The East West Institute is amassing blogs and articles that focus on self improvement. What better one to share than Farnam Street Blog’s “The Buffet Formula: How To Get Smarter by Reading”; where we will start the series with a common underlying theme: reading makes you smarter.
The article begins with stating that people often go through life without getting any smarter because they will not put in the work required to do so. Although it is easy to come home from a long day and sit on the couch and watch TV until bedtime, it
will not help you in the long run of enhancing your intelligence – instead it is a sedative. But the good news is that you can acquire knowledge if you want it. American business magnate, investor and philanthropist, Warren Buffet, with the
help of his longtime business partner at Berkshire Hathaway, Charlie Munger, came up with a something that almost guarantees to make you smarter over time: The Buffet Formula. Although it is simple, it is not easy.
Both Buffet and Munger didn’t become smart from being billionaires; rather they are billionaires because they are smart. Buffet suggests to read, a lot. He also says, “I just sit in my office and read all day.” He estimates that he spends 80% of his
working day reading and thinking.
The article also states how you read matters too. You must be critical and always thinking, as well as doing the mental work required to hold an opinion. Finding the time to read is also a crucial feature to the formula; it is easier than you think.
According to the article, all you need to do is just dedicate one hour of the day for yourself to read. During this one-hour, the different opportunity costs are imperative to your intelligence. You can either spend your time on social media and
reading online news with answering emails with a short-term effect, or you can go the long-term effect by dedicating your time to improve yourself. With the long-term track, it obviously more intellectually rewarding by investing in learning something new and improving yourself. “I have always wanted to improve what I do,“ Munger comments, “even if it reduces my income in any given year. And I always set aside time so I can play my own self-amusement and improvement game.”
In addition to the formula aspects, reading is not enough. As mentioned earlier, it is crucial to be critical. It is important to be able to express your knowledge; because if you cannot, you do not fully understand what you think.
Lastly, it is key to surround yourself with people who are not afraid to challenge your ideas. Although the formula is not easy, it is simple to accomplish. As long as you follow the different characteristics of The Buffet Formula, you will be enhancing your intelligence in no time.