For most part of our education and up to university, we have been conditioned to conform and succeed. We have been constantly told and guided on what it takes to be a “successful person” and the parameters that define it. These include many things including - wealth, the “right” career, status, family, kids, education, being well liked and well behaved, etc etc - the list goes on. These ideologies gets further reinforced when we see the numerous self accolades and congratulatory messages on the social media feeds of our peers.
In reality, life does not always go according to plan.
Not everyone becomes a top achiever in their field or cohort, not everyone can get an impeccable score for their tests and be perceived as the role model playing immaculately by the rulebook. It's hard to live a life without blemishes or bumps.
But I think being a perfectionist that way can be detrimental.
It is not about being able to relate to others who are also imperfect or making you seem more real as a person. It all comes down to survival.
In vaccinations, a weakened virus is being introduced to the human body. This "jolts" and disrupts the normal functioning of the human body but also enables the immune system to “learn” and defend itself from similar future external threats.
Darwin’s theory of evolution also illustrates that perfectionism, in the form of inbreeding and lack of genetic diversity also results in weaker offspring. The blemish in the pedigree lineage is what makes the each generation of organisms stronger. It is the imperfection that makes them stronger and increases their probability of survival.
Being too perfect makes one vulnerable to shocks - the shock of losing a job, money, health, basically anything precious. The little disruptions that throw us off the conventional course of life can be discomforting and at times debilitating. But they help build up our defences, make us mentally stronger and conditions us to be better prepared for other nasty surprises in life.
Therefore, nowadays, when I see successful people being portrayed in the media, I don't always look up to them as perfect role models for where they are now. In getting to where they are today, many of them may have crossed many boundaries and broken many rules before getting to where they are today. Not to be pessimistic but many start-ups end up as failed ventures by following the conventional path of growth.
Never try to be the perfect persona of what the world wants you to be.
There’s nothing you should regret in life - all the good things that you have today are a result of everything that has happened.
Consistency has a compounding effect. You usually don’t see the results until a very long time later.
Never look down on anyone because of what they do.
Complain less, stop victimising yourself and move on.
General knowledge, financial literacy and personal health are ultimately your own responsibilities.
When traveling, take the cheapest and happiest mode of transport available.
Never kick someone when they are down.
Learn to give and receive compliment and feedback.
Don’t ever get cocky. Ego and wealth are like items on a balance sheet. Here today and possibly gone tomorrow.
Being hands-on is the simplest and purest form of leadership.
Find the courage to disagree.
Own your mistakes.
Run your own race.
Don’t ever believe that you can second guess the stock market.
Pay it forward by learning to teach and mentor younger people.
It is not where you work that is your source of economic power - it is your health and attitude.
The media is curated by people who are biased. Everyone has a bias. Be critical and discerning, don’t believe everything you read and hear.
In this day and age, a healthy digital footprint is important. Anyone who tells you otherwise is smoking you.
When someone says ‘just trust me’, you really should think twice.
Invest in a tailored shirt, and a good suit. Don’t cheap out on ties and a good pair of shoes. Dressing well shows that you take your business seriously.
Candidates with decorated CVs and impeccable credentials do not always make the best workers.
Never believe someone who says that they are purely helping you out of goodwill and have nothing to profit or gain from doing so.
Be a jack of all trades and a master of at least one or two.
Even in the most helpless of situations, it is absolutely critical to have a healthy sense of optimism.
Treat investors’ money as your own.
A fantastic career not only enables you to pay your bills but also pushes your limits, builds character and helps you to grow as a person.
Never compromise on quality. Focus on creating a great product rather than calibrate quality to price.
Never limit yourself by the stereotypes placed on you by others. Bell curves and rankings are just part of a game played by people with their own agendas.
Just because you lack the vintage of a good school or a “bulge bracket” doesn’t give you an excuse to underperform.
Not everyone who is older than you is wiser than you. Wisdom is acquired through working on the day to day chores, not age.
Contrary to conventional wisdom, people don’t really change that much.
There is a difference between keeping still and not doing anything. Make sure you are on the right side.
You can’t see where you are going if you keep covering your eyes on the way down a rollercoaster ride.
Never allow social media to define your identity or create a false sense of security. Life is not measured in terms of likes and followers.
Everyone is entitled to their point of view, but only the people with skin in the game get to make decisions.
Most people who are looking for your opinion usually don’t want you to disagree with them.
There is no such thing as ‘I have no choice’. You always have the right to decide.
Age should never be used as an excuse for not being up to date or learning new stuff.
Usually, no one is incompetent. Everyone is good at something. Some people are just placed in the wrong places at the wrong time.
If you can’t get to keep your money, there is no point in proving that you are right.
'Less is more - no intern has ever impressed me with knowledge coming into the internship. Many have pissed the entire team off by thinking they had knowledge coming into it. The most impressed I ever was with an intern was a kid who carried around a notebook and just wrote down everything that sounded strange. He then googled it after hours, and if it was still strange he'd ask what it meant. The most important "task" as an intern is identifying the comers at the analyst/associate level and having them like you. Each SA to full-time hire we convert is by asking that level who they liked the best.' - Wall Street Oasis
Candidates these days try to impress too much. They bring in their arsenal of credentials, testimonials and references in a bid to be selected as that outstanding one. But so few realize that the most important trait that employers are looking for is “groom-ability” and the ability to just learn. At the junior level, firms are are not looking for heroes, they are looking for someone can be consistent with deliverables, and disciplined in doing the little things well.
That said, I think trying to 'score' at interviews can be tough. On one hand, you are competing with others for the same role, and knowledge seems to be the benchmark. On the other hand, you are trying fit into the social fabric of the firm. At the end of the day, the most important thing to remember in any interview / conversation is to be genuine as a person and don't ever over-sell on your technicals and experience. A good banker is both good at numbers, communication and fitting in well.