Based in Washington, Ross is a general manager of a food safety company. His musings explore life, work and every moment in between.

Self-Pity

Charlie Munger is Warren Buffett’s right hand man. He is described by Buffett as his business partner. Munger is much less of a public personality than Buffett and I have found him to be very interesting. I love one of his quotes form a 2007 commencement speech at USC Law School:

“Generally speaking, envy, resentment, revenge and self-pity are disastrous modes of thought. Self-pity gets pretty close to paranoia, and paranoia is one of the very hardest things to reverse. You do not want to drift into self-pity. I have a friend who carried a big stack of index cards about this thick, and when somebody would make a comment that reflected self-pity, he would take out one of the cards, take the top one off the stack and hand it to the person, and the card said, “Your story has touched my heart, never have I heard of anyone with as many misfortunes as you”. Well, you can say that’s waggery, but I suggest that every time you find you’re drifting into self-pity, I don’t care what the cause — self-pity is not going to improve the situation. Just give yourself one of those cards. It’s a ridiculous way to behave, and when you avoid it you get a great advantage over everybody else, almost everybody else, because self-pity is a standard condition and yet you can train yourself out of it.”

I get stuck in this self-pity trap too. I am not proud of those times. With help from Laura, I have learned my que’s and have trained myself out of this (mostly). When I drift that direction, I must take evasive action to get myself back on track. The self-pity trap is a bad one. Avoid it at all costs.

What do you recommend?

Intellectual Inflation