How to View The World... or Which Way is the Right Way to Think

Subscribe

Before I begin, I want to acknowledge that I am more than certain I scare a number of people on this board. When I chime in on a serious topic, I swear I scare people. I scare a lot of people here from those who don't know how to respond to someone like me for whatever reason to those who don't know how to interpret my views. That's a fair position to take. I've been debating this for a while, and to be honest, I don't give a fuck what people think about me as long as they respond and questions. As future business leaders, blind faith, acceptance and a reliance on others to advise you will do no good. I encourage everyone to respond and question every serious post you find here, whether you want someone to explain something or you are curious as to what the rational is.

I am young, only 25 years old, but I am jaded beyond my years. I drink Scotch like a 50 year old man. I listen carefully, and weigh the facts before I opine, much like King Solomon did. I do my own research instead of relying on others, but I still question and ask when I don't know. This is something I encourage all you young monkeys to do. With a wealth of knowledge at your disposal, both in what's posted and the easy access to people on this board, question everything you can. Growth is not about your successes. Far from it. Growth, both personally and professionally, is cultivated from both inquisition into what you know, what you don't know, and how well you can study your mistakes, fuck ups and failures in order fix them for the future.

The reason I started this with the above preface and poem is because I thought it would be important to discuss the mentality we have in how we approach thing. We are always wandering down a path, and we will always come to the roads diverging in the woods, but our mentality is how we chose which path to take.

Among the things on my mind, I cannot help but dwell on a conversation my father and I had last night after dinner. My parents live about 30 minutes away from where I live, so I swing by every so often for dinner, and that was the case Monday night. He and I were talking, and we were discussing how kids my age view the world, as my parents ran into the parents of kids I wen to high school at a local community event (I was shocked that they decided to attend in the first place).

Our conversation was about kids whom I graduated with, covering topics such as which kids ended up working where, who was driving what cars, who was in grad school and who was set for life. As we discussed some of the kids in my grade who were driving cars well beyond the reasonable price range (If someone can explain to me why a 25 year old is driving a fully pimped out, top of the line Mercedes Benz being paid for by their parents instead of them with their supposed salary is beyond me), as their parents like to brag that they are Investment Bankers at places like JPM, CS and GS, Successful traders on the desks and major banks or that they work for Hedge Funds, yet the kids aren't paying a dime into the car payments, or rent or other expenses, it really got me wondering about the mentality people have.

I'm a firm believer in the Blue Collar way of life. Hard work, no matter what you do or who you are, is paramount to success. Nothing can't be fixed with a little grease and cleaned without a little spit shine. I'm also a believer in less is more. I personally find no love lost in a car that does more than I need it to, as I find simplicity a much more important measure of usefulness than I do the technical wizardry and luxury they possess. I'm not saying I don't appreciate nice cars, I just don't see the usefulness in them. I find that my pursuits, intellectual, physical and spiritual are all for simplistic things and my two expensive hobbies, gaming and being a true fan of cinema, can be controlled accordingly.

My belief in this ethic spilled over into my college life too. It definitely influenced where I chose to get my college education. I went to a college, where my D-I FBS football coach embodied what the true Blue Collar Work Ethic is, and still does, to this very day. I've had the pleasure of meeting the man with a head coaching record of 400-132-3 and to this very day, I consider him to be a true role model for what patience, hard work, time and effort can do. I met him on numerous occasions, but one stands out, in which he and the entire starting lineup of our football team, at 4 in the morning, addressed a crowd of about 1500 people. He said that what we were doing was an amazing thing, and that we were doing something that celebrated the hard work, dedication, desire and drive that he sought to instill in his athletes, but we were doing it for a cause greater than a birth in the BCS. It's something I live with to this day in how I chose to live my life. It's something that, when I look back at my involvement in Greek Life, definitely dictated how I spent 2 years dedicated to completely rebuilding a fraternity from the ground up, both fiscally and from a membership perspective.

My mentality still is with me. It governs how I handle tasks, analyze things and take care of what needs to be done. I have tried repeatedly to understand this entitlement issue, this supposed white collar mentality that kids my age who come from wealth believe, but I can't. I just don't get it. I look at the politics of the US and of New Jersey. I look at our banking institutions, ranging from The Fed to our regional banks, the lobbyists, the special interest groups and the unions, and I can't help but wonder what a true hard working belief would do to change their minds. I look at the entitlement, both within the social class and the generational gaps and it both shames and scares me.

