Warren Buffett's Best Advice: 'Ask Yourself Who Do You Want To Spend Your Last Day With. Meet Them As Often As You Can. Why Wait?'

At 93, Warren Buffett is a living testament to the power of time well-spent. Having built a legendary career and witnessed countless lives unfold, Buffett offered a key piece of life advice during the Berkshire Hathaway annual shareholders meeting. 

The occasion was especially significant as it marked the first meeting without Charlie Munger, Buffett’s longtime partner who recently passed away at 99.

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Amid the introspective atmosphere, a young attendee posed a question that resonated with the audience: “I'm wondering, if you had one more day with Charlie, what would you do with him?"

Buffett’s response, met with initial laughter and applause for the thoughtful question, delved into the essence of his relationship with Munger. “Ha!…Well, it’s kind of interesting because in effect I did have one more day,” Buffett began, reminiscing about the nature of their daily interactions.

He described their partnership as one characterized by a profound enjoyment of the present, reflecting on Munger’s diverse interests and their shared activities, such as golf and tennis. “We always lived in a way where we were happy with what we were doing every day,” Buffett explained, emphasizing that even their failures were engaging because they provided challenges to overcome together.

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Buffett appreciated the unknowns of life, including the unpredictable timing of death, which added value to their time together. He chuckled, recalling a classic Munger quip about avoiding the place of his future death: “‘Charlie always said,’ Buffett quoted with a smile, ‘you know, uh, just tell me where I’m going to die so I’ll never go there.'”

Despite the humor, Buffett turned more serious, noting, “He went everywhere with his mind, and therefore he was not only interested in the world at 99, but the world was interested in him.”

Expanding on their companionship, Buffett shared insights into Munger’s influence and allure, noting that his partner’s wisdom and character attracted many prominent figures. “The world wanted to come and see him. I could name a whole bunch of names but just I’ll start with Elon Musk," Buffett revealed. Munger’s openness and willingness to engage with diverse minds highlighted his exceptional intellect and curiosity, which he maintained throughout his life. Buffett even joked he had never met anyone who "peaked" at 99. 

He looked back on how Munger lived life on his own terms, relishing the platform he had to express himself and never shying away from speaking his mind. “He loved having a podium,” Buffett noted, adding that their relationship was marked by mutual respect, free of conflict, and always learning from each other.

Buffett concluded his reflections with a broader message about cherishing and investing time in meaningful relationships: “What you should probably ask yourself, who do you feel you’d want to start spending the last day of your life with? And then figure out a way to start meeting him or her tomorrow and meet them as often as you can, why wait till the last day? And don't bother with the others."

This wasn’t mere sentimentality; it was a potent challenge urging everyone to seize the present. Don’t wait for a hypothetical last day. Start investing in those relationships today. Time, as Buffett himself knows, is a precious, irreplaceable resource. It’s the deep and meaningful connections in life that truly enrich people. In the end, that’s what truly matters.

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