How Goldman Sachs Can Help you Invest in Yourself

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“If only these walls could talk.”

It is a common cliché, but with the notable exception of the demon-infused drywall in Poltergeist, it never happens.

Interestingly enough however, it turns out that elevators do occasionally tweet— most notably the elevator at Goldman Sachs.

The lift at one of the nations most prestigious Investment Banks has apparently not only been gathering the wisdom of her passengers, but also loves to share it via social networking.

Since those passengers are highly driven executives who have amassed incredible fortunes, the comments purport to offer a glimpse into the minds of the so-called “one-percenters”.

Consider the following recent tweets…

• The lottery is just a way of taxing poor people who don’t know math.

• If I could choose between world peace and a reasonable fortune… my first Lamborghini would be orange.

• Almost time for children to learn a valuable life lesson. Santa loves rich kids more.

• Listening to Obama talk about the economy is like listening to a chick talk about football.

• #1: Fact. Nearly 50% of all American workers have less than $10k saved for retirement.
#2: Damn. That wouldn’t cover a ski weekend.

• I never give money to homeless people. I can’t reward failure in good conscience.

• Groupon… Food stamps for the middle class.

• My garbage disposal eats better than 98% of the world.

• If there’s a hot chick behind me at the ATM, I’ll always leave my receipt in the machine so she can see the balance.

• If you can only be good at one thing, be good at lying… because if you’re good at lying, you’re good at everything.

Highbrow fodder to be sure, but is it really worthy of almost 500,000 twitter followers?

Why are people so interested in this?

They care because the tweets offer a glimpse into what rich people say when they think no one is listening. We not only want to know this, we want to use social media to mock it. In some respects this is the main application of social media– to score ourselves against others and feel superior.

And since we are not Wall Street fatcats, it makes us feel good to think of all rich people as selfish, greedy, non-deserving and morally bankrupt. We can clearly see how people act in their public life, but their comments when their guard is down reveal their true motivations.

The elevator passengers are the exact kind of scoundrels who buy and sell politicians in-between cheating on their taxes, ignoring their kids and snorting rails of cocaine off of strippers. They probably don’t even recycle. (!)

The problem is that our cartoonish notions of evil are 100% false.

Just as false as the notion that those on the other end of the socio-economic spectrum are all non-deserving welfare cheats who game the system so they can stay home and chat on their Obama phones while they smoke meth and father still more kids out of wedlock.

Unfortunately life isn’t a Disney movie. There are no black hats. We’re all good guys, and we’re all bad guys. Only by self-analysis can we be sure whether the yin or the yang is winning.

Sadly too few of us take the time to develop metrics to know which is.

By taking time to develop a plan around our marriage, parenting, fitness and spirituality we can move ourselves along the continuum.

We’d never dream of launching a project at work without defining success and a strong project plan, yet we sleepwalk through our lives aiming for a success we’ve never defined and failing to reach milestones we haven’t envisioned.

I want to have a good marriage. I want to raise good kids. I want to be healthy
All are noble, none are goals.

Do you think Bill Belichick starts a season saying he wants to have a good team? No, he sets finite and measurable goals and then defines the tactics it takes to get there.

It isn’t important what path you follow to define success and work toward it, it is only important that you do. A few tips from the experts might help (so I consolidated a few).

Start small. Define something actionable that can move the needle but is imminently attainable. Success builds on itself. Start small and create a new baseline.

Write it down. A goal written down and placed in a spot you’ll see it every day is infinitely more likely to happen. Put it on a sticky note on your bathroom mirror or add it as a daily Outlook task.

Get an accountability coach. Share your goal with someone you trust and ask if they can help hold you accountable

Commit to 30 days. There is some science behind that number in cementing a change in your psyche. One month creates a new habit.

Celebrate success. Take time to understand lessons learned after 30 days. What did you learn, did it work? Why or why not? Assess if you should continue and if it makes sense to add another change.

Whether your goal is daily scripture reading, managing your temper, or eating together as a family four days a week, getting prescriptive and adding structure is the best way to make sure it happens.

And if it doesn’t, hop on social media and share your experience; so that the rest of us can mock you and feel better about our own failures.

***
What do you think?

• Would you ever consider an orange Lamborghini?

• What have tried to break a habit or start a new one?

• What makes a good accountability coach?

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Christian. Father. Hawkeye. Pursuing truth... frequently in a minivan.

One thought on “How Goldman Sachs Can Help you Invest in Yourself

  1. Where’s the link to Overachievers Anonymous? I need to plan out how I get me a new electric Tesla (they don’t come in orange, though).

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