So, I pose three questions to you all and I want a honest, free form discussion about this, beyond the bullshit of T&A, models and bottles and whatever fucking cliche you can find. I want to know the following:
1) How do you view yourself and what kind of mentality do you have?
2) How do you view the world around you and reconcile it with your views?
3) This is more of a thought provoking question, but if and when you have kids, how do you plan to raise them? What values do you plan to instill in them and will you let them have free time to develop on their own and become their own person instead of what you want to become?

I know this is unusual, but it's meant to be thought provoking.

Go ahead and take your time, dwell and craft something thought out and meaningful. Contribute and look beyond what you normally ask. Most of all, challenge and question my ideas.

Comments are expected and welcome

Mod Note (Andy): the following quote was supposed to go up top but wasn't showing properly so I've placed it here

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
~Robert Frost

Mod Note: Best of WSO, this was originally posted November 2010

Comments (17)

 
Nov 10, 2010 - 2:30am

1) How do you view yourself and what kind of mentality do you have?

I view myself as a hard worker but in a broader sense than most people would probably think is normal or wise. I would rather contribute 20% of my time efforts and abilities to 5 things than focus in on a particular task or organization. This is simply because I feel like exposure to a variety of situations, tasks, roles, and individuals fosters more opportunities for growth than surrounding yourself with like minded people in a single organization. The military has shown me that the breadth of your knowledge is only limited by what you experience and to that end, I want to experience every possible thing that I can while still adding value to those endeavors. As to my mentality, that's a fairly broad, often situation specific answer. As a general rule though, I would say that my mentality would best be defined as, "Fuck you, watch me," Tell me I can't do something? Fuck you, watch me do it. Tell me something is too hard? Fuck you, watch me do it. Piss bitch and moan because shit didn't go your way? Fuck you, watch me do it anyway with a big shit eating grin on my face while I slap your girlfriend's ass.

2) How do you view the world around you and reconcile it with your views?

My view of the world is closely tied to the answer I gave for mentality. There are always people that tell you XYZ can't be accomplished, that such and such is impossible, etc. But for every single situation where that has occured there has always been a guy that did it anyway. That's how I reconcile my view of the world as being a place full of "non-contributing zeros" and naysayers with my fuck you watch me mentality.

3) This is more of a thought provoking question, but if and when you have kids, how do you plan to raise them? What values do you plan to instill in them and will you let them have free time to develop on their own and become their own person instead of what you want to become?

As far as how I plan to raise my kids, the same way that my Dad raised me. His mantra was basically, "No one gives a shit." While that may sound harsh, cruel and untrue. It's really about the truest thing you could ever say about the world as a whole. No one gives a shit if you're tired, hungry, hurt, sick, whatever. All they care about is you doing what you committed yourself to do, be that in work, sports, family life, etc. you have responsibilities and obligations that must be accomplished. In the famous words of a paratrooper at Normandy, "There is no try dangling from a parachute." You either do you or you don't. I'll certainly let my kids become their own people but not at the expense of the reputation and life that their mother (or step mother at that point) and I have provided. You want to play the Cello, Johny? Go nuts. You want to try Ice Hockey? Let's go buy you a stick. You want to jeopardize your future with some bullshit half-assed stupid idea to drop out of college and open a hot dog stand? I'll have your ass thrown in the loony bin faster than you can squirt ketchup. They'll become who they are based, not only upon the direction and guidance with which I provide them, but it will also be a function of who they view as their role models. To that end, I think that showing them the right way and the wrong way early will enable them to make these choices effectively.

Sorry to write some much but I think this post was excellent in asking people to reflect and really evaluate where and who they are and how that will or will not aid them in reaching their goals.

If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses - Henry Ford
 
Nov 10, 2010 - 8:37am

I'm really not sure what the point of that diatribe was. The short answer to your questions is that I am grounded, work hard (probably harder than you if you work in asset management) and will raise my kids to be the same way. This sounds like a post of someone who is burning out but really isn't significant beyond that. Everyone understands that there is life outside banking and you don't see people who actually work in industry act out the stereotypes you listed in your massive post. Working a white collar job does not make someone less pure than someone who works a blue collar job. Is a construction worker who works 40 hrs a week a harder worker than a banker working 100? This whole thing seems misguided and you seem to think that you are wise beyond your years.

