The Rat Race Explained – Life’s Financial Trap

The Rat Race Explained – Life’s Financial Trap


The Rat Race Explained: Life’s Financial
Trap The rat race starts sometime after you are
done with college. You get your first job which pays decently
enough to allow you to buy your college dreams. For some, the first dream would have been
to get a 72-inch plasma TV or a 152-inch one, if you are a big dreamer. So you buy your TV. Next dream on the list might be a car. So you get yourself a functional car as you
wait to buy the car of your dreams. At work, you grind harder; get a promotion
and a salary raise. This means that you can now afford to move
to a slightly more expensive and fancier house so you do. On and on it goes, having a dream, working
hard, fulfilling the dream then moving on to the next big dream. Wikipedia defines the rat race as, “an endless,
self-defeating or pointless pursuit.” It is usually comprised of a lot of competitiveness
and comparison. The competition to get ahead of others at
the workplace or in business is usually endless. When you get to defeat your peers and get
out of the cubicle, your peers change. You and your new peers (Who own offices like
you now do) all strive to get the corner office. You win again and get the corner office. The stakes are then raised, and you look at
the floor above you. This competition goes on all the way to the
top floor where the board sits. This journey of competition with no particular
end in sight is the rat race. To help us get some perspective, I’d like
you to meet Steve and Angela. Steve and Angela were in the same class in
college. Both of them loved playing around with numbers
ever since they were kids, so it came as no surprise when they found themselves in the
same business class. College was a mixture of hard partying during
the weekends and a couple all-nighters when the school work piled up. Neither of them worked particularly hard in
class, but they kept up with their school work and managed to get decent grades. A couple of evenings a month, Angela, Steve
and some of their other friends would meet up and play scrabble while having heated political
discussions. These nights were tremendously enjoyed by
each of them and were usually the highlight of their months. Fast forward, they graduate college, get decent
jobs and with without realizing it, slowly creep into the rat race. Of course, as most college friends do, they
promised to always keep in touch with each other, which they did by having monthly scrabble
games. For a while, they would meet up at least once
a month, play a few games and share fond memories of their college days. But after a few months, Chris stopped coming
because his girlfriend got pregnant. Due to the coming baby, Chris had to work
overtime to make more money in order to cater for the expected increased expenditure. Children aren’t cheap. Also, Julie got promoted and had to move to
another city. Soon after, Steve got a girlfriend, and after
a year dating, he proposed to his girlfriend and got married. At work, he put in quite a bit of consistent
effort which resulted in a promotion. Steven used to own an old beaten up Toyota
corolla, and Since he couldn’t drive around in a beaten-up second-hand car with the new
“Department Head” title at work, he got a new car and sold the old one. His wife got pregnant and they had to move
to a bigger house in preparation for the little one. The monthly scrabble game was long forgotten,
as he was now playing in the game of life. He got a mortgage, he got a second car, he
set up college fund for the kids, and he kept telling himself he needed to start investing
in stocks. Every year expenses magically gets higher,
Steven kept saying and complaining, and so he had to work even harder at work to make
more money. On the other hand, Angela never got around
to settling down. For her, getting ahead in her career was everything. When she got out of college, she realized
how much time she had wasted doing what she considered trivial things. Therefore, she planned her days to the minute,
ensuring that she made the most out of each day. Advancing in her career wasn’t that hard
for Angela, actually it came relatively easy to her, due to the amount of self-discipline
she had instilled in herself. So up the ladder, she moved, beating department
heads for the managerial job, then other managers for the managing director position, and soon
she moved to a different company for a higher-paying job. Let it not be said that she did not have friends:
she did, and she appreciated their company, but she did not spend much time with them. It was, therefore, hard for her to sustain
any other relationships away from work. Twenty years after college, Steve was sitting
in his car, preparing to go into a meeting, when he felt all the weariness of the rat
race crashing onto him. His marriage was on the rocks, considering
how much time he spent at work. He loved his kids to bits, but never really
spent time with them. He was advancing in his career, that’s for
sure, and his investments were paying off. Still, he wasn’t happy. He had thought that by making a lot of money,
driving a fancy car, and ensuring that his kids got the best in life would make him happy. Instead, he was tired: tired of trying to
get ahead with no end in sight, tired of doing the same repetitive job over and over again. He just wanted to be back in their small college
room, getting wasted, playing scrabble and trashing Plato. In that car, at that moment, Steve called
his scrabble squad and planned for a meet-up. A good number promised to show up, including
Julie, Angela, and Chris. Only Angela showed up. That night, their discussion was the rat race;
were they happy now that they had achieved almost everything they thought they would
by the time they left college? Could they see an end in sight? Was it pointless? Steve was frustrated; he felt that there was
a better way to do this than to go through the monotony of their current life. Angela was mostly resigned; she didn’t know
a different way of going about life that didn’t involve her power suits. The rat race fed her, clothed her, let her
go on her rare and expensive vacations and ultimately, made her as happy as it could. Getting out of Life’s Financial Trap
That night, when she got home, Angela decided that she would examine if there was a different
way to do things. Was there a point to advancing her career,
day in day out? She had come to absolutely hate her job and
its repetitive nature. After reading a couple books and going through
articles on some websites, she decided to see if she could improve the quality of her
life by getting out of the rat race. The Audit
First, she had to determine if she was in the rat race. There was no way she would get out of something
she hadn’t identified to be part of. So she asked herself three fundamental questions:
Is there an end in sight? No. Her advancement in her career was a continuous
and life-long process. Was her career and life in general characterized
by competition? Tremendously; it was the only way she could
get ahead. Was it characterized by comparison? Not so much, but there was enough of it to
be concerned. Alternatives
The next step was for Angela was to determine whether there are alternatives she could use
to make income. The rat race provided her bread and butter,
and by getting out of it, she needed to make income in another way. After brainstorming, she realized that apart
from numbers, she had no other skills. The only thing she liked was occasionally
drawing and painting, but that was it. The Exploration of the Alternative
How do you make money by drawing and painting? This is the question that Angela had to ask
herself as she explored this interest. As a solution, she decided to extend her work
hours at home. It does sound a little insane, working more
while trying to get out of the rat race. However, drawing and painting relaxed Angela. She felt good just doing something she was
exploring, and not necessarily depending on to make her income. Therefore, even though she spent a ridiculously
amount of time on her day job, she looked forward to winding down at the end of it. At the same time, she explored the different
ways she could turn this passion into an income-generator. Ultimately, by mixing her day up with an activity
that wasn’t geared towards making money or getting ahead, Angela was slowly getting
out of the rat race. Needs versus Luxuries
In order to stop fully depending on her day job, Angela had to determine what she needed
and drop luxuries she didn’t need. Her vacations had to be of a reasonable cost,
her clothes functional and she didn’t particularly need a chauffeur when she could drive. By cutting down on these luxuries and concentrating
on her needs, her income need lowered, hence making it easy for her to ultimately leave
her job. Steve could not get out of the rat race: his
fears of the loss of income, his competitive nature and his need to be like his peers worked
against him. Maybe, he told himself, he would retire to
a small fishing village on some coast and be happy once he was done with all this. On the other hand, Angela bid her time, changing
small aspects of her life and knowing that happiness is not a future goal: it is to be
achieved now. Fast forward, two years later. Angela leveraged her corporate contacts and
started her own design studio, and school, which she runs and manages. She isn’t profitable quite yet, but in a
few months, she’s projecting to become profitable. By that time, she will either have the choice
to either run the business or hire someone else to run it for her. Essentially Angela would have escaped the
rat race and can finally start living life on her own terms. This is just a simple example of what a lot
of people face in the world today. Most people will unfortunately have to slave
away most of their prime years working for a paycheck. But you don’t necessarily have to follow
this path. Thanks to the internet, every day, more and
more people are starting online business, in the form of ecommerce store, blogs, social
media influencers, affiliate marketers and the list goes on and on… It’s time you take your financial future
into your own hands. Thank you guys so much for watching. Please like, subscribe, comment, and if you
liked this video, please do share it. With that said, I will see you in the next
one.

