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Having spent some time in investment banking, IIWII (pronounced ee-wee) became all too commonplace. Especially in the wee hours of the night, and up against yet another all-nighter. When the eyes get blurry, with sleep fighting against one cuppa coffee too many, certain things will just stop making sense. Why does the MD want this presentation to be ready by tomorrow morning itself? Why do these numbers not add up? Where is the excel backup for this chart? Why are the footnotes for this company’s financials so opaque? Why am I even working here?

IIWII is the answer to all these questions and more. “It is what it is”. Every senior i-banker who has gone through the same grind will attest to it, nod as if cognisant of your deepest pain, and allow you to continue slogging away. It is what it is, and there is no changing it.

Life is also IIWII.

Where you were born, the work you are doing today, the people you live with it, the circumstances you are in today etc. etc. are all IIWII, at least to some extent, in the short term. These cannot be changed overnight. There are other bigger grander IIWIIs too. Like existential questions – Why was I born? Why should I die? Why do good people go through such tough times? Why do bad people go scot-free? Why is the world like this?

Nobody has the answers. The only way out then, is to get rid of the questions themselves. This can happen either automatically, over many many years. Or, one can focus on helping others and dedicating their lives in service of others. The latter is a fast track and sure shot way, of not just letting go of the questions, but also letting go of all our life’s troubles – as we would be too busy focusing on others to think about our silly problems.

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