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Here are seven principles of Warren Buffet on living a life of simplicity and happiness.

  1. Happiness comes from within. "In my adult business life I have never had to make a choice of trading between professional and personal. I tap-dance to work, and when I get there it’s tremendous fun."
  2. Find happiness in simple pleasures. "I have simple pleasures. I play bridge online for 12 hours a week. Bill and I play, he’s "chalengr" and I’m "tbone"."
  3. Live a simple life. "I just naturally want to do things that make sense. In my personal life too, I don’t care what other rich people are doing. I don’t want a 405 foot boat just because someone else has a 400 foot boat."
  4. Think simply. "I want to be able to explain my mistakes. This means I do only the things I completely understand."
  5. Invest simply. "The best way to own common stocks is through an index fund."
  6. Have a mentor in life. "I was lucky to have the right heroes. Tell me who your heroes are and I’ll tell you how you’ll turn out to be. The qualities of the one you admire are the traits that you, with a little practice, can make your own, and that, if practiced, will become habit-forming."
  7. Making money isn’t the backbone of our guiding purpose; making money is the by-product of our guiding purpose. "If you’re doing something you love, you’re more likely to put your all into it, and that generally equates to making money."
The last two are my favorites of the list, though it is all admirable and proven wisdom.

As for money and guiding purpose, the phrase, "First things first," resounds in my mind. What are the "First things" of life? C.S. Lewis posed this necessity of life in his essay "First and Second Things":

"To sacrifice the greater good for the less and then not to get the lesser good after all–that is the surprising folly. . . Every preference of a small good to a great, or a partial good to a total good, involves the loss of the small or partial good for which the sacrifice was made. Apparently the world is made that way. If Esau really got his pottage in return for his birthright, then Esau was a lucky exception. You can’t get second things by putting them first; you can get second things only by putting first things first."

To mix in a Biblical reference (time-tested and mother approved!), Jesus Christ put it this way:
"Seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you." (Matt. 6:33)