3/19/15

Mod note (Andy): Throwback Thursday, this post originally went up on 7/11/12.

I promised a few people some long overdue wisdom, but haven't had the motivation lately to actually write something up. But after reading this post, I'm inspired to write a foil piece that details my [rather unorthodox] path to manhood and the perspective on life that it's caused me to have.

I assume right away that most people will not agree with a lot of it, possibly take offense to some of it, and it may ultimately depress a few readers as well. But I'm only here to impart my wisdom on the kids who may have some misguided beliefs about the way the real world works, and hopefully at least one person can take something away from this that helps them see their own lives a bit clearer.

So below is my list of things I've either done or wish I'd done by the time I was "grown up," which for me I think happened around age 20-21. I'd like to think that's earlier than most, but there's good reason for it and it will be included in my list. Here goes:

1. Question Every Authority, Even Your Parents

Parents are people too. And people make lots of mistakes. They don't always know what's best for you, and you might realize one day that maybe they never did. I love my parents to death and I think they're one of the key reasons why I've become the person I am today, but some of those reasons are because I went against them and what they tried to tell me ended up being wrong. Question the school system, question the government. Why do these groups of people know better than I do? If you're always questioning then you're always thinking for yourself, and sometimes you'll agree with what the consensus is, but it's a lot better to arrive at your own conclusions using your own brand of logic. At least then you'll be confident. Oh and there's one more institution you should probably question, which is to...

2. Consider at Least 2 Religions

Touchy subject, right? I didn't say practice, I didn't say believe, I said consider. This is just another form of thinking for yourself. Maybe you grew up Catholic, why not take up studying Hinduism or Mormonism? There's tons of other people out there who strongly believe (and quite a few who are willing to die for it) that their faith is the way the world was set up and the way they need to live their lives. Think about how powerful that is - how come we can believe two entirely different things like that so strongly? Is it because someone told us to? [Probably.] Everyone's conclusions will be different. I know people who have done this and the experience caused them to appreciate their own religion so much more than before. Personally, I did this and concluded that it's probable that none of us are actually right. But it's helpful to think through it. Again, force yourself to think about why you are who you are. Once you do that, you'll probably...

3. Realize that You Aren't Special

I made the mistake growing up thinking that because I'm me, there's no way that what happened to this person or that person could ever happen to me. Because I'm me, things will be different than they were for the guy who did the exact same stuff I'm doing and turned out to be a complete failure. Your parents are wrong - you're just like everyone else. You're a human being with skin and hair and you walk on two feet and think with a brain. There is nothing magical about you, and you're not entitled to anything more than anybody else. And don't expect yourself to be happy all the time while every other animal on the planet can just "be." If a situation requires you to work your ass off, you damn well better work your ass off. Nobody ever got anywhere complaining about how unfair things were for them, no matter how awful their circumstances were. Accept them and only look at what you can do to get where you want to be, not how you can try and take a shortcut because somehow you think you're "different." Once you do that, you'll eventually succeed, but not before you...

4. Make as Many Mistakes as Possible

I've written the book on this one. Whether it's with girls, in school, at home, or anywhere else, if there's a f*ck-up to be made, I've definitely made it. The big thing to remember here is the only way to make a lot of mistakes is if you first try a lot of things.

Anyone who can make up an excuse for why they haven't tried something at least once is destined to be a failure.

The more mistakes you make, the more things you know don't work, and it starts narrowing down how many things could actually be right. Another word for this that some of you might be unfamiliar with is EXPERIENCE. It's 1000x more important than grades, scores, stats, or who your daddy is. Experience is just the sum of all that you've learned from your past mistakes. Oh, and one mistake that was a hell of an experience was when I decided to...

5. Try at Least a Few Different Drugs

I know, I know. He's really advocating drug use?! No, not really, but I truly believe there are positives to responsibly using the right drugs. You don't know everything about yourself until you've followed your thoughts under the influence. Some people think weed is enough, I never did. Some psychadelics can make you really think outside of your normally filtered conscious mind. Every time I experimented with a new drug, [usually] responsibly, I came away with having learned something new and legitimately useful about myself that helped me see the world a bit clearer. Unfortunately, as some of you know, I'm not the best person to listen to about this because thanks to drugs I once had to...

6. Undergo a Near-Death Experience

I'm not suggesting you stand in front of a train and try to jump out of the way at the last second. But more people than you'd imagine have had this happen to them and I think those people are absolutely invaluable resources for wisdom in regards to how their view of certain things changed. I've unfortunately had multiple NDEs, but looking back they help you realize that your life is very easily taken away. Stupid shit like target schools and pitch books stop being even remotely important. Go talk to someone who legitimately had a near-death experience, and just ask them about the things they thought about losing when they almost died. Not to make this longer than it should be but I'll go into a little detail of my own, and maybe anyone with similar experiences can contradict or confirm. I was never afraid I was going to die, I was just more sad about what I was leaving behind. Dying meant no more sitting in diners with the girl I loved drinking coffee and talking bullshit. Dying meant no more trips to the cottage and seeing my dog run in circles around the house because he's just so goddamn excited to be there. And dying meant not being able to pay my family and friends back for everything they'd done for me. Now those are the things that are actually important to me. I was never afraid about losing my apartment or my bonus or no more one night stands. Once you know what you truly value, you'll start to...

