Most guys on Wall Street seem to know all of the (following) cool quotes from the movie "Fight Club". I knew these LONG before that 1999 movie. When I was reading the book, I called my older brother #3 several times to quote him stuff he has been saying since we were kids. Tyler Durden's got nothing on my brothers.
For most of my career I was one of the extremely-well-paid-universally-despised-Wall Street-foot-soldiers mentioned in the article. I can tell you from first hand experience that 99% of these folks are as hand to mouth as anybody else. New York City consumes ALL of the money you make, unless you make 8 or 9 figure bonuses year after year. A Martini at the Four Seasons is $40. A muffin and coffee is $9. A 2 bedroom apartment on 3rd and 64th (where I used to live) is $5000+ per month. A parking space is $500 per month. This is all after taxes... and taxes for a New Yorker consumes nearly half of their earnings.
What do you get for the privilege? Private school tuition of $35k per kid, a 60 hour work week, a bag for belly, and a spouse that resents the living snot out of you and who absolutely, positively WILL file for divorce once there is enough in the kitty.
Man, I see in fight club the strongest and smartest men who've ever lived. I see all this potential, and I see squandering. God damn it, an entire generation pumping gas, waiting tables; slaves with white collars. Advertising has us chasing cars and clothes, working jobs we hate so we can buy shit we don't need. We're the middle children of history, man. No purpose or place. We have no Great War. No Great Depression. Our Great War's a spiritual war... our Great Depression is our lives. We've all been raised on television to believe that one day we'd all be millionaires, and movie gods, and rock stars. But we won't. And we're slowly learning that fact. And we're very, very pissed off. - from the movie, "Fight Club" (the book was far better and its on Kindle)It takes an unreal amount of courage to walk away from a life that everybody, since you were a little kid, has told you is the life to have if you can get it. Usually it is too late before you realize that your life has been a kind of Wile e Coyote trajectory - you wake up one day and you are 40. You have made a lot of money, but you don't actually have any. Your family is used to a certain "normal" way of living that you cannot change, but continuing this "normal" is as self-destructive as any addiction... and any attempt by you to make any changes what-so-ever will bring you to ruin in divorce court.
Most guys just don't get this:
You're not your job. You're not how much money you have in the bank. You're not the car you drive. You're not the contents of your wallet. You're not your fucking khakis. You're the all-singing, all-dancing crap of the world.Until its just too f***ing late.
But the truth is:
The things you own end up owning you.Well, that and those you love... they wind up owning you, too.
This CAN be avoided, though. See, all you gotta do is gain some manual labor skills, buy a small farm outside of Nashville (these can be had for less than $200k... most of you Wall Street guys could pay cash for it right out of your 401k), have your wife work the garden, milk the cows, and raise the kids while you work an artisan craft during the off months, ranch and work the fields during on months, eschewing all but a single vehicle and homeschooling the kids. You will have plenty of fresh air and sunshine, and you will be in great shape. You will have Wednesdays and Sundays off, as well as half day on Saturday.
Just message me here... I will hook you up. To make the adjustment easier, keep repeating (brother #3 will tell you that this has been a family motto for generations) this Mantra:
You are not special. You are not a beautiful or unique snowflake. You're the same decaying organic matter as everything else.We all know I have little to worry about... not one of these guys is going to actually do anything about their lives... they are going to keep on keeping on as neutered adults with what little Testosterone levels they have left until their prostate hardens into a lumpy walnut... all the while talking to themselves... and the conversation sounds something like this:
Tyler Durden: We're consumers. We are by-products of a lifestyle obsession. Murder, crime, poverty, these things don't concern me. What concerns me are celebrity magazines, television with 500 channels, some guy's name on my underwear. Rogaine, Viagra, Olestra.
Narrator: Martha Stewart.
Tyler Durden: Fuck Martha Stewart. Martha's polishing the brass on the Titanic. It's all going down, man. So fuck off with your sofa units and Strinne green stripe patterns.
And why? Because they've got a closet full of designer rags, a kitchen filled with stainless steel Braun mini-peemers, and nightstand draw filled with Viagra. When I worked at Bear Stearns I noticed a secret handshake. Rather than reach for your hand, the other guy would reach to your tie, turn it around and look to see who the designer was... and you call yourself a man? (I swear to freaking Moses.)
Tyler Durden: Do you know what a duvet is?This is what working on Wall Street does to a human being, but:
Narrator: It's a comforter...
Tyler Durden: It's a blanket. Just a blanket. Now why do guys like you and me know what a duvet is? Is this essential to our survival, in the hunter-gatherer sense of the word? No. What are we then?
Tyler Durden: Right. We are consumers. We're the bi-products of a lifestyle obsession.
Sticking feathers up your butt does not make you a chicken.There is still time... to be you.