March 5, 2009, 6:00 am

We are nothing but slaves in the rat race

by: The Financial Blogger    Category: Alternative Income,Career
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We are in the middle of the night and I am still sitting in front of my computer in my basement. The music is loud but it’s okay. Kids are sleeping tight and they won’t notice their dad is still awake. Why the hell am I awake? Sometimes I wonder. Do I even work on something right now? Nope. I’m simply wondering around, listening to music, trying to get my head clear for tomorrow.

I just can’t go to sleep right now. There is so much going on in my head; my MBA, my job (the market drop a few other percent down the toilet today again), my company, my every thing. While I am not worried about anything, regardless if I’m so behind in my MBA work, regardless if the market crashes (there is always be a need for financial planner anyway 😉 ), regardless if I’m missing time to accomplish what I want with my company. I’m just wondering what I am doing; awake in the middle of the night… again.

This is the new modern life. 50 years ago, people used to wake up with the sunrise and sweat all day to get the labor done. They used to go to sleep at night, knowing that tomorrow will be exactly the same as today. Are we so different? Did anything changed?

We are now waking up earlier than ever, getting stuck in the traffic, working all day with our brains trying to find solutions to problem other human beings created. We get home at night and we are still working (thank to the Black Berry, Internet and the marvellous possibility of bringing work at home!). Are we getting anything out of this? “A nice retirement plan and a bonus at the end of the year so you can bring your kids to Disney World” your boss may say. Unfortunately, the bonus was not as high as expected this year (and you should pray to get one in 2009!). As of the retirement plan… well, look at the news, idiots!

This is what some people call the rat race. I should actually be grateful since I get a nice education and I am able to afford the rat race “deluxe”. But in the end, I’m still a stupid little beast with red eyes running from one piece of cheese to another. Stupid rat race!

Is there a way to get out of this rat race?

Getting out, yeah that sounds like an idea… If you get a rat and you put it in a cage, what are its options? Trying to work out its life around the parameters you gave it; labyrinths, test, and cheese. This is the rat race we are all stuck in it. But… there is a way out. You can get out.

How? By making a breech into one of these walls, walls that were created by our education, by our economic system, by our politicians. Make the breech by starting to work for yourself. Get out of the rat race once and for all.

Unfortunately, this requires sacrifice. As long as you are in that rat cage, you will still have to play the rules, and dig at night. This is why I am still awake in the middle of the night. I do not want to play the rat race anymore. Next week, I’m taking one week off (yeah, from my own vacation days) in order to work on my stuff. Trying to open the breech and look outside for once.

We are nothing but slaves in the rat race today, but it’s up to us to change our futures.

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Comments

I don’t see it that way though. I am not feeling being in a rat race! Few people like the rat race concept, because they think it’s a normal and accepted part of modern life…

ok taking one week off from your own vacation days can be frustrating. but success takes the sacrifice. when the MBA will be done, you will be grateful and proud of yourself! You will have to find a balanced lifestyle. you will enjoy your work! you will have more time to spend with your wife, kids and friends!

by: The Financial Blogger | March 5th, 2009 (9:46 am)

Hey OneDay,
my point is the following:
if you simply keep you day job (unless you are making more than 100K/year), you will work you whole life and depends on the market to retire at the age of 55… think again… 60?… nope…65? not even sure…. our generation (Y’s) will probably work until we are 70 if we don’t get off the rat race.

The MBA is now a requirement to keep my resume attractive in case of a job loss but I highly doubt it will give me a high paying job (with 80h work required per week). This is what I call the rat race. What is your hourly rate if you make 150K but you work 60 hours a week? $48 an hour… nothing incredible when you think about all the sacrifice you have to make! (you don’t do much outside work when you are working 60 hours a week)

Yes, I kind of agree in the sense that it is tough life to work for an employer your whole life if you cannot either:

1-Save money that will accumulate
2-Have a side project that can grow over the years…

But yes, I think it was the book “Rich Dad, Poor Dad” that talked about this concept and I can see how it can be a bit depressing to think about it this way, but then again, if you don’t try to get out of the situation, you will wake up at 55 with no clear way how to retire and really enjoy your retirement…

I understand your point. But I’m not saying that life is easy, just that I don’t want to compare my life to a rat race and I don’t want to calculate how many hours I have to sleep, to eat, to go to the gym, to work, etc. That’s not my philosophy of life 🙂

Yes I do want to keep my day job. And If I would feel unfulfilled and miserable about my job, then I don’t mind to earn less money in a role that would make myself feel better!