7. Understand that Life is Not Meant to Be Serious

There's really not much to say here. Life continues to go on regardless of what happens around us, and even if the things you decided are most dear to you are gone one day, you'll find a way to move on. Life is as far removed from serious as one can get. With that attitude you'll find yourself acting a lot more naturally, and I'd venture to guess that about 95% of the people on this site should probably give this one some solid consideration. If I die tomorrow, screw it, I'm dead. If I get fired tomorrow, screw it, it's not like I'm dead. Oh wait, even that's not a big deal in the grand scheme of things is it? Just relax and enjoy yourself, it's a privilege that we're here to begin with, it's all been extra credit since the day you were born. Even getting laid isn't a serious matter. In fact, when it comes to women...

8. Realize that a Woman [or Man] is Just Another Person Trying to Get By

Some of you guys might have a hard time with this one, seeing as 60% of the posts on this site are about chicks and getting laid and spitting game and all that bullshit. It took me the better part of maybe 20 one-night stands to realize that the game is totally blown out of proportion. Not only did it lose its excitement, I started feeling bad for her, for other guys out there trying to "get some," and for the entire human race. This chick is just another insecure person just like me doing her best to fit in and not hate herself in the morning. The sad part is she's doing a miserable job at it. So guys: stop putting it on a pedestal, it's lame and so are you if you do. Girls: if you haven't noticed already we're all pretty messed up and you're no different. So if gettin' laid is your thing, go ahead and do it, but don't beat yourself up about it if you're not. Nobody's "doing better" than you because of it, and despite what stigma society tries to attach to it, to me it's really no different than a high-five. Society does this pretty often, but if you're smart you'll...

9. Run from Anything that Everyone Agrees On

Most people are overwhelmingly stupid. They have no clue what they want and no clue how to get it even if they did. There's a reason it's called a "herd mentality," because we're all about as intellectually independent as a group of water buffalo, and we all saw what a few white dudes with rifles did to them. If everyone thinks the same way, you can almost guarantee that it's A) irrational B) benefiting a minority of people C) completely inaccurate. Go back and look at all the things we universally agree on without thinking about them. Mr. Carlin provides a pretty good list of blindly accepted herd mentality mantras: All Men are Equal, Justice is Blind, the Press is Free, Your Vote Counts. I think you get the point.

--------------------------------------------------------------

Again, logic. We don't try it enough, but if you get comfortable with the idea of using it by the time you're an adult, you'll come away a lot more successful in your life. And we all agree that being successful means being happy, right? Well I'm glad we all universally agree on that, so go out there and find your happy place!.....

Comments (122)

Best Response
7/12/12

Great list - I had a near death experience going into my senior year of college and life has never been the same. Went from stressing about all facets about my life to just enjoying it. Asked a girl out at a bus stop on my way to work and 4 years later, we're getting married this Fall.

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7/11/12

I have to applaud this list. Quite aptly summarizes the last decade or so with the exception of number 2- I don't believe in fairy tales.

7/11/12

BH, +1 - Especially points 3 and 4. I cannot stress this enough, but Failure is the measure of man, not his success. The more mistakes we make, the more we fail, the more we really learn. Always succeeding doesn't prepare us for what happens if we don't succeed and how to handle it. We also don't learn from our successes how to improve ourselves.

7/11/12

Agree 100% on point 7, I didn't stop take life so seriously until my mid 20s, and things are so much more pleasant now.

7/11/12
7/11/12

So upset that related content is "Should've Joined a Frat," but other than that...

I hate victims who respect their executioners

7/11/12

Not sure how I feel about number 7. Part of being an adult is realizing you have responsibilities to yourself, to other people, and to other people, and to always do your best

7/11/12

DEFINITELY agree with number 5

I didn't say it was your fault, I said I was blaming you.

7/11/12

disagree with 5- drugs aren't so easy to just try and walk away, especially if someone is trying different drugs, not a single time. Can lead to a habit " just to try"
6- undergoing a near-death experience is different than talking to someone who did. You can't really create this type of experience, unless you are suicidal or on drugs (refer to #5)
But rather than that- Great post, loved it!

nb

7/11/12

I think the only caveat would be your 5th point. I think one thing many very smart people neglect to do is know themselves inside and out. If you have a remotely addictive personality, a lack of self-control, or some kind of underlying neurosis (which you may not even know about), experimenting with drugs can put you on a very dark path you'll struggle immensely to remove yourself from.

Overall I heartily agree.

Most people do things to add days to their life. I do things to add life to my days.

Browse my blog as a WSO contributing author

7/12/12

"Most people are overwhelmingly stupid."

/thread

+1

7/12/12

Good thing "secure a job" isn't on this list. I feel accomplished.

7/12/12

Great post BlackHat, will keep this in mind as I start college; but, like many others have said, I don't think I'm gonna experiment with drugs lol.

7/12/12

yo dawg which drugz should I try out? shrooms? acid?

good post though. I think #7 is the most important.

7/12/12

I really enjoyed this list, thank you

In reply to onemanwolfpack
7/12/12
onemanwolfpack:

Great list - I had a near death experience going into my senior year of college and life has never been the same. Went from stressing about all facets about my life to just enjoying it. Asked a girl out at a bus stop on my way to work and 4 years later, we're getting married this Fall.

This. This. This.

I hate victims who respect their executioners

7/12/12

Solid, BH. But can I just consider no religion?

7/12/12

This is a great post. Agree with all of them, and can attest to # 6. Struggling with #7.

Thanks Blackhat.

"That dude is so haole, he don't even have any breath left."

7/13/12
7/13/12

Great post! Which drugs did you try?

Robert Clayton Dean: What is happening?
Brill: I blew up the building.
Robert Clayton Dean: Why?
Brill: Because you made a phone call.

7/13/12

Another list

"...all truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident."

