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LoBagola

Losing your central purpose (Warning: Rant). Pushing towards a new suc

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There have been some enormous changes to my life over the past 3 months. Most of them hugely positive. The positive changes have all had to do with my personality, relationships and ability to summon courage. I think I've done some seriously amazing things in these areas. However, there have also been some realizations which have left me with depressed, unmotivated and confused. I'm not sure about my central purpose in life anymore - and it's so painful to be unsure since I've spent an enormous portion of my life dedicated towards getting there. I don't know if my feelings are telling me that I shouldn't do it? or if I'm just being a loser and giving up? if my feelings are justified? I don't really know anything else either as I've been focused on one thing for so long.

 

I've been working hard towards becoming a financial trader since 14 (I'm 24 now). I used to trade and made and lost a great deal in stocks, commodities, futures etc. There were times I would spent 8-10 hours 6 days per week working on something related to this. If I had to rate my life in terms of happiness up until this point I'd give it 3/10 - but I don't know this could be subject to a lot of cognitive biases as we feel the pain much more than the feelings of happiness (I've had huge amounts of money stolen from me and other bad stuff happen).

 

Early on I took a shot at some firms and financial backing without going to university and it didn't work out. I went to university, excelled with top grades while working night shifts 4-5 days a week. Eventually, I got an internship at a big investment bank and hated it (it wasn't the specific role I wanted). I may come off as ungrateful here - I did learn a great deal but I mean I didn't enjoy the job, the environment and the type of people who are attracted to work there. 

 

I took a solo trip overseas for a few months, came back really awakened and desperate to live - up until this point I was passive in many other areas of my life (you could see my other threads in this sub-forum). I realized how much bullshit my whole degree is and how it adds up to absolutely nothing. Honestly it was luck. My degree didn't get me the internship. My marks didn't mean anything. It got me in the door (maybe) and then it meant nothing at all. My interviewer and me got along, that's all.

 

There is so much ROTE and useless material no one would ever use in the real world. I tried to get the most I could from it by doing difficult maths subjects, hoping they would teach me to improve my thinking, but then I realized it was somewhat the same even in the maths department. I'm about to graduate (at the end of this year) and doing a bunch of subjects I cannot sum up any motivation for. Learning about utility curves with apples and hamburgers etc. It's so far removed from anything anyone would ever use, and at times plain wrong, I just cannot focus. It drives me insane. I look back at many subjects I've done and can't even remember anything at all from them - even though I spent enormous amounts of extra time researching deeper pre-requisite topics. I regret this so much now - I gave up so much socially and it feels like it was for nothing.Anyway, I'm not going to keep ranting on about how much I hate how things are taught at university. I'm quite set on dropping out next semester if I don't get any graduate jobs offers I like. At this point I'd rather work at a flower shop than some corporate office with douchebag finance graduates who talk money all the time.

 

There are a few firms I'm still interested in work at - they are much less corporate but they are also very hard to succeed at or get into. They have these aptitude tests I'm unable to pass without practicing for an enormous amount of time. I think I'd need to do 3 hours+ a day for many months to develop the skills needed to pass these tests. I don't think this is anything to do with my intelligence because the tests look for something very specific which some people were taught as kids. Anyway, I can't sum up motivation to do this because I don't even know if I'll get in after I practice (I might still fail something). I also don't even know if I'll like it once I'm there.

 

I'm also starting to think I really enjoy doing weird, creative things as I've picked up improvised drama and really like it (I don't think I could see myself doing it full-time though). Maybe I'd be a really good musician or film director (unlikely now, but who knows what *could* have been) - I mean this in the sense that I think what if instead of caring so much about money when I was 14 someone got me into film or music and I may have had an awesome combination of talent (which I don't know about) and my work ethic - maybe that was 'supposed' to be my thing but it's escaped me and now it's too late. Everything I've done till now has felt really forced. In-fact I feel less intelligent (in specific contexts or subjects) then alot of people, but that I have work ethic to make up for it.

 

If I ask myself "What would I do if money wasn't an issue?". My mind goes blank. I'm so money motivated that all I care about is how I can risk money to make more money. It's not the type that wants to get a lawyer job. It's the type that wants to get good at taking capital and turning it into capital * 1 million. But this desire is not backed by anything of substance or any other meaning or activity.

