After a while, the rat race tires you out. Even if you are winning the race, you still feel like a rat – this is what someone once told me.
And, she ended up taking a very long journey through the east.
On her return, I asked her how she felt. Her reply was that she had moments of pure joy, but most of the time she still felt the same.
Unfortunately, her travel only served to confirm her biases, without expanding her horizons. She carried her whole world with her, wherever she went.
But I have seen several people get out of the rat race successfully, and I talked to them about their methods. Two key points I learnt are these:
You are not a rat
It is not a race
If you feel like a rat on a wheel, it is because you have allowed others to make you feel like one. Rats are mammals of lower order, mainly run by a limited brain capacity and caught up in the game of procreation, nutrition and survival.
Obviously, for a human all three of these are important. But, if that is all that occupies your time then eventually you will feel like a rat.
So, what do you do to go beyond those three basics?
a. Invest in relationships: Relationships of the past were based on mutual dependence and need. They were really rooted in the three basics mentioned above. Only those who invest in relationships based on CARE, TRUST and INTEGRITY can manage to raise their consciousness above the level of the rats.
b. Speak your truth: Self expression is a necessary tool of expression. You can find many mediums – painting, novels, sculptures, inventions are just a few. The joy of creation will start to bring you up another notch.
c. Clear your perceptions: Constant barrage of 24/7 news channels is now supplemented with numerous social media channels with bait-and-switch headlines. Where does it end? You end up clogging your perception to such a high degree that you may not have a single original thought for months. What chance do you have of getting out of rat-race if this is all that occupies your mind?
d. Co-Create: Creating a child is only the most beautiful and pleasurable way of co-creation. But, that is not the only one. Join your consciousness with others’ and you will be surprised with the results. Those who do not see the need to do so must read this blog post on Steve Jobs.
Let’s talk briefly about the second point above. It is really not a race? Nobody took birth to race to his/her grave. If you don’t KNOW THYSELF and your purpose then you will surely get caught up in the race. Who has the biggest ‘______’ is not the way to measure the quality of your life?
It may be an expression of your contribution, or even of your truth – but there is no reason to stop your consciousness at that level.
Do not let your petty jealousies drive you – leave that job to your purpose.
So, how do you KNOW THYSELF, and your purpose?
Generally speaking points a, b, c and d above would have already brought you that knowledge.
All you have to do is accept the truth as it surfaces, and live it. You will never get caught up in the rat race, no matter where you live and what work you do.
That will be a true human life that knows its own value.