- Schopenhauer

7/13/12

BH this is an excellent post. Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us buddy

"Well, you know, I was a human being before I became a businessman." -- George Soros

7/13/12

#7 definitely struck a chord with me. I'm turning 25 soon and have slowly started to realize this on my own. Time to fully embrace it

---------------------------
BossMode

7/13/12

Other than #5, I agree with everything. Great post. Thank you for putting this together.

"I am the hero of the story. I don't need to be saved."

7/13/12

heres what you should've been doing when you were 12

7/13/12

Excellent post. Really excellent. +1

And you're absolutely correct about the drug use. I was virulently anti-drug throughout my teens, basically until I got to Wall Street. They don't call it mind expanding for nothing.

7/13/12

Amazing post, black hat. Very well done. I agree with almost everything except the drug part.

One thing I wish I did more of when I was younger was sleep with more women. That's actually my biggest regret of my college experience, aside from not majoring in computer science or finance. Hopefully I can get a social do-over in b-school and live out my fantasies for 2 years!

7/13/12

Fantastic post - definitely agree on the 'dont take life too seriously'.

In reply to couchy
7/13/12
couchy:

heres what you should've been doing when you were 12

What do you want to do when you grow up?
-"Make Money."

Unreal...

I hate victims who respect their executioners

7/13/12

This is really well written. Possibly my favorite post since I signed up.

http://DollarDrip.com Username: Knowledge Kick

7/13/12

Great list, I think the best thing on here is think for yourself and realize your parents are fallible. Definitely something that took me too long to figure out.

also i dont get all the hate on #5, I think this is a great point despite what the highschoolers on WSO seem to think.

7/13/12

Impressive reading - #5 and #6 are spot on

On near-death experiences - I had two very close calls in a 9-month period a few years ago (one skydiving-related, the other due to plain stupidity) - together they rocked my entire approach to life and helped me make some tough but necessary decisions like getting out of a messed up relationship

7/13/12

Great post! +1 SB. #7 I think is the best one.

7/13/12
BlackHat:

9. Run from Anything that Everyone Agrees On
Most people are overwhelmingly stupid. They have no clue what they want and no clue how to get it even if they did. There's a reason it's called a "herd mentality," because we're all about as intellectually independent as a group of water buffalo, and we all saw what a few white dudes with rifles did to them. If everyone thinks the same way, you can almost guarantee that it's A) irrational B) benefiting a minority of people C) completely inaccurate.

/agree #9

One of the better posts on here in a while

In reply to Macro Arbitrage
7/13/12
Macro Arbitrage:

I have to applaud this list. Quite aptly summarizes the last decade or so with the exception of number 2- I don't believe in fairy tales.

Thanks for the steamer. Of course, anyone who puts any actual thought into #2 isn't improving his financial outlook or exit opps. I'm not advocating one religion or any necessarily, but you do understand that the biggest fairy tale is the one most early twentysomethings on this site live, right? Everyone believes in some fairy tale or another.

7/13/12

One of the best posts I've seen on this site thus far, imo. Well written, and agree with every point made. If I had a silver banana or knew what a silver banana was, I'd probably give it to you.

I was taught that the human brain was the crowning glory of evolution so far, but I think it's a very poor scheme for survival.

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7/13/12

BlackHat, it is wisdom indeed, thank you for posting it. I would add a point, I think we need to be responsible for our actions, all the other 9 points should not be in conflict with my point.

7/13/12

Great post BlackHat, +1 SB. Definitely trying to accept #7.

7/13/12

Like all the advice you've ever given me,well written and extremely applicable, thank you.

The answer to your question is 1) network 2) get involved 3) beef up your resume 4) repeat -happypantsmcgee

WSO is not your personal search function.

7/13/12

Bravo. Always an interesting topic. Thanks for expanding our awareness

"I want the last check I write to bounce."

7/13/12

Good, bright read BH, you are making some good posts. I like because you stay simple. Thanks for the time.

Personally, I've had some different experience with the #5: I haven't ever tried any drugs.. even not cigarettes.
Although I have put a joint in my mouth xyz times (usually because I wanted to get into some girl's pants or just not to be a party breaker), I would only get the smoke into my mouth and wouldn't inhale it. As a result I never got high from it or anything "external" (but I might have faked it a few times).

My neighbourhood in my hometown is actually called (internally) Jamaica. Guess why :D I just came from a very hardcore sports background and since (abusing) drugs is a very big problem here, I was taught that (something like this on my language) "real ballers do sports, and pussies do drugs". I don't consider most of the drugs bad at all, and would allow them all to the 18-21+yo people; I just don't want to take them myself.. probably a thing of the principle.. I a type of a person that likes to keep a "perfect score" in some things, just for myself inside.

However, I have been much into advanced meditation etc. so occult teachings were interesting to me (lol nobody knows until now :D ), and I started progressing too fast. Happened to me that couple of times I got very fucking far with that shit. Basically, I was not really prepared for such overwhelming experiences (compare it with what people call "(bad) trip" with LSD and mushrooms (but at least a level above), because the similar molecules produced by brain cause it). I must say that by far the "bad experiences" have made more powerful impression on me than the "good" ones. In the end, for me its positive as long as it's experience and will definitely give it much more time and learning as my life progress - I see huge potential there, but I'd like to "secure" a normal life, family etc. and fill the expectations of my parents, because thats the least I can do... before I take this road. Until then, I'll keep building an impressive base.

7/13/12

Thanks a lot for the list. I would also add something along the lines of "be honest with yourself". Denial is a bitch and we're all guilty of it. The best antidote is to look deeeeep down inside your heart and find the answer regardless of consequences (obviously don't be stupid about it). Remember that time where you let your relationship go for way longer than it should have? Most of us do and most of us knew half way through that it's time to end it but didn't. Don't wait. People usually know what they really want deep down in their heart but find reasons and convince themselves otherwise to do what society or their parents think is right. Much like dropping out of college- huge taboo in our society but some people drop out, pursue their dreams, and end up incredibly successful. All of this is one huge gray zone but this thinking really helped me.

