Many people are stuck in the rat race and they don’t even realize it. They have taken it as part of the reality of life that inevitably happens as soon as you finish college. There are also many people who don’t go to college who are also stuck in the rat race.
If you spend your time day dreaming at work instead of enjoying your work, then you are stuck in the rat race.
They have accepted it as their fate and are resigned to living with the situation for the rest of their lives. They are teaching the same belief to their children as well. In short, they believe that there is no escape when actually, there is a way out; they just haven’t taken the time to learn it.
What is the Rat Race?
Have you heard the term “the daily grind”? That is the most common symptom of being in the rat race. The rat race is the constant struggle of going to work to pay your bills and because your salary is never enough, you borrow some more, you work harder to pay more; all the while you make your company rich while you struggle to make ends meet. And the struggle only gets more difficult as the days go on. This cycle is similar to a hamster running on his wheel, doing the same thing day in and day out but getting nowhere.
In his popular book Rich Dad, Poor Dad, Robert Kiyosaki describes the rat race as a situation where individuals “work for the owners of their company, for the government paying taxes, and for the bank paying off mortgage and credit cards.”
Signs of Being Stuck in the Rat Race
Most people get themselves into the rat race as soon as they get out of college. They start to work and they enjoy it at first because earning makes them feel independent. Then they start to experience the struggle and they feel the signs of being stuck in the rat race.
- Devaluation – You work hard for a fixed hourly or daily rate and extra work is minimally compensated or recognized.
- Repetition – You do the same thing every day and you derive no satisfaction from it.
- Justification – You justify staying in your job because of the salary.
- Waiting – You can’t wait for the time to clock out so you can leave work and do something else.
- Disconnection – You don’t feel that your work contributes to any significant difference in other person’s lives or your own.
- Drawing Board Syndrome – You keep making plans to chill out from work or take a vacation leave but the plan never pushes thru.
- Lifestyle Creep – Any minimal increase in your compensation/salary leads to lifestyle creep; you level up your lifestyle which ends up burdening you with even more debt.
If you’ve ever felt any of these in your life, then you know for sure that you are stuck in the rat race. There is a way to get out of the rat race but before you can start building a new path for yourself, you need to identify why you got stuck in the first place.
Are you stuck in the vicious cycle of the “daily grind”? Then you are trapped in the rat race.
Why You Are Stuck in The Rat Race?
The best way to not get stuck in the rat race is to never get in it in the first place. However, for most of us who have parents who are also stuck in the rat race, this is almost impossible, even inevitable. But now that you’ve realized what situation you are in, then you should identify the reasons why you are still staying in the rat race.
Most people are stuck in the rat race because it provides a false sense of security. Here are some reasons why you feel secure in your current job and why you can’t seem to get out of your current lifestyle.
- Your job offers you a monthly income that provides you the money each month to support yourself and your family’s needs.
- You want to keep up your government contributions to ensure that you get the maximum amount as pension when you retire.
- You have a dream job in mind but you are putting it on the shelf while you are in your current job because (a) it doesn’t fit in with your current job, (b) it will take special training which you don’t have the money or the time to spare and (c) it is not guaranteed that you will succeed in it.
- You want to start a business but there are so many things to do and to learn and you have to raise the funds before you can start.
- You want to create extra income but you don’t have the time to work on a sideline, or you have a sideline but it’s taking so much effort to earn just a little.
- You want to volunteer or support a charity but you don’t have the time or you don’t have extra money left on your monthly budget.
- You have plans to get a house and/or a car in the future but you have to take care of tuition fees first, loans and other expenses.
There are many more that can be added to this list and these thoughts have surely crossed your mind at one time or another as you contemplate on how to change your life for the better.
One common factor in these thoughts or excuses is fear. Fear of failure, fear of being humiliated if you try to get that dream job, fear of failing the expectations of family and friends, fear that things won’t work out in the end, fear that you will end up worse than before. These fears had been instilled in us by our parents and by their parents before them, about how we should live our life.
Fear stems from doubts and the best way to combat doubt is to stop it right at the start. Your doubts grow into fears and your fear of what if’s is what paralyses you from doing something to change your situation.
Start Getting Yourself Unstuck
Most of us adults have lost our curiosity as children by the time we start working. This is an important component to learning new things. The best way to combat doubt and fear is to educate yourself and your loved ones on what options you have to get yourselves out of the rat race.
Even while working on your current jobs, you can start educating yourself by learning from those who have already succeeded.
You can start incorporating the Morning Habits of Highly Successful People into your daily routine and to start managing your finances better, learn and apply a budgeting system and adjust the percentages according to your current situation until you have successfully perfected the system.