So how much money does the richest person in the world have? $53.5 billion to be precise! He controls Teléfonos de México (Telmex), Telcel and América Móvil companies. Carlos Slim studied engineering at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México where he was born and raised and by the time he was 26 years old, his net worth was $40 million!
Here is a fascinating video of Carlos Slim's Interview with CNBC - 30th October 2008.
On March 10th 2010, Forbes reported that Carlos Slim had overtaken Bill Gates as the world's richest man. He is the first Mexican to top the World's richest person and it was the first time in 16 years that the person on top of the rich list was not from the United States. It was also the first time the person at the top of the list was from an "emerging economy" as Mexico is after all a developing country.
According to The Wall Street Journal, Carlos Slim credits part of his ability to discover investment opportunities early to the writings of his friend, futurist author Alvin Toffler who wrote the amazing book "Revolutionary Wealth: How it will be created and how it will change our lives".
Carlos Slim knew how to make serious money and in this letter to the university community, he gives advise to students on what, in his opinion, are the most important things in life.
I write to you this letter in order to share some of my life experiences, hoping it will contribute to your education, your way of thinking and living, your emotional well-being, your sense of responsibility to yourselves and to others, your maturity, and above all, to your happiness, which should be the result of your daily existence.
You are privileged within society due to your talents and efforts, and for the best reason, your own worth.
Success is not about doing things well or even very well, or being acknowledged by others. It is not an external opinion, but rather an internal status. It is the harmony between the soul and your emotions, which requires love, family, friendship, authenticity and integrity.
To be as exceptional as you are is a privilege, but it also entails many risks that can have an impact on values that are much more important than professional, economic, social or political “success”. Emotional strength and stability are in the interior life, and in avoiding emotions that erode the soul such as envy, jealousy, arrogance, lust, selfishness, vengeance, greed and laziness, which are a poison that is ingested little by little.
When you give, do not expect to receive. “Fragrance clings to the hand that gives the rose,” says a Chinese proverb. Do not allow negative feelings and emotions to control your mind. Emotional harm does not come from others; it is conceived and developed within ourselves.
Do not mix up your values or betray your principles. Life’s road is very long, but it is traveled fast. Live the present intensely and fully, do not let the past be a burden, and let the future be an incentive. Each person forges his or her own destiny and it may influence reality. Do not ignore it.
Live with positive feelings and emotions such as love, friendship, loyalty, courage, joy, good humor, enthusiasm, peace, serenity, patience, trust, tolerance, prudence and responsibility. Do not allow their opposites to invade your soul, may they pass quickly from your mind, do not allow them to stay there, banish them. You will make mistakes many times, it is normal and human; but try to make them small, then accept, correct and forget them. Do not be obsessed by them; heaven and hell are within us. What is most valuable in life does not cost anything but is very precious: love, friendship, nature and what man has been able to achieve with it; the forms, colors, sounds, smells that we perceive with our senses can only be appreciated when we are emotionally awake.
Live without fear and guilt; fear is the worst feeling men can have, it weakens them, inhibits action and depresses them. Guilt is a tremendous burden in our lives, the way we think and act. Guilt and fear make the present difficult and obstruct the future. To fight them, let us have good sense and accept ourselves as we are, with our realities, our merits and our sorrows.
Staying occupied displaces preoccupation and problems, and when we face our problems, they disappear. Thus, they make us stronger every day. We should learn from failure, and successes should be silent incentives. Act always as your conscience dictates, because it never lies. Fear and guilt will then be minimal. Do not block yourself in, do not ruin your life, live it with intelligence, with soul and senses aware and on the alert; get to know their manifestations and train yourselves to appreciate and enjoy life.
Work well done is not only a responsibility to yourselves and society; it is also an emotional need.
At the end we depart with nothing, we leave behind only our work, family and friends, and, perhaps, a positive influence which we have planted.
My very best wishes,
Carlos Slim Helú
As you can see, Carlos Slim is a very intelligent man (almost Yoda like when he speaks about fear!) and we hope you have learned something from reading this. Finally, another recommended reading is the book The New Elite: Inside the Minds of the Truly Wealthy available at all good book stores, both online and offline.