"You stop being an asshole when it sucks to be you." - IlliniProgrammer

7/13/12
7/13/12

re #6: an old acquaintance of mine's dad was supposed to be on one of the 9/11 planes but missed it due to oversleeping. he was pissed at himself for missing the flight and stressed out about it because he was going to miss some sort of business meeting. then he saw what happened on TV and he became a changed man, spending a lot more time w family and bought his kids new cars because money means nothing to him compared to happiness (probably a poor example but whatever)

In reply to Miamimonkey
7/13/12
Miamimonkey:

BlackHat, it is wisdom indeed, thank you for posting it. I would add a point, I think we need to be responsible for our actions, all the other 9 points should not be in conflict with my point.

I like this.

In reply to animalz
7/13/12

animalz:
Good, bright read BH, you are making some good posts. I like because you stay simple. Thanks for the time.

Personally, I've had some different experience with the #5: I haven't ever tried any drugs.. even not cigarettes.
Although I have put a joint in my mouth xyz times (usually because I wanted to get into some girl's pants or just not to be a party breaker), I would only get the smoke into my mouth and wouldn't inhale it. As a result I never got high from it or anything "external" (but I might have faked it a few times).

My neighbourhood in my hometown is actually called (internally) Jamaica. Guess why :D I just came from a very hardcore sports background and since (abusing) drugs is a very big problem here, I was taught that (something like this on my language) "real ballers do sports, and pussies do drugs". I don't consider most of the drugs bad at all, and would allow them all to the 18-21+yo people; I just don't want to take them myself.. probably a thing of the principle.. I a type of a person that likes to keep a "perfect score" in some things, just for myself inside.

However, I have been much into advanced meditation etc. so occult teachings were interesting to me (lol nobody knows until now :D ), and I started progressing too fast. Happened to me that couple of times I got very fucking far with that shit. Basically, I was not really prepared for such overwhelming experiences (compare it with what people call "(bad) trip" with LSD and mushrooms (but at least a level above), because the similar molecules produced by brain cause it). I must say that by far the "bad experiences" have made more powerful impression on me than the "good" ones. In the end, for me its positive as long as it's experience and will definitely give it much more time and learning as my life progress - I see huge potential there, but I'd like to "secure" a normal life, family etc. and fill the expectations of my parents, because thats the least I can do... before I take this road. Until then, I'll keep building an impressive base.

7/13/12

Don't really like the drugs suggestion. But would highly recommend studying abroad (can't believe this wasn't mentioned).

In addition, try to do something that not everyone around you is doing. When you're in college, it is easy to be one of the crowd and just do what everyone else is doing. But be true to who you are (in the sense that don't forget who you were before college/whatever and don't be molded into what everyone is). Don't be scared to do something you've wanted to do just because no one else is doing it. It's your life, so don't feel pressured to live like everyone else.

7/13/12

BlackHat is one of the very few insightful posters remaining, kudos...

In reply to Edmundo Braverman
7/13/12
Edmundo Braverman:
animalz:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cakJf0J3hEU

i dont speak engrish

7/13/12

I think you missed one Big point...

Learn another language
Kind of like exploring a different religion / ideology but with potentially bigger impact. It will allow you to "think" differently and be able to step out of your own culture to some extent. Intellectually, you're trapped by your language if you only speak one in my opinion.

7/13/12

Did 1.

Caused me to do 5.

4 followed.

Which led to 6.

Resulted in 2. (Gave my life to Jesus Christ)

Realized a combination of 3, 7, 8 and 9 after 2. There's also a bunch of other stuff I learned outside of OP's list.

"The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it." - George Bernard Shaw

7/13/12
BlackHat:

6. Undergo a Near-Death Experience....

I survived one of the atrocious natural disaster. One that shocked the world beyond reality.

I never mention it to people, I don't like talking about it because similarly to Don Drapper, my life goes in ONE direction: FORWARD.

Regurgitating this near death experience could bring a self-pity spirit in me.

Talking about it with others invite pity and the "I am sorry" look.

I look forward every day to living a full life because I appreciate my second chance at life.

Power and Money do not change men; they only unmask them

7/13/12

yes, the problem with kids these days is that they clearly have way too much respect for their parents authority...

i kid i kid

7/13/12

As a person in the 20s, I've thought about this and just because one person thinks it's meaningless when their say 40, I will think it has meaning when I'm 20 no matter if my future self will have regret.

I hope this makes sense.

In reply to Edmundo Braverman
7/14/12
Edmundo Braverman:

Excellent post. Really excellent. +1

And you're absolutely correct about the drug use. I was virulently anti-drug throughout my teens, basically until I got to Wall Street. They don't call it mind expanding for nothing.

Ok, so Eddie / BlackHat, which drugs are your weapon of choice? Have only wandered into the realm of the reefer myself, so I'm curious. Shrooms, LSD I would assume?

7/14/12

"Q: So I'm a rising Junior from a target school. Finance major with a 3.85 gpa and also president (well I will be) of my school's investing club. I've had 2 boutique banking internships (I know I got lucky) but do you think I could get a BB SA position my next summer? PE?

A: Yes, but you will never make it in life."

Blackhat, thanks for providing some much needed perspective on this site. WSO needs to have at least one article a week detailing why high school and college kids still have their heads up their own asses.

7/14/12

This is great, I'm only 16, so I have plenty of time to do this stuff.

Rules are for the obedience of fools and the guidance of wise men.

