Last Updated on May 31, 2023
What is the rat race?
This is what it feels like to be trapped in the vicious rat race cycle of salaries and expenses – a struggle to change your life. This was my life seven years ago.
A Day In A Life In The Rat Race
Alarm sounds. You pressed the snooze button several times before finally deciding to wake up at 5 am, 30 mins after your initial alarm.
You drink your first of many cups of coffee for the day.
You entered the shower room and stood under the flowing water above your head, wondering about different scenarios. What could have been if I had chosen differently?
What could have been – such a sad phrase.
You dressed up for work. You wore that uncomfortable sleeves, pants that barely fit, black shoes desperately waiting to be replaced, and a backpack carrying your office laptop.
You rode the jeepney. The next is the bus, followed by the van. Three rides to the office, asking yourself just how much time you are wasting in traffic?
You arrived at the office 10mins late, drenched in sweat. You sat in your cubicle while starting up your computer and counting the hours before you could go home.
You went to the pantry and got that free cup of coffee—the second of many.
You sit at your desk, doing the usual routine of looking busy. Opening another site in your browser and quickly pressing the alt+tab button just as your supervisor passes you.
Lunchtime. A time to talk with your colleagues. You asked how they spent their weekends, only to find out that you were all doing the same – watching movies, surfing the internet, washing clothes, and sleeping. Nothing productive or worthwhile.
One hour after lunch, you grab another cup of coffee – to give you that aroma and warmth – the feeling of a hug to keep you awake for the rest of the day.
Another four hours of work, if lucky. Additional working hours, if not.
You finally stood out of your chair for the last time during the day and bid farewell to your officemate. He is still busy with the workload given to him as a gift for taking two days off.
You walked almost a kilometer going to the jeepney stand. You fall in line, waiting for the jeepney, the van, the bus, or the train. Everywhere you go, you have to stand and wait in line.
You finally arrived home at 8 o’clock in the evening. You eat dinner in your favorite fast-food restaurant before retiring to bed.
You watched a couple of episodes and scrolled down on your favorite social media before finally falling asleep at midnight.
What an exhausting day, you told yourself. Only to repeat it over again for the next four days before resting on the weekend.
The only motivation to work is the salary given once or twice a month. Packaged with fifteen paid time offs during the year, HMO, and promises of a bonus.
You then spend your next salary today. Confident that you will always have another after a few days.
Welcome to the Rat Race! A competition wherein most players eventually lose – a never-ending pursuit.
So the question you should answer is, “What can you do?”
The rat race is perennial if you let it take control of your life.
You need to find that passion everyone is talking about and realize that the world can be as small or as large as you let it be. Trust in God’s plan that everything will eventually fall into place.
What Can We Do?
Start a hobby. Pick up that guitar you always played when you were younger. Or start writing a blog.
Travel. Go to places you’ve always wanted to go and learn about the people and their culture.
Interact with people. Join the club you’ve always been curious about, or maybe contact your high school friends to see what they are up to.
Get your finances together. Start by having a budget, build your emergency fund, get insured, then invest.
Read a book. Realize that Harry Potter is much, much better in writing. Or, know that C.S Lewis is one of the greatest minds of the 20th century.
Volunteer. See the world from an entirely new perspective. And realize that you have more than you thought.
Run. Feel the breath of fresh air in a city full of negativity.
There are many things that you can do in this world. Something that, at the end of the day, you can stand and stare at the finished product and have the confidence to declare that “this is truly worthwhile.”
To escape the rat race, you must decide the most important things. Know your why, and realize that you need to establish your options.
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