Sunday, August 6, 2017

Self Awareness in the Financial Industry

We cling to our own point of view, as though everything depended on it. Yet our opinions have no permanence; like autumn and winter, they gradually pass away.
(Chuang Tzu)

I have been asked by some spiritual friends how I can be in a profession that is full of greed and egotism. I shrug my shoulders and respond that fate brought me here. I wanted to become a professor of economics but jobs were rare at that time while the financial sector hired aggressively. Today I understand what my gig as a strategist in the financial industry is all about, to discover how much ego there is in me. In a teaching job this would have been much harder to accomplish. I would have fooled myself into believing that I am advancing the frontier of research, or that I am sending my students on the 'right' path. 

Bullshit! My subconscious mission would also have been to be someone. Today I know that the professor title would have been some assurance, something to cling onto. In the business as a financial strategist I have nothing to fall back on. Here you are only as good as your latest strategy idea, and you have no idea how often I found myself with the short end of the stick. My ego got humbled over and over again until I finally understood what Chuang Tzu expressed in the above quote. What the ego claims as it own is nothing but a fleeting perspective, an opinion ready to be changed. I thank my job for teaching this insight to me.

I have seen my ego in action, and if you are a spiritual traveler like me, I would encourage you to dance with life just as it wants to. Just imagine if our ego convinced us that our spiritual path makes us special, what a waste that would be. Never mind if life invites us to dive into something messy and confusing, at least that way our ego has to reveal what he is up to. Life will always hold up a mirror for you so that we can discover who we truly are beneath the hood.

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