7/14/12

I agree with everything on this list (yes, even the drugs). Steve Jobs said that experimenting with LSD was "one of the two or three most important things that I have done in my life."

Never had a near death experience, but there were a few hours I thought my brother was dead where I was blaming myself. The emotional release after finding him ok was indescribable.

Leadership can be defined in two words: "Follow Me"

7/14/12

Great list. I agree about questioning everyone, especially authority. It is crazy, once you become well read on something; be it finance, nutrition, religion, you begin to realize how much dogma people perpetuate. You have to be very particular and critical of who you are getting information from, people are not as smart as you think...

The difference between successful people and others is largely a habit - a controlled habit of doing every task better, faster and more efficiently.

7/15/12

There's definitely some wisdom in here, but also some psycho babble.

1) "Question everything". Why?

2) I don't agree with "consider at least 2 different religions". When people "shop" for religions that usually means they are looking for a faith to practice that confirms their own world view. I saw a sign the other day that said something to the effect of, "Try Unitarianism--the faith for the liberal mind". A religious faith should be practiced if it is believed to be the source of absolute truth, not a source to verify our own worldview. If there is a god then it's likely that God's wisdom is higher than our own.

3) Completely agree. People need to drop this delusion that they are special and hence entitled to better lives and to safety and liberty. Good things are earned or given by grace from above, and bad things do happen to normal people--and you will die.

4) I tend to agree, but I'd say a wise young man will learn from the mistakes of others rather than repeating mistakes made by many before him.

5) Respectfully disagree.

6) Not really sure that a near death experience is something that we can just put on our list to do next week. I had a near death experience 2 years ago and would not advocate it.

7) Tend to agree. If people stopped to consider the irony around them, for example, or took notice of all the ridiculous things, life seems to be one constant black comedy.

8) Agreed.

9) I can see both sides.

In reply to labanker
7/15/12
labanker:
Edmundo Braverman:

Excellent post. Really excellent. +1

And you're absolutely correct about the drug use. I was virulently anti-drug throughout my teens, basically until I got to Wall Street. They don't call it mind expanding for nothing.

Ok, so Eddie / BlackHat, which drugs are your weapon of choice? Have only wandered into the realm of the reefer myself, so I'm curious. Shrooms, LSD I would assume?

Shrooms will make you feel more connected to the external world (one of the reasons people recommend them in nature). Acid is more internal, whats going on in your mind...that being said setting and mindset will determine your trip.

Can't imagine BH and Eddie recommending coke/heroin etc over the long term...

In reply to trade4trade
7/15/12
trade4trade:
labanker:
Edmundo Braverman:

Excellent post. Really excellent. +1

And you're absolutely correct about the drug use. I was virulently anti-drug throughout my teens, basically until I got to Wall Street. They don't call it mind expanding for nothing.

Ok, so Eddie / BlackHat, which drugs are your weapon of choice? Have only wandered into the realm of the reefer myself, so I'm curious. Shrooms, LSD I would assume?

Shrooms will make you feel more connected to the external world (one of the reasons people recommend them in nature). Acid is more internal, whats going on in your mind...that being said setting and mindset will determine your trip.

Can't imagine BH and Eddie recommending coke/heroin etc over the long term...

I've always hesitated to go too far into the drug conversation on this site. Suffice it to say that if you are a truly intellectually curious person interested in experiencing everything you can in this life, then it's a fair chance you're going to try drugs someday.

If you make the decision to do so, my advice is to try them all (just not at the same time, lol). Like trade4trade pointed out, many drug experiences are location dependent (i.e. you'll have a better time on ecstasy at a nightclub surrounded by hot chicks than you would alone at home on your couch). Just use caution and don't be an asshole about it.

In reply to Edmundo Braverman
7/15/12

Edmundo Braverman:
i.e. you'll have a better time on ecstasy at a nightclub surrounded by hot chicks than you would alone at home on your couch

Speak for yourself...

I hate victims who respect their executioners

7/15/12

Been near death twice in my life.

First time I was a sophomore in college and rode with a drunk driver who fell asleep at the wheel. We were t-boned by a semi-truck going 50 miles an hour into the driver's side. The car literally bent in half. Truck flipped over into a ditch. But all three of us walked away. Driver just graduated med school (though couldn't go to his top choices because of the DUI) and is becoming an orthopedic surgeon. We don't fuck around with drunk driving anymore and I always know how I'm getting home.

Second time I was in Hawaii and we were near Pipeline on the north shore of Oahu in January. They have signs that say don't swim but of course there were a bunch of kids messing about including us. I got crashed by a 7 foot wave which knocked the wind out of me when my chest hit the sand - I stayed cool for the first few spins and starting swimming up but then the undertow swept me a good 30 feet further out, just in time to take another 7 footer to the head and get pulled out even further. Seriously low on oxygen and going dark at this point. The final wave was another big one and this one spit me out on the sand where I managed to scurry to the shore.

Both were the loudest noises I have ever heard, and the most scared I have ever been, and reminded me you can go at any moment. Never put off doing something that really know you should do. This is the reason I left my comfy banking job and passed on a direct associate promote to live in Europe and go to school. And it's why I'm moving to Rome with my girlfriend at the end of the month for the next adventure.

In sum:
Don't drink and drive. Respect the awesome power of nature. Do your homework and always be prepared for plan B, C, and D thru Z.

