“299″ height=”222″ />Bus Driver: “Looks like we’re on the hamster wheel again today”
Woman Waiting for the Bus With Me: “We most certainly are…but it’s paying the bills.”
The origin of this post is the two sentence exchange between a city bus driver and a woman waiting for the bus with me to head to work.
It’s not like I’ve never questioned the value I add (or don’t add) to society through my decade at RBC Wealth Management.
But this briefest of exchanges jolted my brain.
I mean, I had electricity flowing through my body for the rest of the day.
It didn’t make me question the meaning of life or try and solve the mysteries of the universe. But it did help solidify part of my future work mission.
And that would be to help people face that they are running as fast as they can and getting nowhere.
But that’s not enough. My role is to push them – willingly or not – towards measuring their work’s value in terms other than money.
But it’s not my job to help you quit your job.
My job is to help you simplify, organize, be more money wise, and understand your motivations for wanting positive change. And with posts like these I believe I can help you get all these things.
I’ll give you a few ways to benefit from the brief exchange between the woman and the bus driver. You can pick the direct route or indirect route.
Odds are whatever line of work you do – unless you work for yourself – the prospects for advancement are stacked against you. Some people do well in a rigged game but it’s normally at the cost of all the others playing it.
What’s the hamster’s game? Running on a stationary wheel.
What do they call trying to “make it” in the private and public sector? The rat race.
And why do they call it the rat race? A couple of reasons actually:
If you’re going to put yourself in a race, you might as well define the terms. Wouldn’t you want to race against a much smaller group to increase the odds you’ll come out on top? Wouldn’t you want there to be multiple winners who reach the top by building each other up instead of sneaking past each other?
If your employer tells you the person who works the most hours this year gets the biggest raise, do you enter the race? It might be a race to the bottom – physically, mentally, spiritually, emotionally – and as soon as you speed up, everyone behind you races even faster.
Defining the criteria for winning in these ways also makes us forget about ethics and sound decisions. Rodents don’t know any better than to have a one-track mind. You do know better.
Let’s play a different game, get off the wheel and start defining what success and prosperity looks like for ourselves.
Have a comment about when you left the rat race or your plans to get off the wheel? Please share!