tv Big Problems Big Thinkers Bloomberg September 28, 2016 8:00pm-8:31pm EDT
>> everyone has the capability of making a difference. >> remember your humanity and forget the rest. host: in this series we confront the challenges facing the human race and try to identify an ethical framework to help us overcome them. in this episode, defining a successful life. rapidlyorld is moving forward with more choices in material advances, what are the contours for the a successful life? love, money, service to others? we will hear from an extraordinary group of men and women all successful in their own ways as they share their answers and together provide their roadmap for a life well lived. body and mind, emotions. if -- is itk them,
because of the money, no longer any emotional problems. then i think i have to accept money really brings real happiness. . feel very rich but mentally [inaudible] bring in hero piece. >> you say if someone measures themselves by what they have they will end up in trouble. what kind of trouble? >> i tell the story of a woman jew, whomaha, a polish was in one of the worst camps in germany during world war ii. other members of her family were there and some did not come out. some years ago she looked at me
and she said, warren, i am very slow to make friends. because when i look into somebody's eyes, the question in my mind is, with the hide me? me?-- with they hide and i tell people if you get to be 60 or 70 years of age and you have people who will hide you, which is saying you have people who love you you are a success. i never have seen anyone with a lot of people who love them unhappy. i have seen a lot of people with a lot of money who are unhappy as individuals and no one loves them. their kids would say he is in the attic. ultimate satisfaction in your bankt how big account is. it really is whether the people that you wish love you actually do love you. successful?u : i do feel good
about the people that work around me, that i work with over the years, i feel good about my children and grandchildren. it is not a function of money with those people. you areu would say that a success. mr. buffett: i am working towards it. host: how do you measure your success in this lifetime? >> some people would look in the i made amirror and say lot of money. some people would say i saved some lives and some people would say i am a teacher and i talked some young kids and it will change their world and who knows in that group, maybe a nobel prize winner. summary that can stop the craziness of crime or whatever the case may be. there is lots of different measures of success. unfortunately, we tend to measure success in this day and age in dollar terms. how much the baseball player is getting paid, how much the actress or actor is getting paid.
host: how do you measure yours, your success? our foundation, my company has been phenomenally successful, it has created a lot of jobs for a lot of people and all the profits go to the foundation. with that we have done a lot on smoking cessation and working on eradicating polio with bill helping the arts and helping governments at the local level work better. working on the environment. there are a lot of different things that we are working on. i guess i'm proud of all of those. host: do think your wealth has led to greater happiness? >> it is hard to argue that if you can buy things, some things you benefit from it. most of my things that make me joby are the family and my i love.
, i am a bigon golfer and that sort of stuff. i would not tie it to money. at some point in time if you are dollar we am every make is going to the foundation and helping people anyway. host: are you successful? >> i do not know. i have been successful in some things. i have not succeeded in everything i have wanted to do. i have been successful in my children. i have three fantastic daughters who make me feel that i have succeeded in a very important way with my grandchildren. i grew up in colorado. there was a motto on the denver post which said there is no hope for a set-aside man. -- satisfied man. i would add woman to that. i -- you should not think that you have accomplished everything , that you can't sit back and
say i'm satisfied. i think it is hard to measure success. you have to keep striving. being successful is remaining curious. the minute you have closed down and the minute you have felt i have had enough knowledge, that would be a failure. that would be a huge failure. failure of imagination. >> people ask me about success. i never look at success. it is good it occurs here and there. i would say if i have to look beide what is for me, is to capable and live well. not have on my conscience some facts which disturbed me. but napoleon was a success. he destroyed so many things. you have to realize what is a external success.
host: do you think there is a happiness factor to -- that is critical? >> absolutely. no question in my mind. i have studied it carefully. the people that are happiest are those that are doing the most good. and the people that are most unhappy are the ones that are doing harm. >> being principled is better than being happy. i do think that as i look around my contemporaries, these are people who have been through a lot over the years and in some can't -- cases have had children die and they had pretty ultimate tragedies. maybe they have been with a business that went broke at one time. they had lots of successes, too. not knowthat -- i do ayone who has lived principled life and his unhappy. in effect, the people around them admire and love them.
