Mod Note: Each day we'll be posting the top WSO forum posts of 2014. This one was originally posted on 5/23/14 and ranks #35 for the year by total silver banana count. You can see all our top ranked content here.
Hey Monkeys, so I've written a fair bit about networking, breaking in and my path towards IB. For this post, I thought I'd change it up a little and focus on the bigger picture that some of us (myself included) tend to neglect in the daily rat race. I was browsing LinkedIn yesterday when I came across the series titled "If I were 22" wherein top influencers were requested to share their wisdom to recent graduates. Having just graduated myself, I thought it'd be interesting to share my thoughts on my experiences thus far and then get everyone else involved.
Below I'll outline 2 lessons that I've learned the hard way through my 22 years on this planet. Obviously, such posts are highly subjective so I wouldn't be surprised to hear dissenting opinions in the comments. Nonetheless, I'm hoping that other monkeys can jump in, share their thoughts. I know we have quite a young community here but I'd love to hear from users such as @"Edmundo Braverman", @"CompBanker", @"IlliniProgrammer", @"TNA", @"frgna", @"TheKing", @"State of Trance", @"WallStreetOasis.com" and others.
- Have the courage to face your reality and alter it
- Pave the way for others
I think it's immensely important for everyone to be able to face the harsh realities of their lives. @"thebrofessor"'s thread (Who made you you?) was a remarkable platform wherein I found it heartening that many people came forward with stories about recognizing the realities they were dealt with. However, I was even more impressed with the way many of these people fought against those unfortunate realities and triumphed through sheer hard work, will power and determination. I think one of the hardest things in life for some people is to find the courage to alter such situations. To be able to do so and find success in our competitive world is noteworthy. Another form of altering realities which I find equally admirable is when people are able to recognize their weaknesses and their flaws and then turn their lives around. Again, we have plenty of these stories on these forums.
On a more personal note, the hardest reality I had to deal with in my life thus far is with the reality that dreams change and evolve for a variety of reasons. As most of you know, I'm and have always been an avid tennis player and fan. Recognizing that the sport would no longer be a viable career path for me after 15+ years of constant hard work was one of the toughest things I had to reconcile myself to. Luckily, the sport had armed me with a mindset that paid dividends and I quickly realized that my identity and success did not and should not hinge solely upon my professional aspirations. Ultimately, it is my experience thus far that realities in one's world can often be harsh, seem unwarranted and even change (favorably or unfavorably) in unforeseen ways. The key is to find the courage to identify the nature of these realities, to do some honest introspection and then move forward with the requisite actions that will allow you to face and sometimes, even alter your realities for the better.
For those of us who haven't seen the speech below, it's definitely worth a watch. In it, you'll find that he touches upon the idea of the evolving nature of dreams (I believe it's towards the end of the speech):
As I mentioned earlier, it can be easy to lose ourselves in the constant rat race to the top or the better job on the horizon. However, I think it's extremely important to step back from time to time and put things in perspective. I find it particularly helpful to remember that a vast majority of people in this world with unknown and untapped potential struggle to make ends meet, face varying degrees of abuse, oppression and poverty. It wouldn't be crazy to suggest that some of these people might be more successful than I am if they had the right support systems and the same opportunities I did.
Given this scenario, I find it to be of paramount importance that we all give back in some way. Giving back can come in the form of picking up a cold call or even answering a cold email or on a larger scale, running or funding various charitable ventures. Everyone has different skills and talents and therefore, varying charitable interests. However, if we can all find time in our busy lives to give back in some shape or form, it'll help bridge the gap that exists between untapped talent and the right opportunities. I can safely say that despite the fact that I have enjoyed my different successes in life so far, there's no comparable feeling than that of helping someone in need.
Lastly, I've always found that quotations by famous people are a great way to eloquently phrase my jumbled thoughts so I'll leave you all with these two quotes from Gandhi and Mandela respectively:
In a gentle way, you can shake the world
I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear
There are numerous other lessons I have experienced or learned over the past few years but I've highlighted a lot of them in my previous posts and I didn't want to be overly repetitive. Again, I'd love to hear from some of the older users on here and understand how they've changed from when they were 22 and I'd love to hear what some of the younger monkeys think as well. It's always good to hear multiple perspectives. As always feel free to comment on here or PM me.
Lastly, Happy Memorial Day everyone. Let's take some time to remember all the troops that make our lives easier and safer everyday.