What’s My Motivation?

Been working now for a couple of years in NYC, got a promotion under my belt, making decent money, etc. I feel like the further I get from college though, the tougher it is to figure out why I keep doing this day in and out. Goal in high school was to get into a good college, goal in college was to get a good job, then what? I can't think of what to focus my energy on next.

What keeps everyone else going for the long haul?

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Comments (18)

Apr 13, 2020 - 4:08pm

if you wanna be rich, you should consider working for yourself otherwise you are mostly working for a salary. it's hard to get rich working for other people. build your network from school, past jobs, and current contacts in your industry to get inspiration and see what they are doing. you probably want good pay and enjoy your day to day....that should help you get some options to reflect on

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Apr 13, 2020 - 4:34pm

Surprisingly enough, the older I get the less I care about being rich. I do want to have my own business one day, because there's about no chance I'll ever find meaning in enriching a bunch of faceless shareholders (hell, even though I own stock in my BB bank I couldn't care less whether it goes up or down).

More about finding a line of work where I'm excited to get up and go to the office every morning. Something intellectually challenging and socially meaningful, that pays well enough that I don't have to worry about making rent, would be nice.

Apr 13, 2020 - 5:01pm

If you like your job and are making decent pay, maybe it's time to focus on another pillar. I like to think of life as four pillars that hold up a structure:
1) Physical
2) Social
3) Finances
4) Spiritual

If one pillar deteriorates and collapses, the structure (you) will collapse along with it. Therefore, it's important to focus on all four pillars to keep your life in balance.

Maybe you are feeling empty because you are too focused on your finances (career) and neglecting other areas of your life. I suggest you entertain the idea of starting a family, doing some charity work, running a half marathon, improving your diet, traveling, attending religous services...whatever floats your boat! Define your own list that will keep all four pillars strong. Along the way you'll find deep meaning in your life.

Apr 13, 2020 - 5:20pm
Colonizer:

If you like your job and are making decent pay, maybe it's time to focus on another pillar. I like to think of life as four pillars that hold up a structure:
1) Physical
2) Social
3) Finances
4) Spiritual

If one pillar deteriorates and collapses, the structure (you) will collapse along with it. Therefore, it's important to focus on all four pillars to keep your life in balance.

Maybe you are feeling empty because you are too focused on your finances (career) and neglecting other areas of your life. I suggest you entertain the idea of starting a family, doing some charity work, running a half marathon, improving your diet, traveling, attending religous services...whatever floats your boat! Define your own list that will keep all four pillars strong. Along the way you'll find deep meaning in your life.

Haha...much too young to start a family, maybe in 10 years or so. I've been looking at trying to branch out a bit more in terms of hobbies since my hours improved a bit as an associate. Hard to fight the feeling that time not spent advancing my career is time wasted though (I don't plan to stay in banking forever so I spend a lot of time thinking about the next step).

Maybe I'll try traveling more or playing a sport. Last year was my first time going outside of North America and I'd like to go to Asia once the whole virus thing is done.

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Apr 13, 2020 - 8:32pm

I think one of the biggest problems for me, personally, is that more money has had basically zero impact on my QoL, so I find myself wondering if it even matters how much I make or if I work for myself vs someone else. Obviously the freedom of not having a boss controlling me would be nice, but then what? Am I going to go out and look for dumb shit to blow cash on? Maybe I should go do philanthropy or something then.

Apr 13, 2020 - 8:48pm

I think you should think about your exit, no one should get into banking without a very precise exit.
As for me, I want to go the academic route. What banking does for me is that

  • I get to network with important people who may in the near or far future help me with my goals in and out of banking.

  • I get paid significantly more than what I would be making if I decided to go into academia immediately (likely 0)

  • I'm doing work that is important and is unlikely to ever become extinct so I'm building myself as someone with unique knowledge and experience which will come in handy when I decide to teach and publish.

In other words I am achieving my goals while being able to achieve a higher standard of living. If you alre also in banking I really hope that this previous line also applies to you.

Apr 14, 2020 - 7:06am

So I was sitting in my cubicle today, and I realized, ever since I started working, every single day of my life has been worse than the day before it. So that means that every single day that you see me, that's on the worst day of my life.

Get your facts first, then you can distort them as you please.
  • 2
Nov 30, 2020 - 2:37am

Coming back to this question after months of quarantine and talking to people about long-term goals. I'm realizing now that I'm not quite as indifferent about money as I thought I was...can't stomach the idea of having to actually look at prices when I go to the grocery store lol

So I guess it's about what you want the money to do for you. If you're not into the stereotypical luxury shit that most dudes hype up, you've got to think about what really makes a difference in your life satisfaction. Might end up being legacy for me...there's just something really appealing about a family compound and my name on a building somewhere, and the freedom to go teach or do public office or something when I'm tired of the private sector grind. That gets me more excited than bottle service and yachts and shit like that. 

Dec 3, 2020 - 2:52pm

I had a general idea of where I wanted to end up...all I knew was I wanted to do something with more entrepreneurial potential and my old banking role had about zero chance of helping me get there. And I knew I wanted bschool done by 30.

It's damn near impossible to really know what drives you in your early to mid-20s (not just whether you like finance vs something else, but what you want your life at 50 to be like and what you want to be remembered for when you die) unless you had some serious life experience in your youth. Everyone in bschool is still trying to figure it out, except for those few lucky people.

Dec 3, 2020 - 10:35pm

BobMerkin

What keeps everyone else going for the long haul?

Its all about the little victories. Do random acts of kindness. Push your heart to the max everyday if you can for a little bit (athletics). Take care of yourself. Eat good nutritious foods. Enjoy the time that others give you. Live each day like it were your last. 

"If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them." - Bruce Lee

  • 2
Dec 6, 2020 - 5:48pm

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