At some point we all dream of leaving the ‘rat race’ behind us and sailing off into the sunset for a life that is stress free, relaxed and joyful. But is this even a reality with the way we live our lives?
We often refer to our lives being part of it, but most of us don’t ever stop to consider what the rat race actually means.
The term rat race came into colloquial use back in the 1930’s … that’s almost a century ago!
It was coined as a term to describe any exhausting, repetitive and often competitive activity that didn’t really have any benefit. It is supposed to represent two rats that are racing each other to get to a piece of cheese on the other side of a room.
More modern definitions of the term include things like people competing with each other over money and power, situations in life where the competition rises to severe levels and also frustrating, hard-to-break lifestyles.
It doesn’t really sound like something we need to have in our lives, does it?
So, why do we find ourselves trapped in situations that provide us with little more than unpleasant lives that require us to work way too hard for scraps of money and power, and that leave us significantly unwell and decidedly unhappy?
The answer is usually aspiration.
What we see often becomes what we covet. And we live in a highly visible world that constantly tells us all the things that we ‘should have’, ‘must have’, or ‘need to have’ for us to be successful.
It’s interesting to examine the way we’re locked in a battle for money and power – which, by the way, keeps us trapped in the rat race cycle – but we give our money and power away so willingly to advertising that is designed to trigger our fears of not keeping pace with the others in the same race.
It’s the equivalent of being trapped on a hamster’s wheel; we keep going around and around and around in the same way, and until we step off the wheel, we’ll never experience life differently.
Is it possible for a normal person to escape the rat race?
One word: YES!!
Despite what we’ve been taught by society about the way we’re ‘supposed’ to live, it absolutely is possible.
The best part about this excellent news is that you don’t have to wait for a traumatic event, or give up everything and move to the country or the seaside, or don cheesecloth, become a monk and meditate in a cave all day to leave the rat race behind you.
It’s really easy to blame the situation for you being entrenched in the rat race, but the truth is this: it’s about who you choose to be, and what you decide to align your life with, that determines how you experience each day.
There are simple and easy-to-do things that can make your life easier. It all starts with choosing to live your life differently.
Here are three super-practical and easily implemented steps to help get you started:
Step 1: Choose one thing you’d like to be simpler in your life. What’s one thing that causes you lots of stress and makes you constantly wish that you could make simpler? It doesn’t have to be a big thing – it might be something small that niggles at you constantly, and that getting rid of, or reducing, could make a big impact.
Step 2: Write down three simple things you can do to help you experience your life differently in relation to the thing you chose for Step 1. What are the three simplest steps you can take that will help you change the way this impacts your life? We can’t always change the things that are in our lives, but we can change how we interact with them, and the way that they impact our day.
Step 3: Choose when and how you will implement the first step on your list. How will you take the first step on your list in Step 2? Do you need to diarise it to make sure you’re reminded to get it done? Do you need to allocate time in your diary to make sure it gets airplay? What do you need to put in place so that you don’t push this to the back burner when life gets busy (as it always does)?
Often, the smaller the step you take, the easier it is to fit into your day without creating ripples. But never underestimate the power of taking a small step. Sometimes, it’s the simplest, easiest step that creates the most significant change.
Want more info on ways you can leave the rat race behind? There are loads of tips and practical information to help you work out what’s perfect for you in my books – you can buy your copy by clicking here.
You can also find loads of practical and easily implemented steps in the articles and videos in my FREE email series – it’s a great way to help you begin your journey. Simply click here to start you on your way.