And living with someone 10 times more mature than you, will only alter your own perceptions about practicality and good behaviour.
If becoming a better person, and having a more peaceful relationship and life is what you aim for, than I would recommend giving Mr. Buffet’s words a thought. And not just keep going after excitements.
- “It’s far better to buy a wonderful company at a fair price, than a fair company at a wonderful price.”
Are you getting into a relationship with a pay-check or a person who can also bring in the pay-check while bringing you insurmountable joy in life?
A wonderful company, even if at a higher price would be much more beneficial in the long run. It will not only pay off your fair price investment in the long run but also guarantee you a lot of peace and security. Same goes for a wonderful relationship. The focus word here is “wonderful” and it takes me back to the 1st point. If you know it is wonderful that you seek, you will not just settle for fair. Even if takes a little more from you initially.
You focus on nurturing and building the wonderful things that you have in your relationship. The pay offs will keep coming on their own as dividends, bonuses or as wonderful splits (children) J
- “It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you’ll do things differently.”
Think of it this way – it takes you years to win someone’s confidence. And a mere 5 minutes to shatter it to pieces. No matter what you do with your life, do not lose the trust of the people who love you. It never comes back in the same form, even if you are lucky enough that it comes back at all.
As a motivational speaker for the corporates and youth, I have had to listen to this problem consistently from all the different kinds of audiences. Their confessions or complains about loyalty in a relationship are disturbingly normal these days. If you have invested in the right person, why would you want to turn in bad on your own accord? I refuse to believe that cheating and disloyalty happens because the other person wasn’t there enough and you just wanted a way out or that it just happened.
Choosing to break your partner’s trust is always a conscious decision. And even if they choose to forgive you for it, they will never fully forget about it. Remember it the next time you have that stupid urge! If something is not working between you and your partner, you sit and talk it out.
I can understand the stresses and pressures of this fast running world. But I cannot and do not want to understand that dishonesty can be a way out. If you want to run, run in a park. Not over your partner’s trust and your investment – all in one go!
- “Our favourite holding period is forever.”
Well, that should be the aim as you get into a relationship that you think is worth it. You may wonder, why is it important to want to be together forever with whoever you meet. And you are absolutely right too. It is not. Hell, it would such big trouble if you want to spend the rest of your life with each and every guy or girl you meet!
But then, why don’t you try and make better choices? See, checklists work. Even when you think they are offensive and you are throwing them out of the window because you don’t want to box someone deserving into a checklist, you are subconsciously crossing things out. Even if the other person does not conform to your list, they are somehow tugging the right strings of your heart aren’t they? So, they are subconsciously checking out your checklist right? 🙂
Be a long term person. The pay offs are way better than short term investments. You may have to wait a little but the ROI is nothing short of beautiful. And that’s why I insist – that when you do come across the right person, try to be hold on to them forever. At least, start with the aim.
- “The business schools reward difficult complex behavior more than simple behavior, but simple behavior is more effective.”
There is a lot of peace in simplicity. I would say, when it comes to relationships, simplicity is in innocence and honesty. Deep honesty about yourself and your life. The more you build your innocence quotient, the simpler your life becomes and the happier and stronger your relationship becomes.
Everything around you these days, promotes complexity. The nature of your job, the amount of stress to take on, the kind of image that you build and choose to live up to, the kind of movies you watch – everything! There is so much pretence these days that I feel all around. Amidst all this, being a simple person, with simple honest emotions and an honest grace about themselves – is a rare phenomenon. But from years of knowing what doesn’t work, I also know that it is only simplicity that works best in a relationship.
Being simple not only makes it easy for you to be genuine, but also helps you be genuinely loving to each other in a relationship. Complex behavior will only lead to two people playing guessing games. And if the guesses go wrong, it will lead to more complexities. Why put yourself through so much trouble? Just carry your heart on your sleeve when it comes to your most important relationships, and see how rewarding your returns get!
- “Honesty is a very expensive gift. Don’t expect it from cheap people.”
I think this is the easier one. Have you seen the movie “Dear Zindagi”? If you haven’t, I would recommend you give it a shot. Anyway, it talks about going through a number of chairs before you finally buy one. That’s a really valid outlook to choosing people you want to be in a relationship with. If you are trying to be a long term person, and if you want ‘forever’ to be your favorite holding period, it is quite imperative that you test people you meet. And you test them relentlessly. And while you are doing that, do keep your eyes open for cheapness. That’s a huge red flag.
Because as Warren says, you cannot expensive gifts from cheap people. And honestly, honesty is very expensive. It takes fearlessness to be honest. And it takes courage to eventually become fearless. That’s the sort of quality you ought to be looking for in a relationship. So, if you have settled for cheap, you will never get these expensive gifts. You will know what I am talking about if you have been relentlessly lied to, or have lost and regretted because of your own lying sprees.
Actively seek the rich of the mind, so that you can reap the results and live a rich-in-the-heart kind of life.
- “You know… you keep doing the same things and you keep getting the same result over and over again.”
To reach somewhere different, you need to take different roads; if the one you are using now, is getting you nowhere.
If you broke up because of a reason, try to hold on to that reason. Forgive the person alright but remember to take the lesson out of that broken glass. And if you have a series of such relationship disasters, you need to peek in and see where the real mistakes are happening.
It takes two to tango. Not everything will be the other person’s fault, every time. Get over this teenage drama of yours. It is surprising; the number of people who are simply blind to their own shortcomings. If you have faced a failure, isn’t it a better idea to learn from it before dusting yourself and moving on?
If you keep doing the same mistakes in every relationship, every relationship will meet the same end. Because, my biggest realization is that – people are different maybe in minute terms and micro levels. But on a macro level, we are mostly same. Which means, same kind of mistakes will lead to same kind of results.
This relationship advice is as good as any, and true to the wisdom of the great Warren Buffet, in the form of his quotes and sayings. And whether or not you do monetary investments, you will always have relationships. So, please keep it in mind that –
Relationships are the most constant investments in our lives 🙂 … Invest well!
Watch out for the second part of this post – coming soon.