My wife and I recently watched the movie, “No Country for Old Men.” It’s a very unusual movie. I actually had to google a bunch of stuff after watching it to try and fully understand it.
One line from the movie stuck with me. I found a clip with the line below. Fast forward to around 1:05:
Here’s the line I continue to think about:
“Let me ask you something. If the rule you followed brought you to this _____________, of what use is the rule?”
In this particular scene, one of the characters was about to be killed and he knew it. The bad guy was asking him if the rules he followed in his life that led him to this particular situation were worth following.
The more I think about this one line, the more I realize it pertains to EVERY rule we follow in life. Even rules we don’t even realize we’re following. Pick any area of your life that you’re not 100% happy with and ask yourself this question and see what happens. As an example, let’s say you’re not happy with your income.
If the rule(s) you’ve been following regarding work, income, and money have led you to where you are right now, of what use are these rules?
Damn, what a powerful question.
It really makes you think… what rules am I actually following about work, income, and money?
Whether we realize it or not, we’re definitely following various rules in all areas of our lives. We can “see” these rules by looking at the results they’re delivering in our lives.
If you’re in a bad relationship with a significant other, what rules are you following that led to this situation?
If you’re unhealthy, what rules are you following that led to this situation?
If you have a crummy relationship with your children, what rules are you following that led to this situation?
If your business is struggling, what rules are you following that led to this situation?
Now, another way to use this to your advantage might be to study people who’ve accomplished what you want to accomplish. See if you can figure out what rules they might be following so you can start following similar rules in your life.
I recently wrote an article about the new documentary on titled, “Becoming Warren Buffet.”
What rules do you think Warren Buffett follows when it comes to work, money, and investing? Based on studying Buffett, I believe he is following these rules:
1. Reading and thinking are our most important activities.
2. It’s important to build a business you absolutely love, doing exactly what you enjoy doing.
3. Money problems are easy to solve. People problems are hard to solve.
4. Buy an attractive income producing asset and hold it forever allowing compound interest to work it’s magic in your life.
5. Business is a fun game.
6. The key to compound interest is patience. Lot’s of patience.
7. Stick within your circle of competence.
8. Minimize the use of debt.
9. Your reputation is one of your most important assets.
10. Don’t increase your spending/consumption as your income increases.
Now, we probably won’t be able to duplicate Buffett’s actual results for many reasons, but what do you think would happen if you started following his rules? Something to think about.
Oddly enough, I don’t think we actually need a large list of rules. I believe the 80/20 rule applies to rules we choose to follow.
In fact, I’ve found I only need 3 or 4 rules in each area:
2. Lift Weights
3. Eliminate OR Minimize sugar/carbs/booze
1. Practice giving (help others who really need your help)
2. Focus daily on what’s going right, not what’s going wrong.
3. Main goal is to simply enjoy life… (Not accumulate wealth/Not buy a bunch of stuff)
1. Our most important activities are thinking and reading.
2. When we do work, we should focus on income pipelines by building, buying, or creating income producing assets.
3. When we’re not building, buying, or creating income producing assets, we should be leveraging assets we already own further.
1. Buy income producing assets and hold them forever. Reinvest the income collected into new income producing assets.
2. Passive investing will require you to work into your 70s. To make any real money, you’ve got to be active with your investments.
3. Minimize debt and never invest in anything that can bankrupt you.
4. The Joneses are dumb asses who don’t think. (Don’t ever try to keep up with them)
When I follow these rules, my life gets better – a lot better.
So let me ask you something.
What rules are you following and where are these rules taking you?