 
Best Response
Nov 10, 2010 - 10:15am

How the hell do you figure that you scare people on this board? There was nothing profound by your post, and quite frankly, it was a waste of time. There's nothing "scary" about the obvious.

Your post, boiled down: most in our generation suffers from entitlement issues, with enabling parents; and, there's a lack of good ol', down-to-earth, Blue Collar work ethic and personal responsibility. I agree with this, but please, be concise next time.

 
Nov 10, 2010 - 10:53am

1) How do you view yourself and what kind of mentality do you have?

I have stopped. I probably spend more time on personal grooming then ever before, but I rarely look in the mirror. I care more about the effects of my actions, but I spend less time pondering how my surrounding will react to them.
I am something, which I can never really know or understand, but I know God is in me and that if I do what I feel I will always find a path to that which I may not know I seek. I also enjoy long walks on the beach and foreign films.

2) How do you view the world around you and reconcile it with your views?

I don't. Once I realized that amongst all the fake pieces of bullshit, I was the biggest faker and pretender, I ceased completely. Not being a part of the herd is ultimate and unforgiving. You can't have one foot on land and one in the water. Either you dive in or you watch from the shore. Reconciliation with self is the only one. Acceptance of death as the ultimate endeavor was my first step to seeing life from this perspective.

3) This is more of a thought provoking question, but if and when you have kids, how do you plan to raise them? What values do you plan to instill in them and will you let them have free time to develop on their own and become their own person instead of what you want to become?

Man lives to be God and create in his own image. Many a man has destroyed society by fooling himself into thinking he's ego is benevolent and calm. We all seek to be Gods or Kings, at the least. I once dreamed of many children and a huge family, circumstances have forced me to reconsider. Whatever may occur, I will make peace with my own mortality before I bring a life into this world. Ideally, I'd like to raise them in the survivalist tradition away from many of the lunacies of modern society. If there is one thing I will certainly do it is teach them how to survive rather than how to fit in.

SB for OP.

 
Nov 10, 2010 - 10:58am

I think I do the same thing, Frieds. My worldview is a religious leaning one, but it's basically that life is more about learning and trying new things than success in and of itself. And I shoot from the hip a lot (and occasionally hit my foot)- something you're too smart to do. Most people on this forum understand different worldviews, but it does scare some folks- particularly college kids and new folks in the industry- that many of the people who make it in banking wouldn't sell their grandma to make a buck.

This is probably healthy for them. They need to mellow out before they go into finance. The last thing we need is yet another Enron or mortgage debacle.

if it weren't for greed we would be back in the stone age. that's all. haven't you seen wall street 2?

Yes, but there's long-term greed and short-term greed. There's another word for healthy long-term greed- it's called stewardship. The way we got out of the stone age was through agriculture, and well, agriculture doesn't happen overnight.

If we had been ruled by short-term greed 10,000 years ago, we'd never have gotten out of the stone age. We'd all just be a whole lot better at stealing.

 
Nov 10, 2010 - 11:02am

Marcus Halberstam is (was?) the only scary person on this board.
While I agree that hard work will always trump a sense of entitlement, your post is bloated and seems a tad self-congratulatory. You seem to have a good mentality when it comes to work but does that merit such a paean to the glory of blue-collarness?

1) I'm a lazy guy. There's a reason I got a 3.5 and not a 3.7, it's because I'm lazy. But if I could go back, I would probably switch majors instead of banging out a higher GPA. I've come to realize that I can put a tremendous amount of effort into something if I really care to. So I'm lazy, but I'm fighting it.

2) My spiritual beliefs are essential to me and guide my life. Finding a way I can use my interests (finance, econ, investing) to to help others in a way consistent with my beliefs is something I want to do ,but haven't quite figured out yet. Being a go-to person for people is something I'm both reluctant to do but also makes me happy.

3) I haven't thought a whole lot about it, but I want my kids to have a childhood somewhat like mine. Living in a big city, having friends from all sort of backgrounds, going to top-flight public schools and entertaining people at my house so my kids can have good role-models.

