By

Habits

“When I was sixteen, I had just two things on my mind - girls and cars. I wasn't very good with girls. So I thought about cars. I thought about girls, too, but I had more luck with cars.

Let's say that when I turned sixteen, a genie had appeared to me. And that genie said, 'Warren, I'm going to give you the car of your choice. It'll be here tomorrow morning with a big bow tied on it. Brand-new. And it's all yours.'

Having heard all the genie stories, I would say, 'What's the catch?' And the genie would answer, 'There's only one catch. This is the last car you're ever going to get in your life. So it's got to last a lifetime.' If that had happened, I would have picked out that car.

But, can you imagine, knowing it had to last a lifetime, what I would do with it? I would read the manual about five times. I would always keep it garaged. If there was the least little dent or scratch, I'd have it fixed right away because I wouldn't want it rusting. I would baby that car, because it would have to last a lifetime.

That's exactly the position you are in concerning your mind and body. You only get one mind and one body. And it's got to last a lifetime.

Now, it's very easy to let them ride for many years. But if you don't take care of that mind and that body, they'll be a wreck forty years later, just like the car would be.

It's what you do right now, today, that determines how your mind and body will operate ten, twenty, and thirty years from now.” - Warren Buffett

The reason for the importance of habit lies in the nature of its compounding returns. Habits, by their very nature compound in value the more frequently and consistently they are exercised. Just as Buffett invests in assets that generate value throughout the entire time that they are held, effective individuals develop habits that consistently increase the value of their intellect, skills, and relationships over time.

First you make your habits, and then your habits make you. Investing in your mind and body is the first step to becoming a person of value.

Written by
Full stack engineer, entrepreneur, technologist, former med student. "The best way to predict the future is to create it."