This post was most recently updated on November 22nd, 2017
I always wanted to join the corporate ladder. I hated academics.
Now I enjoy teaching the most.
I enjoyed teaching even then. But I wanted to join corporate world because of money.
And now when I have tasted what it looks like, I again want to do something different.
Since that realization within a few years of joining the corporate ladder, I have continuously followed my interests and intuition.
I have not even once stopped myself from doing what I love whether it be investing money in something I know which will not give me return but I know will give me satisfaction.
Before I could even realize, I came to know that people with skill sets similar or even less than me are earning good by following their interests and doing work they love.
Now it’s just a matter of applying those tactics. I am still learning.
But one thing is sure. I am not in a rat race any more. The mindset has changed.
What is rat race?
According to Wikipedia, A rat race is an endless, self-defeating, or pointless pursuit. It conjures up the image of lab rats racing through a maze to get the “cheese” much like society racing to get ahead financially.
How to know if you are in a rat race?
You are more concerned about paycheck than the work they are doing.
You are more concerned about pleasing other people by sacrificing your own needs.
You are ready to work overtime just for sake of staying longer without providing any real value.
You want to earn more and more money to match others standard of living.
Why this happens?
As a child, you studied and worked hard because everyone told you.
You then graduated. But the reason behind education was still not clear.
You didn’t think that much because it was not necessary.
Then you started earning.
You started spending on things without any thinking.
You went into debt.
So you wanted to earn even more to get out of debt.
And this cycle of earning more and going into debt, you stopped enjoying the work you were doing.
But there is no choice.
You have no other options. You are stuck and trying to convince yourself that things are good and this is where you are meant to be.
But deep inside you know that something is missing.
You crave freedom more than money. You want to be more happy rather than stressing everyday about completing deadlines.
Why escape the rat race?
The saddest part for me was seeing so many of my friends who had dreams of things they wanted to do, but because of fear they worked for decades in jobs they hated.
Rather than chasing their dreams, they settled in jobs they did not enjoy.
“If you won the lottery and the first thing you would do is quit your job, then you need to quit your job.” – Dave Ramsey.
I could clearly see myself 20 years from now if I didn’t make any change. And trust me, it was scary and full of regrets.
I didn’t want my managers life.
So I just gave up few hours everyday (that I normally spent watching TV or gossiping) in doing something I loved. And since it was something that I enjoyed – it really didn’t feel like work at all.
I read a lot, went outside, met interesting people, attended events, watched informational videos instead of movies.
Most importantly, I motivated myself daily because I knew that without getting motivated to do something from inside, I won’t even take the first step.
And now, even if I go for a job daily, I am not working only for money, I don’t need to impress people I don’t know , I don’t buy stuff I don’t need.
I just do one thing.
I leave everything else.
And what I have realized by doing these things is…
Starting a business is cheap.
The reason everyone thinks starting a business is risky because of the mindset.
People think the way they are taught or have been influenced since childhood.
One of my mentors, Pardeep Goyal founded Cashoverflow blog out of his passion for finance and is generating enough revenue to help him quit his job and start a salary free life.
Another friend of mine has left a hefty yearly package and started a food venture. He started small with little money he had and is slowly generating revenue.
There are endless examples because times have changed.
You don’t need to start a brick and mortar store and lots of money. What you actually need is an open mind to see the possibilities and some courage.
I know there are a lot more people out there like me – who were called to do something, but were bound up by fear.
If that is you I encourage you to fight against it and try. We only have one life to live and we are responsible to use the gifts that God has given us.
You’ll always receive signs when you are ready to leave the rat race.
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Image credit: Pixabay.