Thanks BlackHat for a great post - I think a few of us should get together and write for once a CLASSY book about careers in finance and the life well lived. SB for you and let me know if you wanna collaborate on a book. I have no job right now but I love my life and I've seen some crazy shit and I love to write.

if you like it then you shoulda put a banana on it

7/15/12

I have no idea why people are being worked up about #5. No, he is not recommending that you go and become addicted to heroin, overdose, and then bye bye competition. He is recommending that you try drugs which aid in the process of knowing yourself, your own environment, and, depending on the drug, your own consciousness. This means psychedelics, which, if are respected, can be used as tools for self-understanding. And if you have never experienced the close-eyed visuals on shrooms, or explored different dimensions on DMT, you have no reason to judge those who have. Also, if you are worried about safety, the main thing to realize is that knowing what you are dealing with is the best way to prevent bad experiences, that and letting the chemicals at work do what they do, and whatever you do, DO NOT try to fight the experience. If you close your eyes and don't like what you see, fighting it will only make it worse. Educate yourself, and learn and experience more than you could ever imagine. But for acid, make sure your family doesn't have cases of schizophrenia present, that could fuck you up...

7/15/12

I would respectfully submit that if someone is advocating that you break the law then it is not a good idea.

Sure, psychedelics have been known to have actual uses in psychology/psychiatry, but their use should be legal and with a medical doctor supervising. Just dropping acid isn't the answer.

In reply to BabyChimp
7/15/12
BabyChimp:

I have no idea why people are being worked up about #5. No, he is not recommending that you go and become addicted to heroin, overdose, and then bye bye competition. He is recommending that you try drugs which aid in the process of knowing yourself, your own environment, and, depending on the drug, your own consciousness. This means psychedelics, which, if are respected, can be used as tools for self-understanding. And if you have never experienced the close-eyed visuals on shrooms, or explored different dimensions on DMT, you have no reason to judge those who have. Also, if you are worried about safety, the main thing to realize is that knowing what you are dealing with is the best way to prevent bad experiences, that and letting the chemicals at work do what they do, and whatever you do, DO NOT try to fight the experience. If you close your eyes and don't like what you see, fighting it will only make it worse. Educate yourself, and learn and experience more than you could ever imagine. But for acid, make sure your family doesn't have cases of schizophrenia present, that could fuck you up...

I assumed that would get flak but it really has been a big part of my life and impacted me both positively and negatively, but net positive in my view of it. People here are obviously not going to be fans of drugs on average, but it's something I honestly recommend to someone as a means of self-discovery among other things. Things I learned about myself or concluded through some altered thought process have stuck with me and been a major factor in shaping the way I perceive the world. The same thing goes for the near-death experience, like I said obviously it's not something you go out and look to have happen to you, but if you just spend some time thinking about what would matter to you if you were minutes from your own death, that might be enough. Talking to someone who has had the experience and hearing a description of what went through their mind could be helpful as well and if not that, it least it would be extremely interesting. Telling you guys something like "go learn another language" and "read a book once a week" is stuff your mom could and probably did tell you, but in my eyes it doesn't change how you live your life internally. Most of the stuff on this list was life-changing once I actually fell into believing it.

I hate victims who respect their executioners

7/16/12
BlackHat:

9. Run from Anything that Everyone Agrees On
Most people are overwhelmingly stupid. They have no clue what they want and no clue how to get it even if they did. There's a reason it's called a "herd mentality," because we're all about as intellectually independent as a group of water buffalo, and we all saw what a few white dudes with rifles did to them. If everyone thinks the same way, you can almost guarantee that it's A) irrational B) benefiting a minority of people C) completely inaccurate. Go back and look at all the things we universally agree on without thinking about them. Mr. Carlin provides a pretty good list of blindly accepted herd mentality mantras: All Men are Equal, Justice is Blind, the Press is Free, Your Vote Counts. I think you get the point.

I'm not sure that I get the point. To do just the opposite is also a form of imitation.

Brush away the cobwebs from your daydreams
In reply to Going Concern
7/16/12
Going Concern:

I'm not sure that I get the point. To do just the opposite is also a form of imitation.

I would submit that avoiding doing something is not the same as doing the opposite. "Not white" doesn't equal black, "Not rich" doesn't equal poor.

I hate victims who respect their executioners

In reply to BlackHat
7/16/12
BlackHat:
Going Concern:

I'm not sure that I get the point. To do just the opposite is also a form of imitation.

I would submit that avoiding doing something is not the same as doing the opposite. "Not white" doesn't equal black, "Not rich" doesn't equal poor.

But I would argue that from one's own perspective what everyone else is doing is basically irrelevant. Why should something be avoided just because everyone thinks it or does it? Maybe they're all right, maybe they're all wrong. Why does that factor into the decision at all?

Brush away the cobwebs from your daydreams
In reply to Going Concern
7/16/12
Going Concern:
BlackHat:
Going Concern:

I'm not sure that I get the point. To do just the opposite is also a form of imitation.

I would submit that avoiding doing something is not the same as doing the opposite. "Not white" doesn't equal black, "Not rich" doesn't equal poor.

But I would argue that from one's own perspective what everyone else is doing is basically irrelevant. Why should something be avoided just because everyone thinks it or does it? Maybe they're all right, maybe they're all wrong. Why does that factor into the decision at all?

Because that's how the entire world works? People do things, then you become aware of them. How they perceive things is/should be irrelevant to how you perceive them, sure, but only a fool would be unaware of what's going on around him, no? But my point in saying that was that on average, the human being a very stupid and illogical creature, so what they're thinking or doing is probably either not their own thought, or is just completely wrong. I'm not philosophical enough to get into the why's and how's of it all, but practically speaking, I'd rather not follow the crowd's perspective.

I hate victims who respect their executioners

7/16/12

Great list. I think all the points work well together and I think #1 really kicks off the rest. When you start thinking for yourself you take ownership of your life.

