Lies we tell our 40 year old selves

Ben Walsh speaking the truth on what happens to 21 year olds when you show them a big pile of money.

This Wall Street intern has it exactly backwards:

But eventually, you start to expect more. You’re definitely seduced. You think, “If I did this for two years, went to private equity, did the stair-step that everyone does, I’d never have to think about money again.”

If he spends a career in investment banking and private equity, most of what he thinks about will be money. If he’s really good at his job — in the way that people who are fiercely driven to do their jobs and exceptionally talented at them are, all he’ll think about is money.

I understand his impulse and get what he’s trying to say, but this is clearly a 21 year-old who has no idea who the 40 year-old version of himself is or what he’ll care about. Which isn’t uncommon.

Ben’s comment here is something I wish I’d known earlier.  We tell ourselves a story, we say we’re doing this for our future, but our older selves can only see the tragic mistake by looking in the rear view mirror.


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