I stumbled on this interview by Charlie Rose, during which he talks to American billionaires Bill Gates and Warren Buffett about what it really means to have a rich life.
I have been teaching the importance of being careful with your time. More specifically; not scheduling back to back meetings, not filling your calendar with junk meetings and allowing time to make decisions or work on your most important tasks.
It may surprise you to hear, not one but two, self made American billionaires discuss the rich life in terms of time. In a world where we constantly talk about productivity, busyness, working long hours and ‘hustle’, it’s refreshing to hear Warren Buffett talk about the value of time. During this interview Buffett said: “I can buy anything I want, basically, but I can’t buy time.”
“I can buy anything I want, basically, but I can’t buy time” -Warren Buffett.
Buffett’s insight came after Charlie was flicking through his pocket sized paper diary, which the three joked was particularly empty. He has days without an appointment or meeting at all. On looking forward, the interviewer mentioned there was a week with only three appointments.
Buffett joked: “Yeah. There will be four maybe by April.”
Interviewer Rose turned his attention to Bill Gates and asked, “So that taught you what? Not to crowd yourself too much and give yourself time to read and think and…”
Gates replied, “Right. That you control your time and that sitting and thinking may be a much higher priority than a normal CEO who, you know there’s all this demand and you feel like you need to go and see all these people…”
“It’s not a proxy of your seriousness that you fill every minute of your schedule” -Bill Gates.
Buffett cut in, agreeing with Gates, “People are going to want your time and it’s the only thing you can’t buy.” Then he goes on to say, “I better be careful with it. There’s no way I will be able to buy more time.”
Do you have back to back meetings at your work? Maybe it’s time to learn from these two wildly successful individuals. Maybe you have been pursuing more wealth, so you can have a rich life. Don’t get me wrong. Money can set you up for a comfortable life.
Many of us forget about the value of time in pursuit of the rich life but if we listen to these two famous American billionaires, maybe that’s just what the rich life is… more time.