Advertising

Published on January 13, 2022

How to Escape the Rat Race And Live the Life You Actually Desire

Advertising
How to Escape the Rat Race And Live the Life You Actually Desire

As we come to the beginning of another new year, our thoughts race with the possibilities that come from accomplishment and creating a better life. New Year’s Resolutions are thought of in somewhat of a negative light because of people’s lack of consistency. However, it’s essential to set goals if you desire to live an intentional and successful life.

One goal to consider is how you’ll wake up and spend your “working” time. The reality is that each of us has bills to pay, and you’ll need a 9-5 or a business to generate income. Sadly, money can’t be grown on trees.

Work tends to be where most people spend a significant amount of their time. The statistics tell us that a good portion of human beings aren’t satisfied and often hate what they do for work—they’re stuck in the rat race.[1]

Spending that much of your time stuck in something that doesn’t bring you fulfillment will negatively affect every other area of your life one way or another. The rat race is real and keeps too many people from living the life they desire. Your work consumes your energy and makes you feel helpless when you’re stuck in the rat race.

If this is going to be the year that you accomplish your goals, live out your dreams, and do more than you thought possible, you’ll need to understand how to escape the rat race and live the life you actually desire.

No matter who you are, what you’ve been through, or where you currently are in life, you can escape the rat race. Anyone can live the life they desire with a plan, focused effort, and hunger to escape the rat race.

Here are five strategies anyone can learn, understand, and utilize to escape the rat race and live the life they desire. Everything you want is possible with focus, consistency, and commitment to become the best version of yourself.

Advertising

1. Acknowledge Your Current Position

You can’t move forward in life if you’re not clear where you currently are so that you can know how far you are from where you want to go. You can learn how to escape the rat race when you first understand that your current circumstance is not where you have to stay.

Are you working a job you hate? Are you building a business in a way that doesn’t feel in alignment for you? Do you dread waking up each morning because your day is going to be filled with other people’s priorities?

Be brutally honest with yourself about where you are now. Get clear on:

  • What you like about what you do for a living;
  • What you dislike about how you spend your working time;
  • How you spend a majority of time each day (do a time audit);
  • What holds your attention;
  • And how much you’re fully present in your life.

2. Map Out the Ideal Elements You Want in Your Life

With clarity on where you are, it’s time to experience what could be the fun part of the process—get clear on what life on the other side of the rat race looks like. If you’re going to escape the rat race, you need to be intentional about the life you desire.

Take a piece of paper (or software) and start writing out each element of the life you desire to live. Be specific about:

  • How you want to spend your time each day;
  • How you want to generate an income;
  • Who gets part of your time and why;
  • What elements of fun do you want to experience more of;
  • Where in the world you’d like to explore;
  • And your challenge goals that may include things such as learning a new language or skill.

You can escape the rat race when you commit to and take action on living a life most people are afraid to pursue. You can live an incredible life when you’re willing to get clarity and map out goals that help you become the best version of yourself in every aspect of your life.

With clarity on your current position and a blueprint for what your ideal life looks like, set realistic but ambitious goals. The mapping process provides the overall picture to set specific goals that help you escape the rat race.

Advertising

3. Cut Out What No Longer Serves You

One of the more challenging parts of escaping the rat race is letting go of people, circumstances, and situations that no longer serve you. The growth process requires the shedding of excess baggage.

You should be connected to the people and situations that support the forward direction you’d like to move to. You’ll never learn how to escape the rat race if you have one foot tied to what’s kept you comfortable in the past. You have to let go to move boldly into the life you want to live.

Escaping the rat race is a hard enough task on its own. It becomes increasingly more complicated when you allow stress and the limiting beliefs of others to impact your decisions. Let go of what doesn’t serve your forward movement and desire for growth.

It’s a freeing feeling to be free of misalignment and surrounded by inspiration. Your circle, relationships, and what you put into your mind will either help or hurt your journey to escape the rat race and live the life you desire.

4. Use Your Expertise, the Internet, and Social Media to Increase Your Value

The Internet, social media, software, and access to information create excellent opportunities whether you’re a lifelong career professional or desire to be an entrepreneur.

You spend the majority of your time doing some form of work. You can leverage the opportunities today to make the most money in the best and healthiest way for you.

You have knowledge and life experience. The things you know are valuable to companies or other humans. You can take your knowledge and turn it into a fantastic career or build a business around it.

Advertising

Now, no one can make this decision for you. During your mapping out ideal elements phase, you should clarify whether you want a better job, a raise, start a business, or transition your current business.

No matter which income model you decide is suitable for you, the use of thought leadership and content can help you increase your value to a company or customers. The idea is to take the knowledge you have, around the topics you’re interested in and can talk about with authority, and create videos, written posts, and or audio content. You educate, demonstrate expertise, and build attention.

You don’t have to be a content or social media machine like Gary Vaynerchuk. You create value on your terms and in a way that feels good to you.

