You live a great life

You live a great life. You have an incredible job. You make more in a year than some will make in a lifetime. You are educated. You are intelligent. You are well connected. You have opportunities in front of you to do whatever you want. You are blessed.

We stay up late and deal with difficult leadership, but there are men and women tonight in Eastern Europe who would kill to have the life we have. We move logos, they fight for freedom with their lives. Have perspective. Be grateful. Don't complain as much. Realize that for the most part your hardships are things other people pray for. Life is difficult, and the problems we face in a model at 3am don't even scratch the surface.

Comments (33)

  • Associate 1 in IB-M&A
Feb 25, 2022 - 12:03am

I agree with your point to the extent it doesn't invalidate the legitimacy of our issues. We might have better personal problems than most, but problems that need resolving nonetheless. Gratitude is enriching, helpful, and sometimes motivating but it mustn't be an excuse for complacency. 

  • Prospect in IB-M&A
Feb 25, 2022 - 12:05am

I think it's important to count our blessings! But it's not okay to trivialize our own problems in comparison to the hardships others are facing. Our problems are very different, and each person has the right to fully feel the anguish that arises from their own problems (and even complain about it). It is indeed sad and undeserved situation in Ukraine, but at the same time, I guess we are facing a different kind of stress here, and that may be quite big to us as an individual. 

  • Associate 2 in PE - LBOs
Feb 25, 2022 - 12:05pm

False dichotomy. If I quit my job today the alternative for me would not be to fight a war in Eastern Europe.

Feb 25, 2022 - 11:14pm
sheldonxp, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Doesn't that prove his point even more? You don't need to fight in a war no matter how well you do your job. Whereas Ukrainians have to fight in a war even if they are the best at their job in the entire country.

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Cov
Feb 25, 2022 - 2:56pm

You're right OP, but do you think any of these pampered pussies who've never struggled before will recognize that? 

Most Helpful
  • Associate 2 in PE - LBOs
Feb 25, 2022 - 4:24pm

It may not be meant to sound this way, but it sounds like the type of shit an MD or a CEO tells their employees so they stop bitching about quality of life and they "get back to work." You can have perspective and be grounded/empathetic (and do your part to help those less fortunate), while simultaneously feel like your own life is shit under different criteria. Are you gonna say this to people who struggling to make ends meet in the US as well, because they're lucky they're not experiencing some of the other atrocities that are happening across the world?

A lot of life is striving to be better - whether that means in fulfilment, quality of life, career, relationships, etc. If you're being underpaid (even if you're paid well), or facing shit WLB (even though you're alive and able to function in a developed society), people will strive to make that situation better. Without people bitching about stuff, you'd still be stuck with 85K base and no protected weekends forever. Sure, that's still infinitely better than 99%+ of the rest of the world, but when you're slaving away at a pitchbook going nowhere at 4am on little sleep, that's the very last thing that's on your mind and it's not wrong to prioritize changing a situation that's really impacting you on a personal level.

I'm going on a tangent, but I've been seeing things like this more often to the point where it's performative and annoying. It's not productive to keep wallowing in how lucky we are in our current situation, and honestly many times getting stuck in this mindset directly hinders progress. It's not black or white, and the tone that a lot of people take is simply "stfu and count your blessings" without leaving room for nuance. People have the capacity to be complex, and the days of the boomer mentality are starting to be over.

  • Associate 1 in IB - CB
Feb 27, 2022 - 8:21am

The OPs post may not be productive but it certainly isn't any less productive than "wallowing" in self pity on here like so many do. Given the choice between the two I appreciate the perspective of the OPs post.
 

Bottom line is we are all still in control of our lives..and that is something to be grateful for that is not guaranteed. Look at the HR rep and Software engineer (quoted in WSJ) who suddenly had guns in their hands fighting for their homes. We have the freedom to control our lives and choose what job we want. We haven't been drafted into the military (yet) fighting for our lives because one morning a dictator decided to wage war. Sometimes this job sucks but your life is still your own. Choose to live how you'd like! 

Feb 25, 2022 - 6:45pm
A jar, what's your opinion? Comment below:

having perspective is good but op is definitely homogenising a whole group of ppl (IBD analysts), much how an MD at a bank or Big 4 partner would in that tone deaf manner that they're known for.

"Hey guys look, Russia is invading Ukraine, so therefore your problems aren't really that deep!" Well yes kinda but at the same time if the stress/pressure is too much mentally then that's fair enough.

Honestly I think it's on the whole poor for your health to work as hard as you do in IBD, and the way it got completely normalized is a bit scary lol

Feb 25, 2022 - 8:48pm
GoingToBeAnMD, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Nice post OP. 

It is at times like this when I am glad I have the perspective of having visited third-world countries - I think everyone should do that at some point in their lives. The people that are posting against the OP and trying to rationalize their "shitty" lives in light of what's happening in Ukraine are really just lacking a comprehensive view. Back away from the keyboard, Trevor!

The only thing that is true in life is that you are human and you will die. You are no better than anyone else on the planet and your life in a first-world country in a time of peace truly is a blessing. We should all be grateful for our current state and we should all be hoping for the safest resolution for the people in Ukraine. 

