Warren Buffett’s Magic 5/25 List (The Wisdom in Two Lists)

Warren Buffett, chairman of Berkshire Hathaway

how to know and follow your passion

How to simplify your priorities and focus on the right things. Well, today I have a solution for you. It’s not my original idea but it is Warren Buffett’s wisdom on goal setting.

“If it’s not the most important thing, avoid it…”

Warren Buffet uses a list of 25 things to prioritize what’s most important to you in life. First write down 25 long or short term goals (thigs that you would like to do or achieve). Then circle the 5 most important things. The other 20 thins you must never think about again or they will distract you from what’s most important to you. Focus on your top 5 and give it your all. That way, you will surely succeed in life.

The 5/25 exercise is really a great way to learn more about what you are truly passionate about. It doesn’t even have to be 5/25. It can be 5/20 or 5/50 or 5/5. You know what you like to do.

The point of the exercise is to list everything that you would like to do and/or interested in. Then circle the top 5 most interesting thing from your big list of “to-dos” or “things I want achieve and do”. Following is the list of everything that I would like to do and become.

**My big 24**

  1. Be a full time writer (write a NYT bestseller)
  2. Travel the world (atleast 100 countries, travel with friends, travel with family)
  3. Visit the North Pole and South Pole
  4. Do space travel (someday)
  5. Open a cancer hospital and research center (in my father’s name)
  6. Be a lifestyle and motivational coach
  7. Do speaking engagements
  8. Make money (Invest and grow my wealth)
  9. Live a happy family
  10. Spend time with my family and parents
  11. Become a serial entrepreneur and start successful businesses
  12. Seek and practice spirituality and become a teacher of life
  13. Make positive impact on this world (through my philosophies and ideas)
  14. Help the poor and those needing a helping hand
  15. Climb the seven summits
  16. Climb US’s 50 State Highpoints
  17. Raise good kids
  18. Speak on TED
  19. Make movies and documentaries
  20. Be able to do front and backflips
  21. Be world class in Martial Arts
  22. Have a ripped body
  23. Create fitness workout programs
  24. Live long and age slowly (be extremely fit and healthy)

Now, the top 5 for me from these 24 are:

  1. Live long and age slowly (be extremely fit and healthy)
  2. Travel the world (atleast 100 countries)
  3. Be a full time writer (write a NYT bestseller)
  4. Make positive impact on this world (through my philosophies and ideas)
  5. Make money (Invest and grow my wealth)

If you notice, this exercise is not only great to narrow down what you are truly passionate about but also a good way to find out the lead domino for your overall success.

For example, in the above example, making a positive impact on this world through my ideas really ties into becoming a full time writer and making writing my main craft.

Likewise, to live healthy and be fit, I have to make some workout programs. And if I share those programs, I am actually covering #23 and even #22 to some degree. (Now, for me, being world class in marital arts and be able to do flips and gymnastics is super cool but I can live without it if I have to make a choice. Also, not having 6 packs and a ripped body is also okay with me as long as I am free to my top 3 goals.)

Do you see? How this exercise forces you to narrow your focus and get clarity on your long-term vision.

What else? How can I make money if all I am doing is getting healthier and fit, traveling the world and writing all the time? The solution therefore is to monetize my writing, traveling adventures, and fitness routines. That’s the answer and the connecting link.

This is also the best way to maximize my personal happiness. If I can make money by being fit, writing and traveling, I would be the happiest person doing what I love and loving what I do.

Isn’t this exercise awesome! I love it. Not only is it a practical way to prioritize but also to find your focus. You may even see links. For examples, for me, focusing and achieving my top 5 goals also means crossing several other goals from the list.

#11 and #17 is tied to Writing, Travel and Fitness

#3, #4, #15 and #16 is tied to Travel

#6, #7, and #12 is tied to Spreading Ideas and Writing

#5, #9, and #14 is tied to Making Money

and so on.

It’s your turn now. I would love to see everyone’s lists. Do this exercise and find out the truths for yourself.

Comment your Top 5 goals below.

 

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One comment

  • Brandon

    Hey there, You’ve done a great job. i have heard of it before but never knew how to do it or what it really meant. Its good to see an example as you have provided, cool!

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