The near death experience point rings true as well. When I face a set back or encounter stressful situations, I always think back to NDE I had and everything pales in comparison. It makes it easier to face the music when I make mistakes and need to own up to them. It really works well when combined with the idea of taking life less serious.

- V

7/16/12

Regarding the drug question, I think this goes back to #1. We are indoctrined to believe that drugs are bad. Validate your beliefs.

- V

In reply to BlackHat
7/16/12
BlackHat:

Because that's how the entire world works? People do things, then you become aware of them. How they perceive things is/should be irrelevant to how you perceive them, sure, but only a fool would be unaware of what's going on around him, no? But my point in saying that was that on average, the human being a very stupid and illogical creature, so what they're thinking or doing is probably either not their own thought, or is just completely wrong. I'm not philosophical enough to get into the why's and how's of it all, but practically speaking, I'd rather not follow the crowd's perspective.

You should be aware, certainly. But you should follow your own thoughts, regardless of whether that's the crowd's perspective or not. If you use your own reasoning and independently come to the same conclusion that the crowd has come up with, but avoid it on the grounds that people on average tend to be stupid and illogical, then you're doing a disservice to yourself, no?

Brush away the cobwebs from your daydreams
In reply to Going Concern
7/16/12
Going Concern:
BlackHat:

Because that's how the entire world works? People do things, then you become aware of them. How they perceive things is/should be irrelevant to how you perceive them, sure, but only a fool would be unaware of what's going on around him, no? But my point in saying that was that on average, the human being a very stupid and illogical creature, so what they're thinking or doing is probably either not their own thought, or is just completely wrong. I'm not philosophical enough to get into the why's and how's of it all, but practically speaking, I'd rather not follow the crowd's perspective.

You should be aware, certainly. But you should follow your own thoughts, regardless of whether that's the crowd's perspective or not. If you use your own reasoning and independently come to the same conclusion that the crowd has come up with, but avoid it on the grounds that people on average tend to be stupid and illogical, then you're doing a disservice to yourself, no?

Sure, but I think it's fairly clear the things the crowd is definitely right on and which ones are suspect.

I hate victims who respect their executioners

7/17/12

Great advise!! All of them.
Made some, got to do some others... but again, I'll question if I really should do that (#1)

7/20/12

...

Aladine Vargas
vargaswebsites.com
BarnstoneMethod.com

8/5/12
10/24/12
10/24/12

#7 I completely agree on. Ive always lived my life like that. or attempted too

10/25/12

Great post. Great advice. Great insight.

Traps

10/25/12

Great post BH. Don't agree with the drug suggestion, but that's me.

10/25/12

You've hit the nail on the head BH, i totally agree with 7 and 8, life's a beach, we just gotta play in the sand...

sanogee

In reply to Virginia Tech 4ever
10/25/12
Virginia Tech 4ever:

I would respectfully submit that if someone is advocating that you break the law then it is not a good idea.

Sure, psychedelics have been known to have actual uses in psychology/psychiatry, but their use should be legal and with a medical doctor supervising. Just dropping acid isn't the answer.

chill out, square.

  • Nebular
  •  10/25/12

Nice, I really been wanting to try heroine, I was just waiting for someone to give me the go ahead.

10/25/12

I'm glad this got bumped. I enjoyed the read. I'm definitely working on taking life less seriously (my friends called me "dad" in college because I was the responsible one) and through that working on number number 8 and 5. Now all I need is my spring bonus so I can buy a motorcycle and get my near death experience (though I have done kinda of stupid things like cliff dive off a 75 foot cliff with minimal diving experience).

10/25/12

Thanks for the thoughts and I happen to agree with them mostly.

The only thing I wanted to note how #9 can be contradicted by #1. I feel like a lot of groups follow that kind of advice to be different in a wrong way and try to question people for the sake of questioning only to end up the same as others in that group. The best example I can think of are the stereotypical goths who questioned all kinds of authority but at the end of the day were basically a herd together. These days, it's as if it's the norm not to be part of the herd that not being part of the herd is the practically herd mentality.

Hell, I remember when Kony 2012 came out, half the people were blasting the ignorant masses for caring. That felt a bit like herd mentality.

That said, I disagree with that point only and wanted to reiterate I do agree with the rest.

73 good sir!

In reply to West Coast Analyst
10/25/12
huethan:

re #6: an old acquaintance of mine's dad was supposed to be on one of the 9/11 planes but missed it due to oversleeping. he was pissed at himself for missing the flight and stressed out about it because he was going to miss some sort of business meeting. then he saw what happened on TV and he became a changed man, spending a lot more time w family and bought his kids new cars because money means nothing to him compared to happiness (probably a poor example but whatever)

He should've done some soul searching and realized that a real man doesn't sleep through flights and fail to get deals done. If I was a kid, I'd want my father to be awesome and to be doing things, not nagging me to come home early so we watch Mayberry reruns.

If any of this is revelation to you, then you're a complete dope. A bunch of wanna-be ballers telling each other to "question authority," "do drugs." Wow

10/26/12

wow really enjoyed this list

In reply to AllDay_028
10/27/12
AllDay_028:

I'm glad this got bumped. I enjoyed the read. I'm definitely working on taking life less seriously (my friends called me "dad" in college because I was the responsible one) and through that working on number number 8 and 5. Now all I need is my spring bonus so I can buy a motorcycle and get my near death experience (though I have done kinda of stupid things like cliff dive off a 75 foot cliff with minimal diving experience).

How was the cliff diving? I've always wanted to try it but I knew someone who got paralyzed from doing it so I have shied away from it somewhat

10/27/12
BlackHat:

7. Understand that Life is Not Meant to Be Serious

Confession of a player. Well said. From the moment you get serious about something/someone, you lose.
Hope I always win.

