In January 2017 Charlie Rose sat down with the then richest and second richest men in the world -Bill Gates and Warren Buffett- and had an hour-long conversation about life, business, government and philanthropy (Gates & Buffett, 2017). Charlie Rose asks each of the men what they have learned from each other.
Gates recalls, “I… remember Warren showing me his calendar. You know, I had every minute packed and I thought that was the only way you could do things. And the fact that he is so careful about (Warren pulls out his weekly pocket calendar and shows it to Charlie Rose)– he has days… that’s [sic] there’s nothing on it.”
Charlie Rose opens to a week in April and says, “This is the week [in] April, of which there are only three entries for a week.” Buffett responds, “There will be four maybe by April.”
Then Gates gets to the lesson, “You control your time. And that sitting and thinking may be a much higher priority than a normal CEO, where’s there all these demands and you feel like you need to go and see all these people. It’s not a proxy of your seriousness that you fill every minute in your schedule.”
Buffett elaborates, “And people will want your time. I mean, it’s the only thing you can’t buy. I mean, I can buy anything I want, basically, but I can’t buy time… I better be careful with it. There is no way I will be able to buy more time. (emphasis added)”
It is true for each of us. We know it. We have heard it before. So, what are you doing today, this week, this month, this year to improve yourself? What relationships need to be nurtured? Who and what is most important in your life?
If you haven’t already, take some timeto think about your long- and short-term goals. Write them down in a place where you can see them often and set aside chunks of time to think, ponder and work out your plans in little chunks. As the axiom goes, “Rome wasn’t built in a day.”
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Gates, B., & Buffett, W. (2017, January 27). Bill Gates and Warren Buffett. (C. Rose, Interviewer) https://charlierose.com/videos/29774.