Spend any amount of time working on Wall Street and you will soon learn that opportunities for stress abound, whether you’re a first -year analyst getting reamed out for an extra space in a pitchbook or a hedge fund manager who just lost $1.2 billion in a matter of minutes. Those who are unable to manage the stress either 1) flame out or 2) become fat, irritable pricks whose change of having a heart attack on the job are high. Presumably, neither of those options sound appealing. But since the terms of the gig aren’t changing, what’s a ball of nerves like you to do? You might consider risking having the skin burned off your feet, or other such activities.

According to Cornell professor Tony Simons, things like a 10,000 point drop in the Dow or seeing a headline flash across Bloomberg that your firm is being indicted– things that you have no control over- become a lot less scary and cause for flipping out when you’ve been through worse. For instance, at the workshops and corporate training classes he teaches, Simons will have people do exercises like”firewalks” or have them “snap an arrow that sticks out of a wall with the point in the direction of their neck, by stepping forward and pushing into it.” After that, dealing with stuff you previously thought was tough is pretty easy (sayeth one participant: “facing a loved one’s anger and negativity with calm, loving courage and not ducking away from it feels easier after breaking an arrow with the soft part of my throat”). One woman is reportedly planning to “get a firewalk tattoo to remind her of what she’s accomplished.”

For any employers out there thinking putting on their own Simons-esque workshop but desiring even better results, consider gathering up your employees and having them:

* Commit to rollerblading down the Westside Highway to work for a year
* Catch a bullet in their teeth
* Play Spin the Bottle with Rick Santelli’s favorite floor traders
* Go through the browser history of everyone at the SEC (no averting of eyes)
* Get caught on tape letting Hank Paulson’s parakeet out of its cage
* Change the bed sheets of a certain NYU economics professor after a long weekend
* Other

Team Building Exercises: Learning To Walk On Fire [CNBC]

145 comments (hidden to protect delicate sensibilities)
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Comments (145)

  1. Posted by guest | February 17, 2012 at 2:01 PM

    * spend time alone w ping jiang when he's in heat

  2. Posted by Bugs | February 17, 2012 at 2:01 PM

    Watch all the Brady Bunch reruns back to back.

  3. Posted by Diuretic Matt Fan | February 17, 2012 at 2:02 PM

    Read every Matt Levine post in one sitting, no bathroom breaks.

  4. Posted by Corzine | February 17, 2012 at 2:03 PM

    Blow billions on European Soverign Debt and claim to "misplace" another cool billion..

  5. Posted by Anonymous | February 17, 2012 at 2:05 PM

    in-con-ceivable…
    (fan of the Pricess Bride)

  6. Posted by Guest | February 17, 2012 at 2:06 PM

    My team building exercises are a much better stress reliever. The three hole monty is my favorite.

    -L. Tilton

  7. Posted by Guest | February 17, 2012 at 2:07 PM

    Complete a full summer internship at Patriarch Partners.

  8. Posted by VandelayCapital | February 17, 2012 at 2:08 PM

    *Sell BAC at the 4Q bottom, and pretend you still matter

  9. Posted by Guest | February 17, 2012 at 2:08 PM

    Chug 5 Bacon Shakes from Jack-in-the-Box in under 5 minutes.

  10. Posted by ShortNaked | February 17, 2012 at 2:09 PM

    Learn the ropes of some painful, hardcore analysis courtesy of Meredith Whitney

  11. Posted by Guest | February 17, 2012 at 2:09 PM

    Clean each of Stevie's bathrooms with a toothbrush.

  12. Posted by Alt_EST | February 17, 2012 at 2:09 PM

    Explain basic economic and/or financial theory to Congress.

    -Timmy G

  13. Posted by guest | February 17, 2012 at 2:12 PM

    Watch a whole Mets game, with bathroom breaks.

  14. Posted by Old School | February 17, 2012 at 2:13 PM

    Eh, relieving stress with scotch and strippers seems like a much simpler plan.

  15. Posted by VonSloneker | February 17, 2012 at 2:17 PM

    * Quail hunting with Dick Cheney
    * "Share" a pizza with Michael Moore
    * Complete a proctology rotation in Djibouti

  16. Posted by Groucho | February 17, 2012 at 2:18 PM

    new tag: fat, irritable pricks

    Lots of possibilities

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    moonlight car ride with ted kennedy

  18. Posted by Guest | February 17, 2012 at 2:24 PM

    Beat Chazzy Gaspasteamroom at a match of Snap Da Towel

  19. Posted by New School | February 17, 2012 at 2:26 PM

    You've obviously never tried purple drank and the Pipedream Extreme F*ck Me Silly #1

  20. Posted by Guest | February 17, 2012 at 2:38 PM

    Bum fight with Shia LeBeouf

  21. Posted by Guest | February 17, 2012 at 2:47 PM

    Getting a Corporate training inspired tramp stamp is the NKI

  22. Posted by desksoda | February 17, 2012 at 2:47 PM

    Find my Ceo

    - Tim G

  23. Posted by guest | February 17, 2012 at 2:48 PM

    Not have a private office

    ~J. Gundlach

  24. Posted by Christopher Guest | February 17, 2012 at 2:48 PM

    Nice Dartmouth sweater there.

  25. Posted by PermaGuestII | February 17, 2012 at 2:49 PM

    Cover Rick Santelli's car in Obama '12 bumper stickers.

  26. Posted by Anonymous | February 17, 2012 at 3:15 PM

    middle name "air-tight"?

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    If you found someone who would be willing to accomplish that task, I would absolutely buy some of those 2012 Hellenic Bonds that you were offering yesterday.

  28. Posted by Henry Paulson | February 17, 2012 at 3:20 PM

    He may have a point, somehow I wasn't overly disquieted when MF Global blew up.

  29. Posted by Fiddy McFinnegan | February 17, 2012 at 3:28 PM

    Clear Jimmy Cayne’s 6-foot double-barrel bong without coughing.

  30. Posted by PermaGuestII | February 17, 2012 at 3:31 PM

    Rex Kramer: Danger Seeker

  31. Posted by pazzo83 | February 17, 2012 at 4:10 PM

    Fractions.

    - GW Bush

  32. Posted by Larry Moniker | February 17, 2012 at 4:29 PM

    Have a giant bald man stare through to the back of your skull while engaging in uncomfortably passionate self-abuse.

    -Hank Paulson’s parakeet

  33. Posted by guest | February 17, 2012 at 4:31 PM

    Hosing down the sidewalk after an OWS sit-in.

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    Tell P&G we can help you, we've got the inside scoop.

  35. Posted by oneoneone | February 17, 2012 at 5:00 PM

    I double dare you to do it without laughing.

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    no, middle name "Queef"

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    With ted kennedy's ghost

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