I think it was about 15 years ago when I first heard about the rat race. In case you haven’t heard of it yet, the rat race is the term used to describe the never ending, pointless circle that humanity runs in. It’s mostly used to illustrate the endless pursuit of employees for their monthly salaries.
If my memory serves me correctly, I believe I read it in one of Robert Kiyosaki’s books, most probably Rich Dad Poor Dad and it struck me immediately. I’m in a rat race!
You see, I never was a long-term corporate slave perhaps because I never liked the idea of someone taking control of my time. I was always a rebel even during the months where I worked for a company in an actual office, you know the typical day-in-day-out routine of commuting to work, work, commuting back home thing. Even during those days, I’d take control of my time, eating early for lunch, coming back to work a bit later than most. I however made sure that I get the job done, sometimes earlier than the expected deadline. I just hated someone taking control of my time.
You see that’s the thing, the rat race – we trade our time for some sort of compensation, mostly money, even if we’re not compensated enough. Time flies by and soon 10, 20, 30 years have passed and it’s time to retire and still you see yourself far from your retirement goals.
Bummer… right? So what do we do? We try to get out of the rat race the moment we see ourselves in it, figuring out that we really can’t get any further if we just run in circles.
But how? The most obvious answer is to build a business. So we do just that.
We build a business and we feel somehow freed from the rat race. We enjoy it, we love it, we live in it, we become proud of it. I know, I’ve been there.
But after a while of running I circled back to where I was. Weird, I thought, I should have made progress. I know I ran longer this time but why was I back to where I started?
There’s only one answer. I did get out of the rat race only to end up in a bigger one! The bigger rat race where the self-employed, the sole proprietors, the partners run.
And what happens when I get out of this rat race? If logic serves then I’d most likely just end up in a bigger one, more room to run, more views to see, more experiences to go through but it’s still a rat race, only in a bigger circle with bigger more vicious rats.