As you add value online, you get attention from consumers. As your attention grows, so does your following. With a group of people following, you create an asset that can be leveraged for an employer or turned into a consumer base for your business.

Income growth follows the value provided. Social media and the Internet offer an outlet to add value by sharing your knowledge, expertise, and experience through content.

Leverage the available opportunities to show your company why you deserve a raise, a young man who did just that and showed it on TikTok. He leveraged thought leadership and content to show Walmart his value and has now escaped the rat race.

You can also decide to start a business and do so with fewer costs. You can use Squarespace to build a website with tutorials from YouTube (all free). Keep this website simple with information on who you are, what you teach, and what you offer for sale.

Advertising

In this digital information age, you can package your knowledge into digital information products, which require far fewer expenses to create. It is possible to build the foundation of a thriving business for under five hundred dollars. You can bootstrap and go to YouTube university to learn what you don’t know.

You can take what you do, enjoy learning and talking about, and turn it into a better working situation or a bonafide business.

Use content and thought leadership to grow your revenue if you have a business. With growing revenue, you can decide what elements of the business no longer serve you. It provides options.

5. Consistency, Focus, and Work

You have all the foundational elements to put in the work and live the life you desire. At the end of the day, your level of success will be directly tied to the effort you put into it.

One of the reasons why people don’t escape the rat race is because they don’t consistently put in the focused work. You will escape the rat race when you have a hunger to escape—the life you want to live demands it.

Focus allows you to not give in to distractions when they arise, and they will. Consistency gets you closer to the ideal elements you mapped out. Everything you desire and the path to escape the rat race are on the other side of consistency.

Final Thoughts

You’ve waited long enough to stop putting every other priority and person before yourself. It’s time to self-prioritize your growth and commit to escaping the rat race in every sense.

Advertising

You deserve to live the life you desire, and you can if you’re willing to work for it. Create more money, abundance, time freedom, and exciting experiences by using these strategies to escape the rat race.

More Tips on How to Escape the Rat Race

Featured photo credit: Amos Bar-Zeev via unsplash.com

Reference

More by this author

Kimanzi Constable

Author of "Are You Living or Existing?" Writer who helps people live a one-percent life.

How to Escape the Rat Race And Live the Life You Actually Desire Understand the Difference Between Goals and Objectives to Advance Your Career What Is Intentional Living (And How To Live Intentionally) How to Find Motivation to Achieve Your Goal After a Setback Why Making Yourself a Priority Boosts Your Productivity

Trending in Meaning of Life

1 Where Am I Going? How to Put Your Life in Context 2 Understanding the 5 Stages of Life Can Help Navigate Hard Times 3 How to Escape the Rat Race And Live the Life You Actually Desire 4 What Is the Meaning of Life? A Guide to Living With Meaning 5 What Is Life About? How to Find Your Meaning in Life

Read Next

Advertising
Advertising

Last Updated on January 14, 2022

Where Am I Going? How to Put Your Life in Context

Advertising
Where Am I Going? How to Put Your Life in Context

Are you wondering…

Where am I going in life? Where am I supposed to be going in life?

And to answer your questions, here’s what the great writer and thinker, Christopher Morley famously wrote:

There are three ingredients to the good life – learning, earning and yearning.

Where Am I Going? Is It the Right Direction in Life?

There are many times in life where one does not know what comes next or where to go in life. The realization that you are lost and don’t know where to go, or that you don’t like where you are going often comes as an epiphany.

Most people describe this as being in a rut. It’s like you have everything you want and still so much is missing. You could have everything in the world but something about your life still doesn’t feel right.

Signs That You Need to Change Direction in Life

It is important to identify when you are unhappy with your life and want to change where you are going. Some of the most common signs of needing a change in life are as follows:

  1. You feel unhappy with your life and often reminiscence about the choices you made.
  2. You feel as if you are forced to go against your morals and intuition at work or home.
  3. The situation that you find yourself in currently is causing you a lot of stress.
  4. There is a fear or dread of the future and the consequences of your life decisions that have been causing you anxiety.
  5. You feel like you had to give up on your passions and interests just to make it in this world.
  6. The future that you are currently envisioning seems nothing like what practically lies ahead.
  7. You find yourself surrounded by unhappy people who often think you’re too idealistic.
  8. You often look forward to having a ‘good day’ even when nothing is particularly wrong with the days right now.

If you feel like most of these signs apply to you, then it’s time to re-evaluate where you are headed in life and how you want to change that.

The 3 Key Phases of Life

Before learning how to choose the right direction for yourself, first try to understand the 3 key phases of life:

Advertising

The Learning Phase

The Learning phase typically stretches from the age of five into the early twenties and its over-riding characteristic is freedom.

Your thinking is unfettered, you are chock-full of dreams and aspirations and (happily) someone else is footing the bills. It’s not a cliché to say that schooldays, for many of us, really were the happiest days of our lives.

