Who better to discuss avoiding the excesses of a very lucrative profession than Michael Mendelson, now going by Mikael Meir, co-founder of Portus?
The first recommendation from the former hedge fund CEO is that you avoid keeping up with the Joneses. Meir points out, “This voracious wanting, in my experience, is a hungry ghost, a bottomless pit that can never be satisfied, and that leads to greed.”
The next piece of advice is that you have to stop comparing yourself to others. There will always be someone who is wealthier, smarter, prettier, healthier, etc. By constantly stressing about the need to live up to a moving target that you can’t possibly meet, you’ll always be living on the edge. Our homes, cars, jobs, will never be enough. Always wanting more, the stakes become impossibly high.
None of this, Meir reasons, will give you true happiness.
Happiness comes from being a virtuous person, not from manipulating all those you come in contact with. Genuinely serving others while using your god given talent to make a difference in this world is the best way to live one’s life.
By leading a life of honesty and integrity you can remain grounded in an industry filled with greed.
Meir, having spent time in jail for his misdeeds, would certainly know. After all, he faced a wife and family along with friends who might have lost their faith in him. Only by Meir being brutally honest about his faults and behaviours with those closest to him was he able to retain their love and support.
True success involves forgetting about accumulating stuff and instead focusing on those relationships closest and most important to you.
Some would call this work/life balance.