"They've asked us to start out talking, the two of us, about what got us
here, but then it's on to your questions. How I got here is pretty simple in my
case. It's not IQ, I'm sure you'll be glad to hear. The big thing is
rationality. I always look at IQ and talent as representing the horsepower of
the motor, but that the output--the efficiency with which that motor
works--depends on rationality. A lot of people start out with 400-horsepower
motors but only get a hundred horsepower of output. It's way better to have a
200-horsepower motor and get it all into output.
So why do smart people do things that interfere with getting the output
they're entitled to? It gets into the habits and character and temperament, and
behaving in a rational manner. Not getting in your own way. As I said,
everybody here has the ability absolutely to do anything I do and much beyond.
Some of you will, and some of you won't. For the ones who won't, it will be
because you get in your own way, not because the world doesn't allow you."
-- Warren Buffett, colloquium at UWash.