Manual Escape from the Rat Race

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Banks really want people to keep taking out mortgages that will take them a long time to pay back, because then they make more money. Combine this with societal pressure to "get on the property ladder" and you create a highly effective trap. Your parents probably grew up without the internet. Back then, people stayed in jobs a long time, things didn't get routinely outsourced, and pensions weren't a joke.

International travel was rare. As a result, a lot of the options you have available to you, they will struggle to appreciate. They also want things which are not in your interest, like for you to have a "stable job" which is actually a deeply flawed concept, as Nicholas Taleb explores at length in Antifragile: Things that Gain from Disorder This is because:. If you are in a scenario where your parents are actually counting on you to help support them later in life, then there is a much more serious conflict of interest.

Such advice is often highly counter-productive more on this later. It is staggering how many adverts we are exposed to everyday. Like filthy contact lenses you have no choice but to wear. Over time, these forces, combined with social pressure, shape your thinking. You begin to believe that getting more stuff is the answer to whatever question you may have.

That you are "wasting money" on rent. That you need an SUV "to be safe". The end result is that you end up not saving very much of your paycheck, which is a critical error more on this later. As you can see, there is quite a cocktail of forces fighting to drag you into the rat-race. The final but perhaps most brutal obstacle is ignorance. Until I had started working, I hadn't realized that I would feel this sense of imprisonment. I mean, when you are a kid you kind of know that "grown-ups" have to go to work, and that they mostly don't seem to like it.

But that wouldn't happen to you , would it? When this doesn't turn out the be the case, you think "ah, well it must be this job then, so you try another job. You then get the "honeymoon" period where you're learning new things and everything is great. Then the desire to do other things creeps back, along with the feeling of "the grind".

How to Get Out of the Rat Race in 18 Months or Less – Follow These 5 Steps

So you move again. It's only after working for quite a while that it starts to dawn on you: Shit, most work just sucks balls. The end result is that most people, though they don't like it, fail to escape the rat-race until around the legal age of retirement, and often after having worked in careers that were at best "OK". Guess what? That's a really fucking long time, and all your best years.

This series will teach you how to avoid this scenario. For those who genuinely love their job, then this series is not for you. If you inherited a billion dollars tomorrow and your routine would remain unchanged, then congratulations, you are blessed. The short answer is financial independence. The long answer is: the point at which you feel able to do things you really want to do.

Financial independence depends on how much money you are comfortable living on, which depends on your circumstances but not as much as you think it does. More on specifics in part 3. There are two fundamental ways to go about creating your "life's purpose". You can take the route of our current age, that of individual autonomy, by asking what is really important to me and thinking about your deepest passions and priorities. Alternatively, you can take the more classic route and ask What are my circumstances calling me to do?


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What does the world need? I don't know which of these is "best", but they both deserve consideration. What I do know is that trying to pursue either of these options without upsetting compromises is extremely difficult when you are still in the rat race. Sadly, art rarely pays the bills. Even those fortunate enough to be living the "life of the mind" in academia and research labs face horrific bureaucracy and internal politics as the whims of governments, executives and elites change.

Why is it so often that the best people are stuck in the middle and the people who are running things—the leaders—are the mediocrities? What gets you up is a talent for maneuvering. Kissing up to the people above you, kicking down to the people below you.

Jumping through hoops. Getting along by going along. Being whatever other people want you to be, so that it finally comes to seem that, like the manager of the Central Station, you have nothing inside you at all. Just keeping the routine going. The ability to choose how you use your given time, without the fear of being unable to meet financial commitments, the fear of job loss, the fear of being shunned by a community, gives you an immense freedom.

The Day I Escaped from the Rat Race - You Choose the Way

Although most people say that family is very important to them, how many people end up having their children raised by relatives, spouses or childcare staff so that they can work in time-consuming jobs? Being financially free gives you the option to raise your children yourself.

How to escape the rat race with no money

To spend as much time with your family as you want. Do you really have an argument against this?

The 7 Ways to Escape the Rat Race

The desire to be able to spend more time with family has been a key motivator for many in the early retirement community. Maybe you love your job, and feel you are doing worthwhile work. You are in a fortunate position. Or perhaps you hate your job, but think that the work is important enough to be worth the sacrifice I think this may be the case for many called to public office.

Now consider the scenario where you know you don't need the salary.

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Suddenly, you are much more likely to behave in a way that is congruent with your own values. If your employer asks you to do something you think is ethically dubious, or negligent, you can stand your ground. This is much harder to do if you are a paycheck away from the abyss. Financial independence purifies your agenda, and you find yourself no longer living a life where you have to take as much shit. For some people, the answer to "how much is enough? These people will probably never give back.

They are also unlikely to find much happiness in their lives. For others who recognise when they have reached financial independence, another opportunity presents itself: The ability to give back, to help others. This can take many forms, from low effort activities such as giving money to charity, to full-time efforts such as running for public office, creating not-for-profit businesses, mentoring others, or simply creating things that bring others joy.

Now some of these things can be done whilst trapped in the rat race, but all of them can be done better after you have escaped. Giving back is a recurring theme among successful people - my favorite example is in Arnold Schwarzenegger's rules for success - number 6. We live in a turbulent time, where job security is growing scarcer. As Tyler Cowen writes in Average is Over :. These trends stem from some fairly basic and hard-to-reverse forces: the increasing productivity of intelligent machines, economic globalization, and the split of modern economies into both very stagnant sectors and some very dynamic sectors.

Labor market polarization means that workers are, to an increasing degree, falling into two camps. They either do very well in labor markets or they don't do well at all [ If you, or friends and relatives, have experienced layoffs, then you've seen the trend described above first-hand. The process of executing the strategies outlined in this series will help to protect you while you are still stuck in the rat race. And of course, the end result of escaping the rat race frees you entirely.

Hopefully this first instalment makes it clear that escaping the rat race is not about being able to sit on the sofa eating ice cream all day. It's about being able to live a more fulfilled life, having the time to be present for those you care about, and contributing more effectively to the world. Spending more time with children and striking a healthier work-life balance were said to be key factors in their decision. But the overwhelming majority of respondents had stopped short of chasing the dream, principally because of family ties, insufficient capital, worries finding work, and taking a cut in salary.

The thought of missing friends - and having the courage to follow their hearts in the first place - were also found to be breakaway barriers. Respondents, including those who had already taken the leap, were asked to name the challenges they have encountered, or believe they would encounter, in the slow lane. Working longer hours to offset the lower income 80 per cent and doing two jobs to make ends meet 33 per cent , topped the list.

Both those respondents who had quit the rat race, and those who had considered doing so, were also asked about whether they did — or would — regret the decision, and why.

How to Get Out of the Rat Race (Super Practical)

The overwhelming majority 73 per cent agreed that they had or would probably regret ditching the , with the pressures of earning enough money being the major reason. A further seven per cent said they would not regret it because they had savings — and therefore able to cope on a lower salary.

Nearly two-thirds 58 per cent agreed that wealthier folk would find it easier to quit the rate race than the working classes. EJ Henry, who commissioned the poll, left law firm DWF to become a full-time writer in , although he has since returned to the law part time. By Anthony Harvison. Many people dream of quitting the rat race Image: Getty Images Europe Get the biggest daily news stories by email Subscribe See our privacy notice More newsletters. Thank you for subscribing We have more newsletters Show me See our privacy notice. Follow DailyMirror.