It is easy to think that money is the solution to everything, that more money would solve problems and make life perfect. This is perhaps even more true in today’s economy. In 2010 Peter Buffett released a book called Life Is What You Make It. This book is to be found in the book store’s self-help department, but for New Age music fans this is also a very interesting autobiography from one of the genre’s finest and most influential artists.
Peter Buffett is the son of Warren Buffett, which according to Forbes is among world’s richest. Warren’s incredible success as an investor really needs no further introduction. But one thing is worth mentioning; that he is also famous for not giving away his incredible fortune to his children (at least not all of it). He never wanted the “silver spoon in the mouth to become a silver dagger in the back”, according to his own words. Peter and his two siblings needed to create a life of their own, and earn their own money. They could not rely on their father’s billions.
In Life Is What You Make It Peter has a powerful message; that a privileged background is not the sure path to a life of happiness. And not just that, but the statistics show that children of the privileged have their own set of problems that is too easy to overlook. The old saying is of course “No one feels sorry for a girl on a yacht” – but it is really not that simple. To be from an influential and privileged background can in itself be a drawback when trying to create a life of one’s own. And this is a central goal for any human being. Of course there are many benefits for the rich, and Peter never says otherwise. But getting everything for free – money, success and fame – has never been good for anyone. Life Is What You Make It is therefore an excellent read for prosperous parents and their children.
For us who are interested in Peter Buffett as an artist, In Life Is What You Make It has a very interesting (though fairly well known) story to tell. Peter started as an musician making music for commercials and tv in the early 80s (for instance for the newly established MTV). Then he signed a record contract with Narada Productions, on which he released his first album The Waiting (1987). Then he was deeply touched by the sad history of the Indians, which resulted in the albums One by One (1989), Lost Frontier (1991) and Yonnondio (1992). In this was his success of Fire Dance in the movie Dances with Wolves and the music for the 500 Nations TV-series. Note that the book tells nothing about his later career and vocal albums – which is a bit sad.
Peter admits making many mistakes, both in his music career and personal life. The real interesting aspect of Life Is What You Make It is about how to find one’s own creativity – and use that as a tool to success. And not only success in terms of money, but also artistic expression and the value of work well done. It is all about finding one’s bliss.
New Age Music fans must make sure to check out the audio book version of Life Is What You Make It – which has several nice clips from Peter’s rich discography. Peter is also an excellent audio book narrator, and I would love to hear him read other books as well. The opening song is Missouri Turning from the album Inside Looking Out (2006).
Yes, life is what you make it. What a powerful message to us all.
Sample the audio book here. Also make sure to visit Peter’s homepage.