Warren Buffett Agrees with Me

Warren Buffet agrees with me. Your choice of mate is the most important decision you will ever make.  The below article was written by  By Jeff Haden Contributing editor, Inc.

Warren Buffett says one decision separates successful people from everyone else and this decision will make the biggest difference in your life. And science backs him up.

Warren Buffett knows how to make smart decisions. One is to say no to just about everything. Another is to hire the right people.

But there’s one decision Buffett feels is the most important you will ever make:

Deciding who to marry.

You want to associate with people who are the kind of person you’d like to be. You’ll move in that direction. And the most important person by far in that respect is your spouse. I can’t overemphasize how important that is.

Marry the right person. I’m serious about that. It will make more difference in your life.

Research backs him up. One study found that people with relatively prudent and reliable partners tend to perform better at work, earning more promotions, making more money, and feeling more satisfied with their jobs.

That’s true for men and women. What the researchers call “partner conscientiousness” predicted future job satisfaction, income, and likelihood of promotion.

The Power of Partner “Conscientiousness”

According to the researchers, “conscientious” partners perform more household tasks, exhibit more pragmatic behaviors that their spouses are likely to emulate, and promote a more satisfying home life — all of which enables their spouses to focus more on work.

As one researcher said, “These results demonstrate that the dispositional characteristics of the person one marries influence important aspects of one’s professional life.”

In non-research speak, a good partner sets a good example and makes it possible for you to be a better you.

That’s definitely true for me. My wife is incredibly organized, juggling family, working multiple jobs, pursuing another advanced degree. She sets goals and achieves those goals.

Her conscientiousness sometimes bugged me until I realized the only reason it got on my nerves was because her level of focus implicitly challenged my inherent laziness. Her example helped me realize the best way to get more done is to actually get more done.

She not only shows me that, she also helps me do that. And while she’s still much more conscientious and organized than I am, she’s definitely rubbed off on me in a very positive way.

Of course, this makes sense: As Jim Rohn says, we are the average of the five people we spend the most time with — and that’s particularly true where our significant others are concerned.

Bad habits rub off. Poor tendencies rub off. We all know that.

But good habits and good tendencies rub off too.

Plus, if one person is extremely organized and keeps your household train running on time, that frees the other up to focus more on work. (Of course, in a perfect world, both people would more or less equally share train-engineer duties so that both can better focus on their careers, whether those careers are in the home or outside.)

Keep in mind, I’m not recommending you choose your significant other based solely on conscientiousness. As the researchers say, “Marrying a conscientious partner could at first sound like a recipe for a rigid and lackluster lifestyle.”

Nor am I suggesting you end a relationship if you feel your partner is lacking in those areas.

But it does appear that having a conscientious and prudent partner is part of the recipe for a better and more rewarding career.

So instead of expecting your partner to change, think about what you can do to be more supportive of your significant other.

Maybe you can take on managing your finances, or take care of more household chores, or repairs, maintenance, or schedules.

After all, the best way to lead is by example, and in time you may find that you and your significant other make an outstanding — and mutually supportive — team.

This will help you both achieve more of your goals.

And live a more satisfying and fulfilling life.


Published on February 18, 2019 in Inc. magazine




Begin with the End in Mind

My Master’s degree in Child & Family Studies from Syracuse University and my undergraduate degree in Family Relations & Human Development from The Ohio State University forever cemented in my mind the importance of the early years of life, and their profound impact upon the remainder of life. My concentration in my Master’s degree program was in early development – the first three years of life – when the foundation for the remainder of a child’s life is laid. The first three to five years set the stage for a lifetime. Development must be maximized during that brief time in childhood.

As I raised my two sons, I did so with the “end in mind.” By this I mean that I made decisions based upon the kind of men that I wanted my sons to become, not by the immediate circumstances of their childhoods. I painted a detailed picture in my mind of my sons as grown men. I held a vision. I created a mental list of desired character traits and qualities, and then I trained for them.

I consciously trained my boys in these traits, which are listed in no particular order:

  • Faithful (faith in God)
  • Spiritual
  • Integrous (having integrity)
  • Respectful of all people, especially women
  • Appreciative of cultural, religious, racial, ethnic and other diversity
  • Intelligent, and possessing a long attention span
  • Healthy, both physically and mentally
  • Free from addiction
  • Brave, “upstanders,” as opposed to bystanders when witnessing wrong-doing such as bullying
  • Well rounded
  • Honest
  • Generous
  • Kind
  • Empathic
  • Grateful
  • Trustworthy
  • Loyal
  • Family Oriented
  • Best friends as brothers
  • Wonderful husbands, if they choose to marry
  • Wonderful fathers, if they choose to bring a child into the world
  • Self-sacrificial, when needed; Capable of Agape love (Agape love is that which holds a marriage—and a family—together through life’s challenges. It’s the selfless, unconditional type of love that helps people to forgive one another, to respect one another, and to serve one another, day in and day out.)
  • Upstanding citizens
  • Reliable
  • Possessing a strong work ethic
  • Curious
  • Creative
  • Imaginative
  • Physically fit
  • Well read
  • Well traveled
  • Adventurous
  • Appreciative of the arts
  • Friendly
  • Courteous
  • Joyful, Fun, Silly
  • Clean
  • Organized

I looked at their lives from an aerial view, from 30,000 feet, if you will. Even at age two, I took a lifespan perspective. I imagined that they would live to be 90-years-old. I reminded myself that life is long. Childhood is short. I looked at each decision and experience from the vantage point of my sons’ lifespans, and asked, “What kind of men do I want them to become?” I selected toys, books, clothing, experiences, schools, churches (We moved often), extra-curricular activities, adventures, travel destinations – you name it – based upon the lessons that I wanted to instill…and the character that I wanted to develop.

I made a lot of mistakes in raising my sons, God knows. But, anyone who knows Patrick and Tom would say that they are men of outstanding character. The list above, while not 100%, describes them well. I could not be more proud of their character. My sons are among the finest people that I know.

My point?  Setting an intention to create character traits and skills in a child is essential.  So, here we go.  I want to create in you a consciousness that will allow you to model for your children and develop skills in your children to increase their chance of success in marriage and family relationships.