Life Is What You Make It by Peter Buffett

September 26, 2022

Inspiring personal appeal to live an examined and intentional life.

This was an earnest book about forging your own path no matter your circumstances. A reflection on some healthy lessons and virtues I was lucky to get from my own parents, grounded by the author’s personal triumphs and mistakes.

I don’t know that I got any groundbreaking or deeply challenging takeaways from this, but it was an upbeat, encouraging read. It also offered a glimpse of life in the Buffett family—yes, that one—even though that wasn’t the primary focus of the book.

I highlighted a lot of nuggets of wisdom around self-reflection, humility, intention, and commitment. Example:

There’s a subtle distinction, I believe, between being capable of doing something and being truly prepared to do it.

I also stumbled upon a sentiment I stole from someone long ago and hold dear:

It is a central belief of mine that people are more alike than different.

This one’s a particularly useful reflection in 2022. I feel like there’s no shortage of pressure to pick a mob and scream at some “others.” The more difficult and worthwhile challenge is to find myself or my own motivations in the person or group I struggle to relate to. Because we’re all more alike than we’re different.

And I needed to read this. We don’t need to get into why:

Commitment moves the world. It both powers and heals us; it’s fuel and medicine together. It’s the antidote to regret, to apathy, to lack of self-belief. Commitment batters down closed doors and levels bumpy roads. Commitment begets confidence and also justifies confidence. Commitment enlarges our efforts by drawing on those deep-down resources that lie fallow until we determine to discover them and use them.