 

I have dedicated a huge portion of my life towards figuring out how to make big money (and never did) and now I know nothing else and am very confused as to my future. However, better I tackle this now and make sure I work towards something good. Hopefully with your help.

Edited by LoBagola

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"I have dedicated a huge portion of my life towards figuring out how to make big money (and never did) . . ."

I really hope you don't think this is some kind of failing. Being 24 and not a millionaire doesn't mean you've done something wrong. You're young, you have lots of time, and I expect the vast majority of people that made millions or billions of dollars didn't do so until they were older than you are now by a good chunk of time. 

 

"I've been working hard towards becoming a financial trader since 14 . . ."

How the heck did you decide on that particular career when you were 14? I've never heard of somebody that young who wanted to do something like that before. It's like looking for a 14 year old that wants to be an accountant. Some jobs I've just never seen anybody have any interest in until they're adults.

 

"There is so much ROTE and useless material no one would ever use in the real world."

Particularly given the fact that colleges typically require everybody in any major to do gen. ed. classes, I think this is true no matter what subject you may pursue in college.

 

"I'm so money motivated that all I care about is how I can risk money to make more money. It's not the type that wants to get a lawyer job. It's the type that wants to get good at taking capital and turning it into capital * 1 million. But this desire is not backed by anything of substance or any other meaning or activity."

Have you considered maybe trying to factor in what somebody or some company does as part of your decisions on what to invest in or not? Helping something good become successful may offer more satisfaction perhaps.

 

"I have dedicated a huge portion of my life towards figuring out how to make big money (and never did) and now I know nothing else and am very confused as to my future."

I'm pretty sure in most colleges that there's a way to attend classes without having to pay for them if you don't earn any credits for them. This may be a low risk way to try other things out, see what they entail, determine if there may be some potential for a long term, satisfying career in some other field.

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I'm quite set on dropping out next semester if I don't get any graduate jobs offers I like. At this point I'd rather work at a flower shop than some corporate office with douchebag finance graduates who talk money all the time.


I know how boring some undergraduate classes can be. That happened to me too, but that only meant it was easy. And I was careful to pick classes that would interest me even if they didn't quite count towards my particular degree. I did enough to graduate while pursuing other interests that I cared about more. Since you are so close to done, it will probably help to just finish it while you think about what you'll do next. Perhaps there is some academic interest you want to pursue, so you can go to grad school. It really doesn't matter what undergrad degree you have if you're passionate about what you apply for. The point of a degree is the education along with proof of a work ethic. Corporate jobs aren't the only way to make use of your degree.

maybe that was 'supposed' to be my thing but it's escaped me and now it's too late.


Why would it be too late? While you might have a different level of skill than if you practiced for years, but that doesn't necessarily mean what you produce is inferior. Consider all that you've learned about yourself now, that can help feed into many skills that are needed by musicians, or filmmakers. Largely, the only thing you might lack is developed technique, but that isn't a barrier to be happy and succeed. Your work ethic would make the difference in the end.

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If you love finance and would like to work for a firm whose investment philosophy is based on a free market orientation, consider applying at Peter Schiff's company, Euro Pacific Capital. If you would like to work abroad, his offshore company, Euro Pacific Bank is also hiring, and you can work from home anywhere in the world. You sound like just the kind of person (smart, practical) that they would like to hire.

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As an undergraduate I changed my major from business to physics to engineering to a different kind of engineering.  Even after finishing undergrad I still didn't have a great aim or purpose in life until I got to graduate school and even then it isn't exactly definite or clear yet.  Many of us don't know what we will become from the time we are 14 and I don't think there is anything wrong with that.  You might be thirty by the time you figure it out, it's not about age, it's about whether you ever do or not.  Many people never do.  You might be sixty by the time you figure it out... well that's a bit of a stetch but it makes the point.  I saw a thing on television where a middle aged guy got struck with lightning and all of a sudden changed his career to being a composer because some sort of damage to his brain made him obsessed with music.  This is a far fetched example but it just goes to show you could throw all your energy and life force into music, make it your whole life, practice 24/7, learn the history of music, listen to every kind of music you can, you will probably find you disagree with MOST of what has previously been done, and you could possibly end up creating something great heretofore unknown.  It's all about how much energy and passion you are wiling to put into it.  Pursuing finance with that same energy and penetrating gaze is no less noble.

Edited by bioengine

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