What Wikipedia doesn’t tell you about the Rat Race




The walls are starting to close in.  The window next to me is going to hit me and break.  My skin is getting tighter and I feel like I’m suffocating.

The stack of papers is getting higher and higher.  Not just the to-do pile but also the done pile.  I don’t have the motivation to get up and do anything.

I try to start but I just can’t.  It takes every ounce of energy I have just to open up a webpage and attempt to do the work.  I can’t quite get there.

My short hair is sticking up in ten different directions from my yanking at it.  My back hurts from pathetic posture.  My teeth hurt from clenching them together.

I’m in a rat race.  The one you always hear about.  The one everyone tell you to avoid.

I’m losing the race.  I’m somewhere in the middle.  It’s more of a labyrinth than a race.  Who the hell would want to win this race?  There are no winners.  Only losers that spend the best years of their lives walking around trying to find the way out.

Not me.  I can’t do it.  I can’t make it to the end.  There is no champagne waiting.  I can picture who will be waiting for me at the finish line.  A pathetic unhappy version of myself.  A man that is so pissed off at myself for wasting his entire life.  A man that will punch me in the face when he sees me.

That’s who’s waiting for me.  Hate and disappointment.

I’m looking for a helicopter to throw me a rope.  I’m like the guys in Unbroken floating along in the Pacific trying to get the attention of fighter jets 30,000 feet above them.  The only one that sees them is an enemy fighter that shoots holes in their raft and forces them to swim with the sharks.


You Will Not Be Rescued

No one is coming for you.  People are trying to save themselves from their own rat race.  They can’t help you.  And those who have escaped are doing their best to stay out of the race. They don’t want your rat race energy to affect them.

You won’t be saved. At least not because of someone throwing you a rope.


You Need to Climb the Walls.

There is a wall to the left of you.  It’s the same size as the enormous wall to the right of you.  The trail in front of you is twice as long as the one that got you here.  You can run as fast as you want, it won’t get you any closer to the end.  You need to scale the wall.  Choose one and start climbing.

Take slow steps if you want but keep climbing.  Each step will get you closer to the top. Closer to your edge of glory.


What if I Choose the Wrong Wall?

It’s possible you will get to the top of that wall and find you chose the wrong side.  You may hate what you see.  Make the trek back down and start again on the other side.  But keep climbing.  A path you enthusiastically create on your own will always be better than one that you walk down with reluctance and dismay.


How do I take the first step?

Decide where you want to go.  This is absolutely essential.  You must have a destination in mind before you start.  Think of success like a GPS.  You need to plug in where you want to find success.  Picture your end in sight, see what is on the horizon just above that wall. Recognize where you are at this moment.

One giant leap won’t get you from here to there.  It’s going to need to be a slow steady pace.  But like the tortoise you will get there.  Each step you take will get you closer and closer.  But remember, distraction will take you further away.


What do I do now?

Your journey begins today.  No matter where you are in the rate race, if you want to get out of it, your journey must begin now.  For some people it’s losing weight, some want a higher income, some want an entirely new job or profession and some want a better relationship with a spouse or children.

Whatever your goals are you must begin now if you’re going to achieve them.


It doesn’t matter what your goal is.  Whatever success means to you, it is possible to achieve it.  Here are the steps you need to get started.


  • Create a goal using S.M.A.R.T.  A Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time Specific goal.
    • Although your goal should be achievable, realize you are capable of much more than you think you are.  Dream big, shoot for the stars.
  • Believe in yourself.
    • You already have the power within you to achieve all of your goals and desires.  You must believe in yourself or you will be stuck in that labyrinth forever.
  • Take small steps to help you achieve your goals.
    • Success isn’t found in giant leaps that occur once in a while.  It is achieved in small unnoticeable steps taken daily that, over time, compound.
  • Realize that you are 100% responsible for your success.
    • People will help you along your journey and others will try to keep you down.  But your success is a result of the actions that you take.  You and only you determine your level of success.
  • Always strive to be better.
    • Remember these two Jim Rohn quotes, “Don’t wish it was easier, wish you were better.” And “your level of success will seldom exceed your level of personal development.”  None of us have reached our pinnacle of success, especially not me and you.
  • Find someone who has found success and learn from them.
    • Learn from those who have achieved success in a similar field and mirror them.  Reach out to them and find a way you can help them.  Allow them to mentor you through their past work.  Read their books and articles, find similar successful people and do the same with them. Remember, success leaves clues.  Find the clues and solve your own success mystery.
  • Take Daily Actions.
    • Take at least 1 daily action to get you closer to your goal. Taking 5 daily actions will help you get there closer.  But whether it’s 1 or 5, you must take action daily.


The best way out of the Rat Race is to avoid it altogether.  Good luck getting out if you’re already there.


-Keith Laskey



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