34 thoughts on “The Rat Race Explained – Life’s Financial Trap

  1. this is what i do too, but always search a mentor that already walked that path and knows what do and avoid. all rich people did, search for people that are more intelligence at there business, you can learn and grow for yourself and your online business

  2. I've wasted my 20s working between various crappy jobs, which is slowly taking a toll on me. Now in my 30s broke as hell and still working a crappy job. I can't keep living like this! Things are going to change for the better. I'm going to work for myself. If I would've known this in my 20s like I know now, I would've been better off. It's never too late.

  3. When I was in high school, the song "Peace of Mind" by Boston spoke to me. There's a stanza which goes "Climbing to the top of the company ladder / You hope it doesn't take too long / Can't you see there'll come a day when it don't matter / Come a day when you'll be gone? / I understand about indecision / But I don't care if I get behind / People living in competition / All I want is to have my peace of mind." This sentiment has strongly influenced my life. I chose as a career to be an English as a Second Language teacher. I have spent much of my life traveling and working around the world as a teacher. I have lived in several different regions of the world, and experienced life from the viewpoints of people from other cultures. I'm very glad that I never joined the 'rat race'. While I have never gotten rich (monetarily or status-wise), I am pleased with what I have done with my life. I have my "Peace of Mind" and I think that's what counts the most. 🙂

  4. Lessons learned: The rat race leads to burnout. Enjoy the best things in life while you can. Work hard, play harder.

  5. The topic was explained really well (starting from the basic definition- which is the best way according to me) & all in all a pretty good video 👌👍

  6. So basically….

    Invest or at least don't overspend
    Monetize your hobbies/make your own business
    Don't have a family, since that'll kind of get in a way (bloody steve afraid to not be able to pay his children's tuition, filthy casual)
    Leverage the connections you'll build in a life you hate (as if Sarah is going to make a decent living with her freaking portraits; what, you'll join the queue of art degree baristas working at Starbucks?)

    Overall, I don't think the video was that helpful or had a strong point that actually drove something home. Overly simplistic and/or optimistic

    Could have been 30 sec and said: Invest in assets or make your own business and would have gone to the same point

  7. The problem is that in capitalism countries you are in the rat race even if you keep your expenses to minimum.
    The rent goes up every year, the grocery prices go up every year and so is everything else.
    So the system is there to keep you in the rat race, so the business leaders get richer and to keep you in the bottom.

  8. What if you don't have a talent that can bring in profit? What if you aren't business savvy? Then what? The video overall was good but for someone like me I would have no idea how to start my own business

  9. 1: Be modest , spend only on needs not luxuries
    2: Have some fun every day, socialize , travel and spend time in nature
    3: Try to be enterpreneur , work only for yourself, not for the others
    4: Invest extra money

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