Thursday, September 1, 2016

Like the Cool Kids

Nothing in this world could ever bring them down.
Yeah, they're invincible, and she is in the background. And she says,
I wish that I could be like the cool kids,
'cause all the cool kids, they seem to fit in.
(Echosmith, Cool Kids)

I was walking upstairs with a portfolio manager who complimented me on a successful investment call. Smilingly, I responded, "every dog has its day." For those of you who are surprised about my response, I have unfortunately learned the hard way that each and every time I celebrate a successful investment call, the next one always turns sour. But then, since I realized that my colleague didn't really know what to say in response, I figured that next time around a simple "thank you!" will suffice, while touching wood at the same time.

I was brought up in a European, Christian value system of downplaying my own contribution which is not working so well in the aggressive American business setting. On top of that, I was raised by two extremely shy parents which only makes the uphill struggle to make my contributions known to others harder. Yet, deep beneath there is a lion in me roaring for attention.  I ignored that voice for way too long in the name of spirituality when in fact I was simply repressed about what is truly meaningful to me, to make a name for myself.

I hope you have noticed the psychological problem of compensation in your life. Whenever you feel unhappy in some areas of your life you either drown your sorrows, or you try compensating in other areas. Especially in our spiritual community repression is a big problem. We suddenly become 'holier than thou' as it gives us pleasure to look down on others, or we want to become a guru, or someone who has eaten wisdom with spoons, as they say in German.

No, there is only one way to deal with this problem for me personally. I don't want to become a spiritual authority only to compensate for the lack of recognition in my current profession as a financial strategist. The whole point of spirituality is the absence of an agenda. So whatever I need to get out of my system, I better do it here and now!

Actually, in my line of work "coolness" doesn't survive the test of time. So while I have long given up on aspiring to be cool, let me get the message of my ideas out, and let me build a network of caring friends even in a competitive business environment. As a spiritual traveler that's something I am really good at, and it is perhaps the best transition to my next life as a spiritual writer and counselor.

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