Getting Ahead - Escaping The Rat Race

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What is the "rat race" society has tried to prepare us for? "A rat race is an endless, self-defeating, or pointless pursuit.
" What is the first thing that comes to your mind when you think about rats? A hoard of rats scurrying int a hole? Maybe a mouse-wheel? Perhaps a maze? I think this is a great analogy that most people can relate to because many people are in fact just spending their days achieving nothing short of a paycheck.
For those who earnestly seek for new opportunities may eventually find a better way to live.
Some people give up because they don't believe in themselves and never realize their true potential.
Others take a chance knowing that the odds are stacked against them and create their own success anyway.
I've listed some broader steps you can take to escape the 9 to 5.
This may all seem self-centered but in order for you to help others you must first help yourself.
Investing in your own personal growth is what will enable you to be of value to others.
1.
Aim for what matters - Imagine your dream lifestyle and have a plan to achieve it.
My favorite philosopher Jim Rohn said profits are better than wages.
Wages can make you a living but profits can make you a fortune.
What would life be like if you went to work full-time on your fortune? In the rat race, people tend to go to their job just to pay their bills.
It isn't surprising that many people will work hard at their jobs for that 'cheese' because you are guaranteed a paycheck if you put in half of your day.
Most jobs will pay just enough to keep you from quitting.
The problem with entry-level positions is that there is a lot of competition which means there are many more people willing to take your spot.
If a person typically spends one third of their day at the office then their employer probably recognizes that they don't need that much money after all.
Why pay so much for rent when you are at the office more than you are at home? This gets even worse when a person has a spouse and children to look after.
2.
Who you associate with - There is an interesting thing called the law of association.
If the people who you associate with right now, aren't going to be there with you in 5 or 10 years in terms of your long-term plans, then you need to start associating with new people.
Find me a person who has no plan and I will find you someone who has planned to fail.
You can't always choose the situations you find yourself in but you can always choose your attitudes.
The law of association can be likened to growing up in a family that speaks multiple languages and you learn some along the way.
Your beliefs may be the sum total of your friends or family.
Nothing ventured nothing gained is an idiom that basically means if you don't try something you can't achieve what it can do for you.
If you never try singing you will never learn to sing.
If you never talk to strangers you will never meet someone new.
Jim Rohn once taught that you don't have to like meeting new people but you must like the opportunities that meeting someone new can bring.
That new person could be a friend for life, a business partner, a mentor, a source of inspiration, or even the gateway to more opportunities.
If you are a plumber you don't need to like plumbing but the opportunities that it provides for you.
3.
Don't settle - I think the rat race is just where people end up if they haven't been exposed to great ideas and ways of thinking.
If all you currently know is all you will ever know, how will you ever know more? What I've found is that the more I learn, the less I know.
I've come to the point where I feel like a complete idiot sometimes because of all the things I don't know.
The good news is that there are only a handful of things you really need to know.
What is most attractive about the rat race is the smokescreen of security in a guaranteed paycheck from trading time for money.
Yes, it is noble to pay your bills on time, but not having a backup plan is plain irresponsible and not a good idea.
Will Rogers said that good judgment comes from experience, and a lot of that comes from bad judgment.
4.
Thoughts become things - You are what you think you are and you become what you think.
If a person doesn't like what they are becoming they will have to stop doing the things taking them down that path.
It isn't enough to dislike something.
There needs to be a sense of urgency and action steps.
One of my favorite books that I've read and that has changed my life next to "Rich Dad Poor Dad" by Robert Kiyosaki or "Think and Grow Rich" by Napoleon Hill many years ago was "As A Man Thinketh" by James Allen.
I just want to warn you that it is quite expensive at around two dollars for the book but you can read this book over and over while learning something new each time.
A section from the Bible in Proverbs, chapter 23, verse 7 states: "As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he.
" Keeping this at the forefront of my mind helps increase my level of self awareness and self observation.
5.
We are a product of choice - We become what we buy into.
If we buy the advice of our friends, family, and people in society we also buy their lifestyle.
It doesn't make sense when someone claims that they 'want' to be rich yet only receive advice from other poor people.
Even stranger is how many people will gladly tell you why you can't be more, have more, or live more and we buy into that.
Have you ever had someone, maybe a parent or a friend tell you that something won't work for you simply because it didn't work for them? We see bad associations everyday in the conversations people typically have.
Acquaintances will tell you what you want to hear whereas friends will tell you what you need to hear.
People who join the army aren't told what they want to hear.
You won't see any of this: "It's OK private Bloggins, you can do your pushups later.
" People go to boot camp because they know it will make them stronger and more disciplined.
The military takes this approach because in war, your life depends on it.
But let's just say for reasons of "I don't want to be toxic towards my friends," rather than yell at them to do something, offer them your encouragement, unconditional love, and support.
