You can’t outrun a bear

Here’s another old joke:

Two friends, John and Mark, are camping when a bear pops out of the bushes.
John starts to put on his tennis shoes.
Mark says, “What are you doing?  You can’t outrun a bear!”
John says, “I don’t have to outrun a bear — I just have to outrun you!”

This joke has two important lessons: (1) you really can’t outrun a bear, and (2) skill is relative.  The latter point is something Charlie Munger often emphasizes in a different way:

“You don’t have to be brilliant, only a little bit wiser than the other guys, on average, for a long, long time.”

I like this sentiment.  Just like John outrunning Mark, you just need to be a bit — even a tiny bit — better than the other guys with the big caveat that it’s for a long time (on average).  So less of a sprint and more of a marathon kind of idea.  It just takes a little discipline and an hour a day.

In any case, if there’s one thing I’ve learned in my short time here it’s this: always wear running shoes when camping1.


  1. Or is it only go camping with people slower than you?  I always forget. []