I’m not particularly in love with the term ‘rat race’. It’s a phrase often used to define a frustrating, hard-to-break lifestyle. A lifestyle with heavy mortgages/rents, bills, children, and liabilities — a life which inevitably forces you to work as hard you can with no progress; a life that symbolizes a rat in a maze running a never-ending race.
Yet, as much as I hate the term’s connotation and the the individuals it’s usually associated with, the truth of the matter is that the possibility falling into a rat race is very much a reality.
There are people doing the same thing, day after day, committing their lives to everyone else’s dreams but their own, expecting different results. It’s a sad reality, but these people are indeed running a rat race.
Without real, clear-cut goals, a reevaluation of those goals, and intentional progression towards those benchmarks, it’s actually really easy to find yourself running in one of these nonproductive races going nowhere fast.
One of the reasons people get caught up in these fruitless cycles is because of the social norms they’ve subconsciously subscribed to. Through memes, social dialog, and other perceived “harmless” ideas we indirectly consume, we end up buying in to the the very habits that hold us back.
Here are four that you may not realize, but are causing you to run in place.
Simple math tells us that sleeping in should not be an objective of ours. There are 24 hours in a day, so if one expects to make any significant strides toward their goals, why would they compromise hours in bed, especially when they are hours we don’t need.
One of the most acclaimed researchers on sleep, Daniel Kripke, said in an interview that “people who sleep between 6.5 hr. and 7.5 hr. a night, live the longest, are happier and most productive”, which means we can survive just fine off of 5, if we’re being realistic.
It’s funny: we’ll sacrifice sleep for parties, concerts, work, and working out, but when it comes to dedicating those extra hours towards seeing our dreams come true, we just sleep in.
The second you realize that there are real, tangible steps that you can take everyday to make your wildest dreams come true, you’ll train your body how to operate on the bare minimum.
What’s the hype behind Fridays anyway? Friday’s are overrated. The idea that you’re to abandon all work responsibilities to, I guess have 48 hours of fun for the following two days, is absolutely absurd.
I’m not saying we shouldn’t enjoy a night out with our friends, nor am I condemning rest, but Saturdays are just as valuable as Tuesdays and Sundays are perfect for setting up your Mondays. There’s always something you can do to inch closer, don’t trap those opportunities in a five day window.
Mondays are sexy. Think of all the inspiration and motivation people have on New Year’s Day, think of all those resolutions. Now imagine bottling up that energy and being able to take a sip of it every Monday morning. How could that discourage you?
Going to a job you hate should push you to go get a job you love. And if you’re content going to a job that you have to drag your feet to get to, please do and want better for yourself.
How great would it be to look forward to Mondays? What if you were one of those people who lived in constant disbelief that they were getting paid for what they loved? Why couldn’t that be you? That’s what Monday should be or what we should aspire our Mondays to be.
There is probably no word in the English language I despise more. Boredom is disrespectful; it’s toxic, it’s a lie.
To be bored is to be finished. Done. And completion is something that, honestly, if we really think about it, is a destination we’ll never want.
There are retirees who after 50 years of work are still grinding. Billionaires and the fortunate few who’ve crossed off everything on their life’s to-do list don’t even get bored, so how can we?
I’m convinced that the only people who get bored are the ones who haven’t realized their purpose or are people who think they don’t deserve what their believed purpose is.
Boredom is literally an impossible state of mind when there’s something you’re working toward. That’s why you not only should never utter that four letter word, but we shouldn’t allow ourselves to be around anyone who does.
Not everyone working hard is going somewhere — unfortunately there are some of us running a race in vain. But you if you take a step back, acquire some self-awareness and dispel these social norms, you’ll be running a race that will eventually have a reward in return.