The Rat Race

One of the main reasons why I decided to write this blog is to share my thoughts on what is happening in the world and especially on how we can make our limited time here count a little more.

I know one thing for sure: Spending all your life working for other people will never be as fulfilling as going your own way. This can be your own business or just following your dreams and wishes like travel the world or voluntary work in places that actually really need some support or just someone to care and to help.

Now it can be a frustrating exercise but let us think about a regular day: A day has 24 hours out of which the regular person will spend 7 hours sleeping, 1 hour for breakfast and commute, 9 hours of work including lunch, 1 hour getting back home and having dinner. The remaining 6 hours are usually spent for some house works like laundry, cleaning or whatever needs to be done and some time for friends or family.

This is a schedule for a person who is doing just a regular job without any career aspirations. I am a General Manager in a hotel, let me tell you how my day looks like: I wake up at 7 AM, exercise a little, take a shower and drink a tea. I will be at work at around 8 AM. Now there, I usually get stuck until 7 PM, sometimes longer but let’s just say that I finish at 7. Yes, that’s 11 hours including lunch and dinner – and plenty of coffee. I get back home around 7:30, play with my daughter for an hour or two until around 9:30, then exercise until 10:30 PM, take a shower, watch an episode of some of my favorite shows on Netflix and go to sleep at around midnight. I do this 6 days a week, at my current hotel I have only 1 day off every week.

So let’s crunch the numbers a little.

A year has 52 weeks = 52 x 6 = 312 working days. I got 28 days vacation and 14 days for public holidays = 312 – 28 – 14 = 270 working days a year.

270 days x 11 hours = 2970 hours work for the whole year.

I have been working for a couple of years now with a 6-day workweek and for sure after this contract expires I have pledged not to do this anymore. Just one more day off per week will not only result in 52 more days off per year but it will also equal a reduction of working days down from 270 to 218, ergo from 2970 hours down to (only) 2398. That’s a 20% decrease in working time and a 25% increase in free-time. Yes, this is huge.

Now I got a little bit off topic, so back to the point which is, that most of us work way too much.

Sometimes it’s our own choice, sometimes it’s not. Sometimes we trade our time for something else like a career or the possibility to do things that would otherwise be out of reach. However, this is how we get into the rat race. Reputation, material possessions, social pressure and other things that we consider to be obligations – there are many reasons that push us into the rat race every single day. Most of us get in without even noticing just to wake up one day and to realize that our whole life consists of the same daily routine that forces us to repeat the same things over and over again. And the worst thing is: It’s really hard to get out.

If we want to get out of it, we got to re-evaluate our priorities. Nothing comes without sacrifice and the first thing that needs to be taken look at is… ourselves. Chances are that we maneuvered ourselves into a comfort zone that makes our life just convenient and acceptable enough not to rebel, but at the same time preventing us from happiness and fulfillment. So we got to ask ourselves: What do we really want in life?

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3 thoughts on “The Rat Race

  1. Good post. I escaped the rat race in early ‘17. Most of my time was taken up in the way you describe. One day slipping into the next. I wanted more from my life and started to think beyond a wage. Getting out of that lifestyle is a challenge, but most people can find a way. It may take more or less time, dependant on individual situations.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks and appreciate your comment. I know it’s possible and while for me it’s still work in progress, I expect to get there by 2022. Maybe you could write about how you spent your first year after getting out, I believe for many people it might be a challenge to suddenly not have to have a job…

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You make a good point, that would make an interesting subject to write about. It was strange. As much as you’d imagine you’d be on a beach somewhere, it isn’t the case! Before long I had a few projects going.

        Liked by 1 person

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