Another Apocryphal Story

Another great story that Charlie Munger has been telling more recently:

A 14 year old boy asks Mozart: “How can I learn to be a great composer?”

Mozart: “You’re far too young.”

Boy: “But you were only 8 when you wrote your first symphony!”

Mozart: “Yes, but I wasn’t going around asking people how to do it.”

Charlie was telling this story in response to all the people who were asking him how to become a great investor. I think this same idea applies to a lot of other unconventional ideas:

  • Should I drop out of university?
  • Should I quit my job and start a company?
  • Should I do a long distance relationship?

If you have to ask, the answer is probably no. Steve Jobs didn’t ask anyone if he should invent the iPhone, Elon Musk definitely did not ask anyone whether or not he should try to send someone to Mars, and I didn’t ask anyone if I should give unsolicited advice about how to conduct your life — I just do it. Maybe Nike had it right all along, or not. Perhaps I should ask someone…