Lilly Tomlin has said, "The trouble with the rat race is that even if you win, you're still a rat.
" Don't spend your time arguing with other rats because you will become on.
Use what time you have (we all have 24 hour days) to do what is going to create the best outcomes which are going to produce the best results.
6.
Have a goal to be financially free - Money does play an important role in our lives.
The majority of domestic issues will have something to do with money.
If you yourself are drowning in debt what could you offer someone else also drowning in debt? Money is simply a tool.
It isn't evil.
But there are some people who do bad things with money.
When money is no longer an obstacle, you can be of good service to others.
I once read a book by Rick Warren called 'The Purpose Driven Life.
" You don't have to believe in God to get value from it.
Ever since I encountered those pages I've never looked at money in the same way.
Money has never been and will never be the thing that drives me.
Each one of us will die someday and won't take any material goods with us.
At the end of the day I want to be able to say that I did the best I could in the time I was given.
7.
Slow down to move fast - If people move forward in a circle they will just end up back where they started.
That is the system most people plug into.
This is the 'rat race' or hamster wheel.
It doesn't matter how far ahead a person gets because they end up doing the same thing over and over just spinning the wheel.
Some one once said to me they were so busy with work that they didn't have time to attend a time management seminar with me.
Regardless, I went to that seminar and will as a result have more time for the rest of my life.
Also, if you work from home and haven't read "The 4-Hour Workweek" by Tim Ferris it is a good read.
Leverage what you can.
One of the great things about the network marketing model is the ability to leverage the small amount of effort of thousands of people which is far more powerful than trying to do everything on your own and getting nowhere in the process.
Trying to do everything alone is like trying to win first place in a team sport without a team.
You don't need to like being part of a team (I wasn't fond of it at first) but I still appreciated the comparative results.
Imagine if there were 5, 10, or even thousands of you contributing to your income rather than just yourself.
By the way, if you are the only one who ever contributes to your own income how can you ever stop working? My grandmother was still working into her 80′s.
When she stopped working she stopped getting paid (despite all the years she put in).
Look up the cash-flow quadrant and see why being in the B quadrant is ideal for financial and time freedom.
8.
To succeed, help others succeed - I like the quote by Zig Ziglar "you can have everything in life you want, if you will just help other people get what they want.
" A fulfilling career for me and maybe for you is one that brings meaning and is aligned with my core values.
You shouldn't have to bend your values in order for a career to be fulfilling.
If you do then it probably isn't a fulfilling career.
Perhaps you were raised a certain way and were led to believe that too will be your reality.
Your fate does not have to be dictated by the vision someone else has for you.
Just don't buy it.
If you are going to ask a person for their advice first consider where they will be in 10 years time.
Will they be able to take an entire year off to travel the world while still getting paid because of work they put in before? Will they be able to drive the cars they want and live in their ideal home? Will they be able to retire their grandparents? Will they be able to be at every birthday party, sporting event, and other milestone in their children's life? Interestingly the reason why most people never get started is because they buy the advice of their friends family or neighbors.
If you don't want to end up like the 97% who fail, just refuse to do what 97% of people do which is take the advice of said people as real because it isn't.
Get around positive thinkers and mentors whether it be from a book, audio, cd, video, or person that has a better vision for you than others.
There are people who have a clear-cut vision for you that the negative people in your life may not have.
This doesn't mean avoid friends and family because those are important.
Your faith in what you believe should come before anything.
Your family should come second followed lastly by your finances.
Keep your priorities in this order and you may start making better decisions.
Your level of faith is not predetermined but something that can (and should) be worked on daily.
9.
Lead others to a greater end - I believe that a leader is someone who can get people to do things that they otherwise would not have done.
A good leader can be one that takes you to a better place and brings out the best in you.
There are also bad leaders and these are the ones who have a high level of influence but don't believe you can succeed.
Ways to spot a bad leader: They lack a clearly defined vision.
They are the ones who don't first lead themselves (leading by example).
They refuse to read because they are a know it all.
They have a 'my way or the highway' mentality and lack the ability to see things from another persons perspective.
They lack accountability, are not fully invested, are comfortable, unfocused, and most importantly, they lack courage.
Courage is doing what most people are afraid to do.
Actively seeking ways to be different, accepting the harsh criticism, and doing it anyway.
It is one thing for someone to go on Shark Tank or Dragons Den and get name-called by successful people; and an entirely different story to be ridiculed by people who are too cowardly to even pursue their dreams.
One of the greatest compliments to a leader is "I like me best when I'm with you.
" If you want to develop other leaders, treat them like leaders.
On the flip-side, treat a person like a rat and they will behave like a rat.
There is no joy in being the head rat.
John Maxwell said that to become a leader start by leading yourself.
Before anyone follows you they must first buy into you as a leader and only then will they buy your vision.
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