The best advice Bill Gates received was from Warren Buffett, on friendship
Even artificial intelligence wants to learn from Bill Gates.
When the Microsoft co-founder sat down for an interview with British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak last month, the two answered questions generated by a ChatGPT-like AI chatbot.
The bot asked Gates what was the best advice he had ever received and how it influenced his own life. In response, the 67-year-old pulled a few words from his longtime friend and fellow billionaire Warren Buffett about friendship.
“Warren Buffett talked about [how]ultimately it’s how friends really think of you and how strong those friendships are [that matters]”, Gates said.
Gates and Buffett have been friends for more than three decades. Their common interests go beyond their wealth: the couple co-founded The Giving Pledge, which encourages the world’s wealthiest people to donate at least half of their wealth to charitable causes, and are occasional partners bridge and golf.
Gates has previously discussed the lessons he learned from 92-year-old Buffett, from investing to time management. He always put Buffett’s advice on friendship at the top of the list.
“I’ve learned a lot from Warren over the past 25 years, but perhaps the most important thing is what friendship is,” Gates wrote in a 2016 blog post.
“Even though he maintains a busy schedule, Warren always finds time to make friendships like few other people I know,” Gates added. “He picks up the phone and calls to say hello. He regularly sends in articles that he’s read that he thinks…I’ll find interesting.”
Buffett often talks about the importance of choosing good friends and being a good friend yourself. That means surrounding yourself “with people who are better than you,” so you can learn from and be inspired by them, he said during a 2017 talk with Gates at Columbia University. “You will move in the direction of the people you associate with.”
Gates agreed, “Some friends bring out the best in you, and so it’s good to invest in those friendships.”
Strong, meaningful friendships can be hugely important to your career success, including boosting your self-esteem and mental resilience, research shows. Maintaining good friendships over your lifetime also makes you happier and less stressed, improving your health and well-being, according to the Mayo Clinic.
Gates and Buffett have a combined net worth of $220 billion, Bloomberg estimates, but they seem to agree that the happiness that comes from lasting friendships is a true hallmark of success.
“When you get to my age, you’ll really measure your success in life by how many people you want to have who really love you,” Buffett said in a 2001 speech at the University of Georgia.
“I know people who have a lot of money, and they get testimonial dinners and hospital wings named after them,” he continued. “But the truth is, no one in the world likes them. If you reach my age in life and no one thinks well of you, I don’t care how big your bank account is – your life is a disaster. is the ultimate test of how you’ve lived your life.”
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