Contrast it with adult life – no one expects very much of you, and other than passing a few exams along the way and you can just swing along, having a great old time …

The Earning Phase

The next phase is the Earning years; the period from leaving formal education (at 20-something) to retirement (at 50-something or 60-something). Welcome to the grown-up world, welcome to the tax net.

The overriding concern in this Earning phase is the security (I spell that word as follows: $ecurity because, for many people, this phase tends to be all about generating sufficient income to pay the monthly bills.)

Reality bites. This can require sublimating the dreams of youth as a life of routine takes over. Few in the Earning years question the choices they have made because, typically, this questioning process can be quite disconcerting – oddly, I find this is particularly true of people who are less than happy with their working lives.

Routine generation of wealth becomes paramount and you get swept along with the current. This is fine if you made sound choices in your late teens and early twenties with regard to your career. But if you didn’t … for routine, read ‘RUT’.

Which brings us to Morley’s Yearning phase – from ceasing your full-time occupation until … well, ceasing.

The Yearning Phase

What is yearning? Unfortunately, yearning is not the same as simple hankering, wanting or desire. The dictionary definition of yearning is:

Advertising

“A feeling of intense longing for something lost, absent or unattainable.”

A bit gloomy. So for many people, the Yearning years are about looking back over a life not quite fulfilled and saying ‘I wish, I wish. If only … if only …’

With the wisdom of years comes regret for the road not taken, the too-conservative choices made.

Studies conducted in the geriatric population and on terminally ill people consistently demonstrate that regrets in human beings arise as a result of decisions not taken. The wise old owls that I have talked to over the years all speak with one voice on this.

It is better to look back and think, ‘I wish I hadn’t …’ rather than wistfully saying, ‘I wish I had …’

Think about where you are…

As you think about your career, your life, and your plans for the future, you are, at the very least, going to have to contemplate some uncomfortable choices about yourself, your personal style and your level of happiness.

I make no apologies for this – that’s just life. But I contend that it is better to take the time and spend the effort now to improve the choices that you make for later, rather than to have those choices made for you at a time that may not suit you.

Some people get these choices unerringly right and they do so early in their lives. Others come to a realization of the right path much later in life. Ray Kroc changed his whole approach to his McDonald’s business in his early 50s. [1] Colonel Sanders didn’t start his KFC franchising efforts until he was in his early 60s.[2] And the list can go on.

Advertising

It’s never too early and it’s never too late – but you have to think about it.

How to Choose the Right Path

Do you know at what phase of life are you now? Once you understand where you are now, the next step is to find the direction you want to move to.

You have the motivation and direction to take your life where you need it to be, you just need to get up and do it. The best time for change is now, and if you procrastinate any further you might miss out on a great opportunity.

To live a meaningful life, it is important to pick a direction that brings both peace and success. Here are some things to take into consideration when choosing a new direction in life:

1. Chose What Your Inner Child Would Want

It is very important to acknowledge the needs and opinions of our ‘inner child’. That’s because we often have real happiness at this age and develop passions that last us a lifetime. To calibrate your direction in life, think of what the younger you would feel about your current situation and what would they want to do.

2. Think About The Things You Want To Change

Make a list of the things in your current life that you are dissatisfied with and want to change. Then think of the alternative options you have to give yourself a life where you find happiness and fulfillment by avoiding these things. This will help you understand what must be done to feel good in life.

3. Find Inspiration to Follow

Everyone has an idea of what they want in life and finding inspiration isn’t hard in this day and age. Just think about those you admire and see as role models and try to follow in their footsteps. As they have already reached a place you associate to be a goal, you will find it easier to navigate your way through life to reach that destination as well.

4. Be Clear on What You Don’t Want To Be

To find out where you want to be headed in life, try finding out where you don’t want to end up. This would help identify situations and placed you would try and avoid at all costs. It keeps you on the right track because if you minimize the wrong paths, then choosing the right one becomes much easier.

5. Learn to Enjoy Where You Are

There is no such thing as a perfect life. What you need to learn, is to work hard and to find things to be happy and grateful for.

Advertising

Live in the moment, appreciate the things you have. Only this way you will see clearly the meaning of your life.

6. Commit to Getting or Staying Healthy

Nothing is more important than your mental, spiritual and physical health.

Getting your life on the right path isn’t something you can achieve in a day. But, with hard work and dedication, you will get there!

7. Help Others

By helping others you will increase your sense of purpose and improve self-esteem.

There are many ways to do this. Volunteer in your community, mentor young people, or just help neighbors.

You will be surprised by the feeling you will have after.

Start Making the Change Today

After reading all this, you are surely ready to change the direction of your life. Start by making a change today instead of just thinking about it. Every difficult journey starts with a single step, and this is the sign to take yours. Once you make one change, the rest follow suit and soon your life will be exactly how you want it to be.

Need more help to get out of the rut? Take a look at these articles:

Featured photo credit: Johannes Plenio via unsplash.com

Advertising

Reference

[1] Britannica: Ray Kroc
[2] Biography: Colonel Sanders

Read Next