Rat Race

Get off the rat race, like the Red Queens, you keep on running and stay in the same place.

Red Queens race

Red queen race. Alice in wonderland

Alice is constantly running but remaining in the same spot:

“Well, in our country,” said Alice, still panting a little, “you’d generally get to somewhere else—if you run very fast for a long time, as we’ve been doing.”

“A slow sort of country!” said the Queen. “Now, here, you see, it takes all the running you can do, to keep in the same place. If you want to get somewhere else, you must run at least twice as fast as that!”

Hamster wheel

This symbolizes in modern life, we’re always running to chase more dollars, more fame, more power — yet it’s like a hamster wheel. We keep spinning the wheel furiously by running faster and faster, yet, we don’t go anywhere.

Getting off the rat race

The good news:

You have the power NOT to participate in the rat race.

If you’re already on the treadmill, you can decide to either a) keep running, or b) jump off the treadmill.

I think it’s human nature to want to get more and more. I think it’s in our human DNA to desire to acquire and possess more stuff, and to also accumulate power, wealth, resources, and social status.

Yet — our genes don’t control or determine our future. We have the power to override whatever social programming is embedded into us. You have the power to say “no”.

Practical ideas:

  1. Stay at your job, but do the minimum amount of work not to get fired, and pursue your own creative interests in your free time.
  2. Put in your two week notice, and spend a few months in Saigon or Mexico City to reflect on what you really desire in life.
  3. Quit your job, and switch jobs that give you more free time, more flexibility, and opportunities for travel (even though you have a smaller salary).
  4. Start your own entrepreneurial business. Become a risk taker, and start your own business to sustain your own self-dictated lifestyle.


Happiness by Steve Cutts

This film by Steve Cutts shows the futile rat race a lot of us live in.

Rat race