The Auto Show

10/28/12

I see what you did there (#5,6)... Trying to kill the WSO demographic, thus eliminating potential future competition.

10/28/12
10/29/12

Excellent post, it's like you tapped right into my brain. If you look at any extremist/fanatic in the world, religious or otherwise, they all have the common denominator of taking life way too seriously and they're insane as a result.

It seems like #5 has been the point of most contention...I honestly think it says a lot about a person that won't take a responsible risk with drug use. I'm not talking 16 year olds huddled in a car smoking pot because they think its cool; there's a difference between "peer pressure" and responsibly tinkering with you mind.

It's funny to think that on a finance site of all places there would be people that don't understand the risk/reward trade-off. It's not all black and white, sobriety or death - sometimes a small risk can be immensely rewarding. My experiences "riding out" certain substances (using internal monologues, etc.) has helped me overcome stressful situations when sober. It teaches you behavior and things about yourself that otherwise would never come to light.

I'd say there's likely a huge positive correlation between people unwilling to experiment with drugs and people unwilling to experiment with religion(s). It's a mindset of always accepting what you've been told without question.

WSO Content Management Intern

In reply to Virginia Tech 4ever
10/29/12
Virginia Tech 4ever:

I would respectfully submit that if someone is advocating that you break the law then it is not a good idea.

You really, really need to examine this statement. Maybe give this a read if you have time (not that some of his views aren't outdated/questionable, but the logic is worth noting).

WSO Content Management Intern

10/29/12

That was a wonderful post. It made me think a lot about my life and what's really important to me. Thanks.

CPA/investor/bballer

10/31/12

Thank you so much! As bizarre as a few of the experiences you want us to go through are, I have to say I really appreciate your post. I'm in university right now and I'm beginning to learn that life is more about the right philosophy and approach. Getting those down first will provide you with the drive to attain the skills and intelligence you need for a successful life.

12/10/12

Great post.
Much wiser than your years

3/26/13

this is so awesome. i agree 100%, i almost feel like these words were written by me and not you. great post. where are you located?

In reply to seriously.what-is-going-on
3/26/13

seriously.what-is-going-on:
this is so awesome. i agree 100%, i almost feel like these words were written by me and not you. great post. where are you located?

nowhere and everywhere at the same time. san fran now

I hate victims who respect their executioners

In reply to BlackHat
3/26/13

hahaha i always say im everything and nothing at the same time! your post was amazing...funny thing is, i grew up in new york and have been considering a move to san fran since i visited 2 years ago. only other city i could see myself living in. what are you doing there? feel free to pm me if you don't want this to be public.

3/29/13

4. Make as Many Mistakes as Possible

This might be the best advice in your post. Seriously, get out there and do stuff. Get out of your comfort zone and see the world. Do something crazy. The more you experience, and the more you fuck up, the better your life will be in the long run.

I have made some big mistakes in my life and my only regret is that I wished they would have happened earlier in my life so I could have learned from them sooner. No regrets in my life because what doesn't kill you will only make you stronger

6/7/13

+1 SB, Thanks Man!

"If you have enough assets plus passive income to cover your personal lifestyle expenses for the rest of your life, and that money allows you to work at something you love, without concern for the amount of compensation, then you are wealthy."

6/7/13

This is all good stuff, but I feel like it's common sense. I've done all of the stuff in your list, so maybe that's why I feel that way. But this isn't anything groundbreaking.

I am very impressed with your seamless use of transitions though.

EDIT:
Actually, I change my mind. I'll be 21 soon and only four years ago I would have agreed with most of this stuff, but I wasn't really living it until like late 19, early 20. I cared tons about what everyone else thought, was terrified of making mistakes and of rejection, and didn't even learn from the mistakes I did make. Wish I could speak with myself as a kid, but fuck it.

And spending a few minutes dead and a few weeks in the ICU did change my outlook. I'm not sure how, but I really care a lot less about what everyone thinks, about pleasing anybody, and subsequently, have a lot less fear of rejection and of failure. I'm pretty comfortable saying "Fuck it" to just about any situation (only after the point at which it becomes out of my control of course). And it's an empowering feeling.

I guess it seems like common sense now. I should keep a journal or some shit.

6/8/13

I have done all of the above except #5.

I really like #6 and #7. They go well together!

3/26/14

The definitive modern guide to life? Bookmarked. Lots of kudos.

Also, neat writing style. The transition from one point to the next one was very smooth.

Fortes fortuna adiuvat.

3/26/14

5. Try at Least a Few Different Drugs

This.

3/26/14

All great advice. I realized sooner than most that I'm not special at all, haha.

3/19/15

What about "Get an IBD SA offer from a top tier BB"?

How could you miss this one!?!

I'm bi-winning. I win here, and I win there.

3/19/15

Cool list, definitely agree with the majority of it. One time I smoked DMT and for about 15 minutes I was convinced I died and went to hell, that totally sucked ass.

3/19/15

This is almost as bad as an Elite Daily or buzzfeed list

3/19/15
3/19/15

Perhaps the best front page post I've read on WSO.

3/19/15

Perhaps the best front page post I've read on WSO.

3/19/15

My favorite point is number 3, the reason being is it is true! Once you recognize that it puts you in a position to realize to become special you have to work for whatever it is that you want. You have to earn it, nothing is just going to be handed to you. I use to think I was special and entitled to everything I wanted, but then I woke up one day to realize that I don't deserve anything and everything that I get in this life will be earned and that I make decisions that required sacrifice and failure to end up where I want to be.

3/19/15

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3/19/15

"There's nothing you can do if you're too scared to try." - Nickel Creek

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