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  • Principal in PE - Other
Feb 25, 2022 - 11:07pm

Everyone on here knows the OP is 100% right. Isn't that what makes it fucked up though? Some of us are sitting at home literally in pajamas (WFH) making $500k per year while people on the other side of the world are getting bombed. YET, the day to day drudgery still feels so completely miserable at times that it is impossible to appreciate it. Stacking 80+ highly stressful hours per week for years on end can wear anyone down no matter how much perspective they have on their fortunate position. I'm genuinely interested in the psychology of this. 

Feb 25, 2022 - 11:18pm
IncomingIBDreject, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Which firms are still WFH?

Array

Feb 26, 2022 - 5:03am
falconeagle, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Whilst I agree factually with everything you say OP, when I see statements like this (especially prevalent on LinkedIn) I always think how does this really help anyone?

By which I mean - of course most people on here realize they are extremely fortunate relative to the rest of the world (even relative to the rest of America). And of course any issues in banking are basically nil compared to the situation in Ukraine right now.

But the thing is, I don't really see how these statements/posts help anyone in finance - especially in the context of mental health etc? Whilst it's always good to have perspective (especially of global events) - you can't deny that working 90-100hr weeks consistently with a terrible VP/MD will have a serious impact on your mental health, regardless of how much you're getting paid or what else is going on in the world.

And you could say "well just quit and do something else" - but most people on here are motivated to be high achievers. Also let's be realistic - the American dream of leaving school at 18 and rising up through a generic corporate job to become midlevel management and have a 4 or 5-bed family home with two Cadillacs, is long dead. Not to make this into a generational conflict (usually I dislike that stuff/find it reductive) but as another poster said in another thread, when you have new IB analysts making $100k+ talking about living in Harlem to save money, it feels hard to say they're super-privileged compared to a boomer in an average job who has made $500k-$1m just in house price appreciation over the years.

Anyway so ramble over lol - in summary, whilst I concur with you factually, I think a) it doesn't help analysts struggling with mental health etc and b) you could write that about anyone in America really, eg "boomers are so lucky, they've worked average jobs yet now live in a house worth $1m due to house price appreciation" - so is it really worth saying ultimately?

Feb 26, 2022 - 12:21pm
guyfromct, what's your opinion? Comment below:

I've come to recognize you never know what personal hell someone may be going through. As an American and as a banker I am incredibly aware of how lucky I am. I also recognize that some of my friends who are also ostensibly doing well will tell me how life isn't always as great as it appears on the surface. Some of them have struggled with losing loved ones, being sick and irrespective of where you are that sucks. It's difficult to be objective about suffering.

  • Analyst 1 in IB-M&A
Feb 26, 2022 - 3:34pm

Echoing above, you sound like a bitch CEO or MD trying to gaslight everyone into being slaves. Yes, we are in a position better than many in the world but does that mean we can't ask for better? First world problems are still problems, doesn't make it wrong to want to improve our lives or work environment. You expect us to just stfu and live a life where we are suppose to just eat shit and work as slaves? I think it's rather fair that we want to improve our quality of life.

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Cov
Feb 26, 2022 - 7:07pm

OP here - First year analyst at a BB coverage group. Worked 100 hours last week. Having a bigger picture of life is essential in this role. My life is difficult, I wish it was easier, but it could be drastically harder. I'm a blessed man, and once I realized that, the simpler my life became.

Feb 26, 2022 - 7:07pm
Username_TBU, what's your opinion? Comment below:

There's a fine line in this post between remembering to be grateful for what we do have but also not falling under the fallacy of privation. Someone will always have it worse. That doesn't mean we need to feel bad about the complaints we do have in our lives

Feb 26, 2022 - 8:41pm
NoEquityResearch, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Analyst 1 in IB - Cov

You live a great life. You have an incredible job. You make more in a year than some will make in a lifetime. You are educated. You are intelligent. You are well connected. You have opportunities in front of you to do whatever you want. You are blessed.

While I get what you're saying, posts like this fundamentally misunderstand what makes human beings tic and what drives happiness.

First, none of the things that you stated above mean that you have a great life....nice to haves definitely but keys to a "great life", not necessarily at all.

Second, people bitch and complain. That is the nature of human beings. It is true of Americans and it is true of Ukranians. Kids on this forum pray night and day to get a dream banking job. Before you know it, they'll be bitching and complaining about that job.  Same applies to anyone. Give a Ukranian kid a chance to come to the US after a decade or so, he or she will start complaining about something. It's human nature. We all do it across this entire planet - no need to beat yourself up for it.

Third, another implied fundamental misunderstanding...not every person born in a shitty country lives in absolute misery every second of their lives. They have friends and family. Just like you, they go to a bar for drinks. Just like you they have a significant other and kids which light up their lives. Are their lives more financially strained? Of course, but the bigger picture of friends, family, meaning in life, hobbies, etc. is not that much different from your own life unless you're really living in absolute poverty in the third world.

Fourth and related to the third. Have you ever considered that maybe there is a person way more happy than you living in Ukraine or Belarus or Morroco or wherever? They have great family with kids, get together with their friends weekly for drinks and coffee, enjoy a pick up game of soccer, visit family and yes maybe live in a modest apartment and worry about the bills. Is your life of working 80 hours completely lonely and isolated from everyone really better?

Feb 26, 2022 - 10:27pm
young rookie on the street, what's your opinion? Comment below:

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Feb 27, 2022 - 1:08am
firstyearhelp, what's your opinion? Comment below:

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