Warren Buffet's Criteria

Conor Neill gave a talk about Warren Buffet and investing in yourself, &c. I summarize it here. May 6, 2018

Warren Buffet’s Three Criteria

If you could pay $1000 dollars to someone and get 10% of the salary of a person of your choosing for life, who would you choose?

Warren Buffet makes this decision every day when he invests. His three criteria for this decision are (in order):

  1. Integrity
  2. Energy
  3. (Adaptive) intelligence


Health, and a bias to action. He looks for people who treat themselves well, and he looks for people who don’t think about taking action, but rather just do. Health is in how often you get sick, how quickly you recover, and how well you sleep.

(Adaptive) intelligence

When you see an obstacle in your path, you correct enough so that it hits your shoulder rather than straight on the forehead. Can you think on your feet?


You say no to most things. Integrity is an alignment between what your calendar says you’ll do and what you actually do. If you rarely say no, your time and energy is divided and spent among all the desires and plans of others.

Tools to put in your toolbelt

  1. Write things down. Your life is your most valuable resource. It should not go undocumented. Six months from now, you will have the accumulated intelligence of each day of the past six months—quotes, ideas, reflections—everything.

  2. Focus on the next step. Do not let your mind jump forward. A race-horse has no concept of the finish line. It only runs until it collapses.

  3. TIME. If writing is important to you, reflect on how much time you actually spend on it. “The coherence between your diary and your values is where integrity begins.”

These ideas are a summary of Conor Neill’s TED talk. I do some of these things—but I’m not consistent. The first one is important because it affects all the other steps, too. It’s hard to know what the next step is if you haven’t written them all down. It’s hard to know how much time you spend doing something if you haven’t kept track of the things that you do each day.

Personally, I’m trying to use my blog as a tool to help myself stay focused on my projects.

Randy Josleyn teacher-linguist-guitarist wannabe