 
Nov 15, 2010 - 4:33am

Frieds,

Very successful post, I am moved. I read your post during work and printed a copy out so that I can read it during lunch time. I have been reading WSO for quite some months now, never registered any account as I am pretty much consuming others' juice.
Let me state my background a bit:
I was in the state for college for 4 years, 2 years community college in SF and transferred to UCSD for management science major. Got into the track team in UCSD as a javelin thrower. Didn't manage to get into I-bank after graduation in HK, was in a MT programme of some Chinese bank and switched a SG bank in corporate banking. Still throwing javelin after work at an age of 25.
I am inspired by the post by Frieds and Mcgee, especially the "fuck you, watch me" statement, so true and without any unnecessary cover.

1) How do you view yourself and what kind of mentality do you have?
I see myself as pretty smart, has not been on the ordinary path during my growth, influenced by sports since primary school ( used to be a swimmer, but it was boring and less fun than throw javelins).
I think 80% of the people in the world are pretty dumb as they don't know the way to get things, they follow the dogma/rules/maze to solve the problems, while I usually stand back and observe their act and laugh on it. At some point, I get lost and too focus on observing instead of participating and work hard.
Didn't do good in secondary school and had a hard time picking up my study during college time in the States.
My belief - take it to the extreme, if you can manage to take one factor either in sports/work/hobby to the max, it will be way more rewarding than those all-rounded competitors who sit next to you.

2) How do you view the world around you and reconcile it with your views?
the world simply ask for routine and stability, which is quite against my role/interest. When I come up with some ideas to trick the system, they would be anxious and get offered. In recent years, i learnt it in a hard way to take care of their feeling ---Somehow that they can't handle it, and they would love the idea if they could, but they are not.

3) This is more of a thought provoking question, but if and when you have kids, how do you plan to raise them? What values do you plan to instill in them and will you let them have free time to develop on their own and become their own person instead of what you want to become?
I will make him a great thrower. I would encourage them to have a different view and let them know don't need to be afraid to be different. It's important to make sure they know how to take care of others' feeling, it's ok to be different from others, so do the others. it's important to make friends, they will share your life with you. you got to work your body out so as your mind and soul, don't get stuck and get too comfort , it will be very lame.

Good Luck
Stan

 
Nov 15, 2010 - 11:07am

Stan the Monkey:
Frieds,
Very successful post, I am moved. I read your post during work and printed a copy out so that I can read it during lunch time.

I, too, printed this out. I've been reading it daily. Finally, I decided to tape it to the inside of my locker, right next to my photo of Mike Piazza, my vanity mirror, and a torn out page of Chicken Soup For The Soul: Think Positive.

 
Jun 21, 2016 - 10:07am

Poor Robert Frost. His words are so often misappropriated:

"And both that morning equally lay
 In leaves no step had trodden black. 
 Oh, I kept the first for another day!
 Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
 I doubted if I should ever come back."

Notice anything odd about the first 2 lines. "And both that morning EQUALLY lay/ In leaves NO STEP HAD TRODDEN BLACK"

There was no way to discern which road was less traveled. The whole point of the poem is that people recreate their own stories to make them appear more profound/measured in hindsight, an irony that I hope is not lost on OP.

People oftentimes make decisions with very little information, but when they turn out well, confirmation bias makes them appear quite different in retrospect. If I could have a life philosophy, I may even choose Robert Frost's, but in terms of my interpretation, I may take the road less traveled ;)

 
Jun 21, 2016 - 10:22am
  1. I am the liquor.
  2. Because I am the liquor, the liquor's views of the world around me are also my own, so there is no reconciliation process.
  3. Kids?
I AM THE LIQUOR
Start Discussion

Total Avg Compensation

September 2020 Investment Banking

  • Director/MD (17) $704
  • Vice President (45) $323
  • Associates (255) $228
  • 3rd+ Year Analyst (37) $203
  • 2nd Year Analyst (141) $153
  • Intern/Summer Associate (133) $141
  • 1st Year Analyst (561) $129
  • Intern/Summer Analyst (544) $82

Leaderboard See all

1
LonLonMilk's picture
LonLonMilk
98.3
2
Jamoldo's picture
Jamoldo
98.3
3
Secyh62's picture
Secyh62
98.2
4
CompBanker's picture
CompBanker
97.8
5
Addinator's picture
Addinator
97.6
6
redever's picture
redever
97.6
7
Edifice's picture
Edifice
97.6
8
frgna's picture
frgna
97.5
9
NuckFuts's picture
NuckFuts
97.5
10
bolo up's picture
bolo up
97.4