The Rat Race: 5 Ways to Escape and Live in Abundance

The Race

1. What is the rat race? 

We’ve all had a rat problem or know someone who has. 

When we set traps to catch them, they end up competing with each other to get to the cheese first. 

Upon reaching the cheese they realize the price they have to pay is too large.  

Just as the rats compete for cheese, we too fight to get ahead in life.  

Societal norms require us to go to college for four years to get a decent job. 

Then we spend the rest of our lives paying off student loans, cars, and mortgages. 

We just earn and spend every day until we get too old to do it.  

In this rat race of life, we overwork ourselves for rewards that don’t seem to be worth it. 

 upskilling yourself

2. Why has it become the norm?

The sad thing about the rat race is that 90% of the population is stuck in it

Questioning this way of life is considered strange. 

Certain factors play a role in creating this norm.

2.1. Education system

The education system is forcing people into this race.

It’s believed that education is key, and while that may be true, it can also be a downfall. 

From kindergarten, we are taught to follow a set of rules and are given the blueprint of what our lives should look like.

The last decade has seen some of the biggest advancements in technology, yet we’re still living according to rules set out before we were born. 

It’s a limiting belief that education has to be so structured. 

People are learning every day by attending the school of life but they don’t put those skills to good use. 

This brings us to the second factor that keeps us tied down. 

2.2. Mindset

We are what we think. 

Every thought and feeling becomes our reality. 

It’s difficult for people to step out of the rat race because they don’t know what will happen when they do.

The truth is we grow up not believing in and loving ourselves enough. 

We’d rather spend our lives working hard to make someone else’s company a success

We’ve all heard of people who made it big by doing something different,  but these people seem too far away from us. 

We’re scared of failing

Who would pay our bills then? 

I recently came across a post asking people what’s the one thing they would wish for if they had a magic lamp. 

Amidst all the heartwarming comments about ridding the world of war and disease, there was someone who simply wished they didn’t have to pay bills anymore

Well, escaping paying bills altogether may not be possible, but you can reach a state where it doesn’t have to cause you stress. 

It just requires some effort

2.3. Lack of Effort

Anyone living an abundant life will tell you it didn’t just happen for them. 

They made it happen. 

The idea of being your own boss appeals to many but the work that comes with it may not. In the beginning, you might have to put in more effort than you did as an employee.  

The way to solve this is to pick something you love. 

When you’re putting effort into a project you’re excited about, it doesn’t feel like work. 

Create a product or service that solves a problem you’ve experienced at some point.

When you truly leave the rat race, waking up on Mondays will bring the biggest smile to your face. 

If you’re ready to start working towards the best part of your life, keep reading

If not, well maybe you could give the lottery a try.  

3. 5 Ways you can escape the rat race

Overcoming the factors that keep us trapped is vital. 

Here are practices to help you get out of the rat race. 

And give your life the kick start it needs.

3.1. Spend wisely

Some of the expenses that weigh us down are unnecessary

We often buy things based on what others have or what society tells us we need. 

It’s important to keep track of our finances

I know no one likes to do this, but drafting a rough Income vs Expenses statement each month will go a long way.

Combine this with a list of your goals

Have you always wanted to travel? 

Why not cut down on some of the subscriptions you don’t use, and start planning your dream holiday. 

3.2. Passive income

Earn money on the side

Earn money on the side

Additional income sources. 

To have more money, we need to earn more money. 

Lots of people think working more than one job means you will have no time to sleep. 

But that doesn’t have to be the case. 

There are ways for you to make money easily without putting in so many hours. 

Great suggestions to generate passive income are: 

Most of these options are inexpensive and have the potential to bring in lots of money.   

3.3. Start saving  

Start saving

It’s never a good feeling knowing you only have a few dollars left in your bank account. 

And sadly this is the reality of many, even those with high paying jobs.  

People are living paycheck to paycheck

This works out fine, until unforeseen expenses pop-up and leave you stranded. 

Short or long term savings will cover rainy days and reduce stress. 

They can also provide the start-up capital you need to go out and create your own business.

Here are some ways to help you start saving today:

  • Open a savings account
  • Certificate of deposit (CD) - higher interest rates than savings accounts
  • Investment products (stocks or mutual funds) 

3.4. Start your own business

Start your own business

Work flexible hours and determine your income. 

The best way to leave the race is to become your own boss. 

It may sound intimidating but starting a business can be very rewarding. 

To be successful in this venture, you need to decide what it is you want to do and give it your all. 

Some questions that will help you get started are:

  • How much money and time do I have to invest?
  • What problem will my product or service fix?
  • Who is my target market?
  • How will I get them interested?
  • Will my business be online or offline?
  • What additional skills can I obtain to grow my business?

Once you have an idea of what you want to do, you can create a business plan and set it into motion. 

These days online businesses are more popular (and successful) than brick-and-mortar stores. 

If you’re ready to become a gamechanger, check out these tips for launching your online business

3.5. Investing 

Make money off your money

Make money off your money

Investments can bring major financial freedom and they don’t require as much effort as the other options (just a supply of cash). 

It does however require some smarts and a waiting period for your money to grow. 

When it comes to investing, people take different approaches. 

Some people invest in everything while others choose a specific market. 

Either way, there is always a bit of risk involved, but you can minimize that by investing wisely. 

If you’re completely new to investing, mutual funds might be a good option. In this situation, you pool your money with other investors. 

The fund managers then buy securities for the group. 

Some good investments in 2021 include:

  • S&P 500 index funds - The markets leading corporates like Walmart
  • Nasdaq 100 index funds - The best tech companies such as Apple and Amazon
  • Government bonds - mutual funds that invest in debt security given out by the U.S government

If done correctly investments could be your ticket out of the rat race. 

4. Why it’s important to get out of the rat race

Getting out of the rat race will benefit you financially but that’s not the only gain. 

Breaking free from the shackles of society creates inspiration that others can do the same. 

This is important for the future of our world as we need more creators and fewer followers.  

We also need to develop a culture of stress-free living, after all, we created money, it didn’t create us. 

5. Conclusion

Acknowledging you’re in this rat race is the first step to leaving it behind. 

Being able to read this post means you’re a part of the species with the most power. 

The limitations that hold us in place are more often than not created by ourselves. 

After reading this article the first thing you should decide is whether you’re happy with your current job. 

If you are, then you simply need to make a bit more money or cut down on some of your spending

If you’re unhappy, then it might be time to consider starting your own business

Wherever your path leads you, always remember you aren’t alone. 

We live in an age where information is easily and freely accessible

So go out and live the life you want to be living. 

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