How did your younger years impact the you now?

Appley's picture
Rank: Gorilla | banana points 551

For me, and I may be the odd one out here, but I distinctly remember not liking recess when I was younger.

And it looks like life had the last laugh. Now that I'm older, one of the biggest things I want to do is go out and play and just get good exercise. Luckily (?), schools are starting to allow kids to be kids and granting them more time to mess around and to do less studying to make better use of their growing years -- admittedly, I'm indifferent to this as I felt that school programs were largely ineffective for me when I was younger. Of course, there were a lot of other things in my childhood that ended up impacting me later in life, exercise only being one of them.

That said, many of our users on WSO are either younger college students or well into their adult years. Many of us have lived very different lives, all of which turned out differently through a mix of cultural shifts and different expectations and possibilities available to us.

So I'd like to ask you all,

  1. What in your younger years did you learn that you still keep in your life? Life lessons? Values?
  2. (For the parents here) How is your child's life different than yours and what would you like for them to grow up knowing?
  3. Did your childhood impact your decision to go into finance?

Financial Modeling Course

  • Get An Edge For Your Interviews & Finance Career
  • The Best (and Most Affordable) Financial Modeling Self-study Courses.
  • WSO Members receive a 15% discount

Comments (22)

Jun 14, 2017
  1. I have to consistently work on getting more disciplined every year. Discipline was lacking in my childhood due to my parents laissez faire parenting style. This has seriously hampered my efficiency as both a student and as a young professional. I can't emphasize the importance enough of staying disciplined and incrementally working on goals.
  2. My kids will learn the importance of discipline. I would like to expose them to Eastern discipline where I think the priorities are better aligned with success as a professional.
  3. No.
    • 1
    • 1
Jun 14, 2017

for sure brain damage

heister:

Look at all these wannabe richies hating on an expensive salad.

    • 7
Jun 14, 2017
  1. I grew up picking up and doing many hobbies (music, sports, video games, chess). My issue, which is still a bit of an issue today, is that I tend to approach a new activity with a new obsessive fervor if I'm interested, but I wouldn't give it the time of day if I ever found it boring. This always led to me putting myself a gradient or two below where I probably could have been had I applied myself more, which I wish I had done so. (ex. doing just enough to graduate with a 3.7/3.8 in high school but not really putting in the time to do better; doing well in some topics but just blowing off others which drew down my grades at a given time or another). I think banking and consulting broadly teach you valuable life lessons in that you are expected to provide exceptional work product, which means you can't blow off tasks just because. For me this was probably one of the more underappreciated benefits from banking.
  2. I'm certainly not a parent, but I don't think I'd do anything significantly different. The only thing I'd probably advise my potential child is that you should put your best foot forward and try to achieve superlative marks in anything you do, even if you aren't a fan of what it is you're doing. There is virtue in doing something despite not having a clear passion for it, because it only makes you that much more adept when you approach tasks and activities for which you have a vested interest
  3. I was in middle school around the time of the crisis and aftermath with the recession. It wasn't so much the markets themselves that were interesting to me but the dynamics and shifts happening. It was probably more academic in nature than practical, but that part of the economy was always intriguing to me. Perhaps it was because I always used to win at monopoly when I was younger ;P.
    • 3
Jun 14, 2017
alpha_q:

I was in middle school around the time of the crisis and aftermath with the recession

Jesus Christ does this make me feel old.

    • 4
Best Response
Jun 14, 2017
  1. There are too many life lessons and values to list but the one that my parents drilled into me was "If you're going to do something, do it the right way. Otherwise it's not worth doing at all". That taught me to put my best effort into things, to be accountable, and to not be lazy. To this day I don't understand why people half-ass things.
  2. Not a parent yet but I want my future kids to know that while I will always think they are special and loved, the world doesn't owe them anything and they need to work hard for their success. This special snowflake nonsense nowadays drives me nuts.
  3. No
    • 8
Learn More

Side-by-side comparison of top modeling training courses + exclusive discount through WSO here.

Jun 14, 2017

SB'd. Excellent post.

Jun 15, 2017
TheIronLady:
    - There are too many life lessons and values to list but the one that my parents drilled into me was "If you're going to do something, do it the right way. Otherwise it's not worth doing at all". That taught me to put my best effort into things, to be accountable, and to not be lazy. To this day I don't understand why people half-ass things.

Love this little bit. I really, really wish someone had hammered this into my values when I was a little kid because I admittedly fell into peer pressure to the special snowflakes attitude, which essentially costed me a lot.

Luckily for me, I snapped out of it immediately once college started (both as a combination of school starting to be serious and costing money and me being sick of circumstances). Although for my age, that's not very long ago in the past... but better it happened than never.

Mar 25, 2018

.

    • 1
Learn More

Side-by-side comparison of top modeling training courses + exclusive discount through WSO here.