said --twain always said always tell the truth and you will not have to remember what you said. if you always behave in a ethical way you will sleep well at night. you are going to know that there is nothing to be exposed, nothing to hide, there is nothing to haunt you. ,ou are not hiding some deep dark secret. so absolutely. host: you would say happiness is related to being principled. >> it is a sufficient thing. >> it must be difficult to always look over your shoulder and wonder if the laws going to catch up with you or not. my suggestion is to not do the crime if you cannot do the time is the expression. you have to lie, a person who is not correct has to try to disguise and to in trying to disguise they cannot produce
happiness. host: do you think a principled person lives a happier life? isi do, although i think it not always an easier life. happiness is something that is internal. you do not go around laughing all the time. i think that sometimes having a principled life puts you into difficult positions where you have to take stands that are not popular. and sometimes being popular make people happy. i think it is an internal happiness if you lead a principled life. central question in ethics is, what is a good life? one perspective on the question is to ask yourself, looking back toward the end of my life, how will i evaluate myself, how will i think of the value of my own life, will i think it is a meaningful life which i have ,chieved things worth achieving helped people worth helping, have being held by people who love me and who cared about me. there is no guarantee that a
person who is doing the right have aill necessarily large amount of pleasure in their life but what they will have is the deep satisfaction person,es to a moral from knowing they have done or tried to do what was right. host: trying to do what is right. for some, that is as easy as making a pledge and what a pledge. "big problems, big thinkers." mr. buffett: i can take my money to i can use that money build the biggest tomb ever built. that strikes me as a little crazy. the sense that you are put in this place to do good for people. and you should try to do it whether you get dirty or not. ♪
host: welcome back to "big problems, big thinkers." goes, money can buy you love but can it buy you happiness? take a look. moneydad used to say can't buy poverty. it certainly helps but it is not a guarantee of anything. the happiest times in my life have always been when i am a group embedded in the -- i am part of a group embedded in the community doing something fun or large. that is what brings me happiness. the most satisfaction. when i am part of a team doing something big and great that has nothing to do with money. money is not the way to measure
your life. >> as i say, mostly people do. many people get the balance, that it does more than it actually does and many people have gotten lots of money figure that out. there are all these people who make a certain amount of money and when they retire they go sailing around the world. that just shows if they feel making more money [indiscernible] they would have gone on making more money and that is not so. host: when is enough enough? think your: when you family has everything they could reasonably need. i do not think cost of living and standard of living are synonymous. like to eat,when i i get to drive the car want to drive and all of that. i get to live or want to live. it uses up some money but if i spent 10 times as much or 100
times as much on it i would not be a happier person, nor what i live a better life. fingers, only 10 fingers. ore diamond ring, only one niceand more does not look -- 10 rings does not look nice. and then of course they have some justification, more money. the stomach, same size. >> every generation, people should have [indiscernible] and that is what they need. something- this is and it does not mean that you would have less quality in your life. it means that you have perhaps
some things less quantity but you will have enough quality. >> a think money is a terrific i think money is a terrific invention. it has made huge amounts of things possible. without money that would not be the sistine chapel, there would heree the rug on the floor because it could not have come to me without money. i am not against money. it is terrific. ,ut it is a terrible mistake recognizing this, to conclude that therefore, we should give huge attention to those who have a lot of it. money can buy you comfort. it can buy you better health care. they can buy you certain opportunities and a meal at a good restaurant. and those can really make you happy if you have got the
first. if young are in an unhappy marriage, in an unhappy work setting, you can have all the money in the world, we all know that it won't buy you happiness. and could take all my money i could do what they used to do in asia, i could use that money to build the biggest tomb ever built. we could have it here outside omaha and i could literally get 50,000 guys and put them in loincloths and have them all granite around and i could make them forget about egypt in 10 years and then the net product of everything i have done in my life would be the world's biggest tomb and maybe 1000 years from now people will come to omaha to see my timber that strikes me as a little crazy. even modified versions of it. i just do not get it. say you can'tld take it with you. do you remember the cartoon with the family with the vultures on his old conger
and he says i cannot take it with me but i can take the access code. did you feel the day you gave 99% of your wealth to philanthropy? wasbloomberg: the timing effected by -- affected by when susie died. i had to make a decision as to the best way to use that, these noim checks that money had utility to me and had enormous utility to others. i wanted to come up with a rational decision as the most useful way to get that money to society. she saw every person as individually important. were 6t that there billion people on this planet that everyone deserved the same chance in life, same chance for health, same chance for education and all that. i am not remotely is terrible, it ase who puts
charitable, someone who puts money in the collection plate, i have never given anything of that has affected me or my family. pledge,hat the giving it has caught on big enough to have an impact. i would love to figure out ways to have that hit a broader area of society. forbes 400ked on the type thing to get really wealthy people to focus on what can be done with their wealth and plays with a will do with it. pretty easy for them to do it. callingt group we are on has $1 billion. if they give half they have 500 million dollars left over. what can you do with $500 million? if you need another $1 million you have to explain it to me. that is a lot of money. methinking about that gives one of those feelings of
elevation. this is a man who could have done nothing at all for the public good. is under no legal obligation to but he chose to do something very productive, and self-effacing and away. -- in a way. we should honor people like that and the more we honor people like that, the more it will seem natural to people to do things like that and ordinary people look atnd more time to where our money should go when we die. >> why should i care what it has something -- nothing to do with me? >> because doing things other people makes you feel good. on a neurological level. there is a real benefit. and people who -- my understanding is that we know does fact that you are a
your psychological state has a huge effect on your physical state. and that people who establish deep connections with other people and even with animals tend to live longer. so, there is just on a pure survival level, there are good reasons to establish deep connections with other human beings. >> 7 billion beings -- and then west,s reality, east, south, north, heavily interdependent. same human being. then to face reality. that is not -- in order to gain a more successful or more happier sort of life.
it is not just a moral thing. but practically it is real. >> abraham lincoln was on his way to when he was still in the legislature in illinois and he was all dressed up fancy on his way to springfield. he saw a pig struggling in the mud, and he got out of his carriage and he went and he freed the pig. the people said, are you crazy, you're all dirty and you are about too for your session at the legislator -- legislature. why did you do it? did it forelt -- i myself, i felt i needed to do the right thing, and i think that is an interesting kind of thing is that you do, there is a satisfaction in doing the right thing and it also obviously benefits the hague. -- the pig.
there is a sense that you are put in this place to do good for people, and you should try to do it whether you get dirty or not. >> the most interesting quality in life almost is love because you can't get rid of it. the more you get rid of the more you get back. if you try to hold onto it, you do not have any. it is a concept, i do not know exactly what is carpet would be anyplace -- it's counterpart would be anywhere else. -- thereceive love it is ones who receive love, it is bring out. it is kind of irritating, you can't buy it. you can buy sex that you can't buy love. host: you think love is a commodity that has no finite. a -- thett: it is
>> previously on "with all due respect" -- john: your basic argument is the premise is he will not win all four of those states? mark: no, no, but florida and north carolina, i would much rather be her. iowa and ohio are the toughest. mr. trump: did you see these characters with the maps? the electoral college? about a month ago, a very small path for trump. today i'm watching, they are looking at all these paths. john: with all due respect to donald trump, you can take our maps when you pry them from our cold, dead fingers. ♪