How One Habit from a Self-Made Billionaire Leads to Exceptional Success

You want more success in your life, but…
You’re feeling overwhelmed?
Too much to do with no end in sight?

I feel your pain.
I used to be in the same boat.
Until I heard a story about Warren Buffet.

Warren Buffet is worth over 70 billion dollars.
He could give everybody on the planet $5 and still have a shitload of money.
Some people wrestle with the idea of giving a homeless person on the street $5.

He bought stock in Berkshire Hathaway in 1962 and became its CEO in 1970.
Where the stock is presently valued at over $300,000 per share.

Nonetheless, Buffet keeps his life simple.

Buffet spends about 80% of his time reading and thinking.
He lives in the same home that he bought in 1958.
Each morning, he drives to McDonald’s for breakfast.
And playing the card game, bridge as often as he can.

He once joked that if he found the right bridge players he would want to be locked up in jail with them. So he could play bridge full time.

But even Warren Buffet can get overwhelmed and stressed out.
So he does one thing to keep him sane.
He makes a list.
But not just any list.

It’s Warren Buffet’s Master-Blaster AAAC List

The Avoid At All Cost List

How often do you feel you have too much on your plate?
You’re running to and fro but you don’t feel like you’re making progress?
The secret to being effective is to set up boundaries for yourself.
If you’re spread too thin, you’ll eventually lose focus.

And the things you are working on will take longer, have more mistakes, and take a huge drain on you.
It’s like spinning too many plates, sooner or later they all come crashing down around you.
That’s true for you, me, and Warren Buffet.

So his solution, while simple, is very ingenious.
Whenever he planned out his next set of goals, he would make a list.
So far, nothing new. I’m sure you do the same thing.

But then he would prioritize and order his list.
Based on what was the important criteria of success he was working on at that time.
Then, and here’s the genius, he would pick the top 5 items on his list and those would be the only things he would focus on.

Everything else went on his AAAC List, those things that he would avoid at all costs.
The AAAC list could not be dealt with until all 5 of his priorities were completed.

Highly Effective.

Put It On the Mat

In martial arts, we have this saying, “put it on the mat.”
Like everyone else, martial artists like to discuss, debate, and argue about techniques, strategies, and tactics.
But at a certain point, the time for discussion is over and we say, let’s put it on the mat.

Putting it on the mat is testing it, refining it, and seeing if we’re full of shit or not.

You can say your the best but until you test it and put it out there, it’s all talk.

To that, at the end of most of my material, I’ll ask you to “put it on the mat.”

Because it’s great to read something and learn about it but until you learn to apply it, it’s just theory and knowledge but not success.

There’s a quote that “knowledge is power.”

That’s bullshit.

The quote should read, “applied knowledge is power.”

Let’s Put the AAAC List to the Test.

  1. Make a list of everything that is on your plate that you can think of. All your projects, to-do lists, obligations.
  2. Sort the list into priorities. Here is where you might have some challenges between needs, wants, desires. For now, focus on the need to do. Later on, as you accomplish your needs, you can address wants and desires.
  3. Take the top 5 needs that will have the greatest positive impact on your life right now and focus on just those three.
  4. Everything else goes on the AAAC List, put it away, don’t look at it again until your 3 priorities are complete. Think of it as delaying, not deleting.
  5. Get to work on your top 5 to create massive success.

Remember, trying to focus on everything means you are focused on nothing.

p.s. Here’s a visual way to think about it.

Say you have 100 units of focused attention.
This is the sum of your money, time, energy, resources, and network.
If you spread those 100 units evenly across say 25 items on your list, each item will only move forward 4 units.

But say you focus on 5 of the items?
Then each of those 5 moves forward 20 units.

Here’s an even better example.
Say you only focus on 5 but you focus on only one at a time.
The first one gets 100 units of your focused attention, which will be huge to achieving your goal and you will have made phenomenal success.

Then you use those 100 units on the next project, then the next.

You will be marking things off of your list as compared to see how little progress you are making on the list as a whole.

How This Can Save You Hundreds of Dollars

I learned how to use this type of focus when I had a lot of credit card debt.

This one tip helped me to be successful in improving my credit score, control my spending, and to sleep better each night.

I would pay only the minimum on all of them but pick the one that was costing me the most.

This would be the one with the highest interest rate.
If there were two (or more) at the same rate, I would pick the one with the larger balance to pay.

Then all of my extra money would go to pay that one account.

When that one was paid off, I would then take the whole amount I was using to pay it off and add it to the minimum to the second most expensive account.

That way I focused on one issue at a time and minimized the cost of having credit card debt in the most efficient manner.
And after paying off that second or third account, it would be great to see that I had more money to pay off the next account and how quickly it would get paid off.

One caveat though, this strategy works best if you make the commitment to stop using your credit cards.

Originally published at on April 30, 2020.

Life-long learner and idea machine.