Jun 14, 2017

I spent my childhood doing practically whatever I wanted. My mom died when I was young, and my dad was supportive, but usually busy running his company, so I had a lot of freedom at a pretty young age. We owned a lot of acreage in the suburbs, and I fondly remember riding bicycles with my friends and exploring every nook and cranny of our suburbia, and sometimes the city. It was a lot of fun, and I still fondly look back on those memories. I feel like some would frown upon my dad's parenting style, but it was pretty good for me. I became really independent at a young age, way more independent than a lot of kids, and become a reflective, thoughtful person who worked towards his goals, whereas a lot of other people my age, when I was a kid, were lost without their parents' guidance. I can't say for sure, but I think in the back of my mind, when I was younger, I always felt a little envious, or just different, than most other people who had more normal families, and for some reason this spurred me to work a little harder. Also, I've always been, even if compliant, fairly cynical of authority figures, and I would imagine that this probably has something to do with my upbringing.

Jun 14, 2017

Although I am still in high school, I believe I've experienced most of my formative years, so here's my two cents:

  1. People, for some reason, have always hated me, so I struggled a bit in my early years with the fact I didn't have friends. However, I soon realized I couldn't do anything about it, and adopted a "you don't fire me, I quit" approach. Many people say that's bad, but it actually helped me a lot because I started working independently of the acceptance of people. My mom, who suffered a lot with friendships when she was my age, helped me realize the problem wasn't with me, and I just had to be myself. To fill in the blank left by social interaction with kids my age I started reading a lot, about all kinds of things, and talked with all sorts of people, even with my mom's colleagues (most of them had PhDs). That also gave me a lot of confidence, and the idea that I could fit in anywhere I wanted. Those things made me realize I had no reason to be insecure, as long as I kept being interesting, curious, and disciplined.
  2. No kids whatsoever, therefore, no comment.
  3. I think so. One day, I was at home on the computer when I read on Bloomberg (yeah, I was a boring kid) that there was a huge loss in the stock market, so I started following the news. I loved the way change could happen so fast, and from that day on became a finance junkie. So, yes, at least the decision to work in finance was during my young years.

"I'm into, uh, well, murders and executions, mostly."

    • 8
Jun 15, 2017
itriedtobecreative:

Although I am still in high school, I believe I've experienced most of my formative years

I doubt it.

    • 4
    • 1
Jun 15, 2017

Assuming the formative years encompass the ages of 0 to 18 and I am nearly 15, I have indeed experienced most of that phase (83.3% of it, to be precise).

"I'm into, uh, well, murders and executions, mostly."

    • 2
Jun 15, 2017
itriedtobecreative:

Assuming the formative years encompass the ages of 0 to 18

I can follow the math, thanks. Reasonable minds may differ on what constitutes "formative years," but I certainly wouldn't say mine were 0-18, and most people I know would consider their 20s to be very "formative."

    • 1
Jun 15, 2017

You're welcome, but in this case 'formative years' refers to the age in which our values are set, and most people have them fairly defined around the beginning of adolescence. Of course that if you consider the formative years those where one develops life experience, I agree, I haven't reached even half of the project.

"I'm into, uh, well, murders and executions, mostly."

    • 4
Jun 15, 2017

LMFAO

Jun 15, 2017
  1. My dad taught me hard work. We grew up comfortably middle class, but things weren't easy for my parents. My dad worked his ass off and never let me quit anything I started. I think this taught me that I could persevere through things and to do this day I generally outwork people to get things I value.
  2. My kids lives are different, but priorities are the same (although they're just toddlers and babys). We are more comfortable and I will definitely prioritize travel and seeing other cultures, which is a luxury I didnt have as a child. That being said, I expect discipline and hard work out of my kids. They can choose anything they want to do (sports, chess, drama, etc...) and I will support the hell out of them, but I expect a good effort.

I'm probably a little bit less of a disciplinarian as my dad was, but I'm hoping for a similar household with a lot of love and support.

  1. I have no idea.

twitter: @CorpFin_Guy

    • 3
Mar 25, 2018

.

Jun 15, 2017

1.) Don't blindly follow the crowd with fashion/ life advice learn to think independent. Bowl cuts were not a good look

2.) Fingers crossed no one has knocked on my door on Father's day yet.

3.) yeah

Jun 15, 2017
TippyTop11:

1.) Don't blindly follow the crowd with fashion/ life advice learn to think independent. Bowl cuts were not a good look

2.) Fingers crossed no one has knocked on my door on Father's day yet.

3.) yeah

Fashion advice? Bowl cuts? Haha, what happened? I think bowl cuts are adorable ;)

  1. -- I'd love to hear your story for this one if you wouldn't mind sharing!
    EDIT: Sorry I wanted to hear your story of how your childhood drew you to finance(#3).. formatting made it seem like I was responding to #2
Jun 15, 2017

Discipline, discipline, discipline. I second what the earlier poster said. It is so important. I have been gradually applying discipline to every area of my life. It is true what they say in regard to discipline setting you free. It is the most straightforward way to achieve your goals. I learned this in adulthood - I wish that I had realized earlier on the degree to which discipline dwarfs other characteristics in importance.

    • 1
Jun 15, 2017
    • 1
Jul 19, 2018