The pressure to succeed in life is hard to measure. The one thing we know about Wall Street is that there are no crevices to hide from it. Hundred hour work weeks, pipsqueak VPs sending you for coffee and a life in a cage while your compatriots party their twenties away are enough to chisel frown lines on anyone's forehead. This is a life choice that I certainly can't hate, as I do believe in a correlation between suffering and success. Any pursuit is admirable if it is genuine and causes no harm to anyone but you and those you love the most.
This is why today I am bringing up a subject that nobody likes to talk or think about. Suicide. This is a very high stress game folks. Some of you are currently learning the hard way what many before you did in the same fashion. That is why the subject of mental health is one worth bringing up and mulling over seriously. The story of[/embed] Jared Dillian, former trader at Lehman Brothers is a fine example. Things can spin out of control quickly, the only prevention is preparation.
With all of our talk about ambition and goals, we easily forget what it takes to get there. Investment banking today resembles a great many career paths from America's recent past. What I mean to say is that it is dwindling. There are less jobs, less opportunity, less deals out there and just as many (if not more)monkeys dreaming about ivory towers and bezel encrusted watches. The pressure and the stress levels are higher and will only continue to rise. Things are going to be this way for quite a while, if not permanently into the future.
Without giving you the routine about talking to people, eating right and sleeping well (not possible), I am just reminding you to keep track of your own pulse. The bad vibes can build up quickly and many of you will at some point find yourself face-to-face with the bottle, your jaw supported by the bar and a miserable fucker looking back at you in the mirror. Consciously focus on never letting it get to that point.
Even back in the 90's when a real live chimpanzee could pull deals out of his ass, I had buddies Wall Street over who were killing themselves over the stress, pressure and bad vibes that often come with the territory. The only real defense is realizing that none of this is all that serious. The world will keep turning and so will the money. You don't have to become the next power broker today. Sometimes, you are better off not being that rock star with endless exit ops.
Think about it. Think about Dillian. Think about all the guys whose names are not mentioned but who have been through it. Think about the future...and actually making it there.