Starting your own business can be another ways of escaping the rat race, but this is a road less traveled. Your MBA will not only keep your resume attractive but will be resourceful. You don’t see the benefits now but in the long term view you will be thankful to yourself.

I read an article about how many of the people who caused the Credit crunch had MBAs!

I know the feeling. You know that the objective is to get ahead but the short term necessity is to stay afloat.

Strangely enough, this blog might just be the breach in the wall you need. No, you are not going to get ahead directly by blogging; but by making alliances, reaching out to other bloggers and websites, and thinking well and hard about what you are writing you are already doing something 99% of the other rats are not.

Which means you are, at least, going in a different direction. And that’s a start.

I think you hit on the head. To get out requires sacrifice. Now how much are you willing to give up will directly determine how long it takes you to get out. The more you give up the early you can leave.

The other means is to re-design your life and figure out what works for you to achieve a more sane rat race balance in life. For me I NEED to write. It’s my outlet to keep my sanity in check without it I become bitter and grumpy.

Great post,
Tim

I don’t see it the way you are my friend. You’re thinking too much about “what if?” You can’t control the “what ifs” in life. Focus on “What I can” or more simply, what you can control.

When something is out of my hands, I wash my hands of it and move on. The more time you spend being distracted, the less you are doing that could work towards escaping the race.

[…] The Financial Blogger thinks we are nothing but slaves to the rat race. […]

Good post.

I recently had a very intriquing conversation with someone that is from a different part of the world, and he didn’t understand why the American rat-race mentality was so accepted.

To tell the truth, neither do I.

If we’re lucky, we work full time to basically pay off our debts. And for some people, retirement keeps getting pushed back.

Is this how we were meant to live? I don’t think so. Something has to change.

by: The Financial Blogger | March 11th, 2009 (9:12 am)

The David,
I agree with you. The sad part is that pressure is coming from every front: your friend, your family, your kids etc.
I went to see a show with my son and I was watching all those parents buying all kind of stupid craps related to the show at $25 a piece. While I didn’t buy anything (’cause I felt it was only stupid marketing pushing us to waste our money on something we don’t need), I felt somewhat bad about my son who was watching kids playing around with their toys.

I’m glad I didn’t buy anything as my son watched the show instead of playing with his toys. However, I still felt the pressure…

It’s hard, but we can get out of the rat race and stop buying everything we see 😉

[…] worry about any other stuff but their own job. It is a defendable point of view but you will never get out of the rat race like this ;-(. On the other side, it requires a lot of talent and other thing to make money online […]

[…] The Financial Blogger believes We are nothing but slaves in the rat race. […]

[…] my dad has been his own boss for the past 15 years. Me? I am one of those little rats stuck in the rat race deluxe. I certainly have a good sideline with my online company, but hey, I am still working for someone […]

[…] don’t consider myself a slave to the rat race, as Free From Broke puts it, but I know my and Mr. Saver’s survival depends on both of us […]

100% agree with the rat race. You all are slave to someone the higher then you. If you work for a company and happy good for you :). I’m making over 100K and still feel like a slave. Yeah the company owners work also but they can choose what days to come in and take many vacations a year. Worker only get 2 weeks 6 sick days and 5 death, Now tell me if somebody else don’t run your life, I took of days just to get a business started and it felt good living outside of the box waking up when I want to enjoying the week days. Different from only Sat and Sunday off. The world got you guys programed really good but not me. It takes a extra smart person to escape this game. Remember bosses set RULES not you. You in the RAT RACE.