The finance industry is ripe for change. There are undeniable market forces at play which are exerting extreme pressure on the old way of doing things at banks and across all financial actors. These market forces stem from the mistrust and dislike prevalent in the general public towards these parties.
Not only is public opinion very low with regard to the finance industry, but also political tenor is unfavorable, compliance has become crippling, and the people working in the field are generally miserable or disaffected. This potentially noble industry, and the professions within it, are in need of a renaissance.
The need for change is colliding with industry dogmatism that the way things are being done is the right way to do them. Sparks are flying, from human resource departments to board rooms, as monolithic, bureaucratic institutions grapple with how to rediscover the cutting-edge while resisting large-scale change. There is a tug of war playing out as ways to become updated are balanced with not risking the status quo.
The opportunity in finance is for the industry to bring humanity back to the forefront. Financial matters have become more and more abstract and disembodied…
Despite the inherent turmoil that comes with change, change also brings opportunity. The opportunity in finance is for the industry to bring humanity back to the forefront. Financial matters have become more and more abstract and disembodied – numbers on a screen representing not just dollars but people, for instance. This situation has the quality of leaving all involved parties feeling disconnected, isolated, and unsatisfied.
Mindful Finance, bringing a non-judgmental awareness of the present moment into all financial settings, provides the road map for how to fulfill the current opportunity for renewal in the finance industry. This may sound simplistic. It is not. The creative, incisive, practical, and caring state of mind that is produced through mindfulness allows for the happy marriage between the complexity of modern finance and the human need to feel interconnected.
The situation is very straightforward: the finance industry needs to discover the value of mindfulness that other industries have already embraced. It’s a matter of joining the current culture, which values qualities like meaningful work, care, socialization, and fun.
The finance industry is not going away, its roots stem back to the dawn of society and the need for cooperation among humans. As such, it enjoys the ability to resist pressure to deliver customer and workplace satisfaction longer than other industries. However, it cannot resist cultural changes forever.
The Story of Finance is Just That
The story of finance is a story about humans and their minds. It has a checkered past, filled with incredible situations and amazing characters. At its core, the finance industry is a facilitator and creator of human interaction. It exists to support human cooperation and collaboration. This purpose can be incredibly dignified and can unleash human creativity. Mindfulness facilitates the best of finance: people coming together for mutual benefit.
Finance has been made up by humans, and is largely nonexistent in physical form. Doctors didn’t make up the human body, reproduction, aging, viruses, bacteria, and other aspects of their profession. Scientists didn’t make up the seasons, magnetism, rain, photosynthesis, and other natural phenomena. Automobiles, and all other goods may be created by humans, but they exist as an actual, useful combination of physical inputs. Finance, on the other hand, is predominantly a conglomeration of thoughts.
Incredibly, we now live in a time when a quick Google search will reveal that financial matters are at the top of most people’s worry list. We have made something up that is now more worrisome than our own demise! It’s time we make this industry of powerful thoughts, which has facilitated incredible prosperity and also caused so much confusion, reflect the best of humanity. Mindfulness can do this by putting our experience as humans into the equation in every decision.
Sol is president of Highlander Financial. He has over 20 years of experience in financial markets and managing businesses.