Peter Buffett recently published a terrific book, titled Life is What You Make It. Peter writes about the values he absorbed growing up as the son of Warren Buffett and his late mother, Susan Buffett, and the path he has pursued to identify and pursue his passions in life.
I knew Peter was passionate about music. He’s an Emmy-Award-winning musician and songwriter, has composed for film and television, and released more than 15 albums. But the focus of his book is a reflection of his broader life experiences—in particular the values, work ethic and commitment to social action that he learned growing up in the modest Buffett family home in Omaha, Nebraska.
Contrary to what many people might assume, Peter won’t inherit great wealth from his father. Instead, he was encouraged by his parents to find his own path. The book is a chronicle of that journey—and the wisdom and perceptions he has developed along the way.
In particular, Peter’s insights about the four core values he “absorbed” growing up in the Buffett home really resonated with me. They are:
- Trust in the belief that the world is fundamentally a good place and that all people, however, flawed, are—at the core—well-intentioned
- Tolerance for other people’s viewpoints and perspectives
- A passion for education—not in the traditional sense but as a way to approach life with curiosity and an openness to what others have to teach us
- A personal work ethic grounded in self-discovery and a commitment to finding something that you wake up every morning looking forward to
Melinda and I have both read it and like it a lot. We’ve known Peter for many years because of our friendship with Warren, and the whole Buffett family. It’s a thoughtful and touching book, and we plan on reading it with our older children.