How to exit the rat race and live intentionally


Do you feel like you are stuck in the “rat race” and wish you could live intentionally?

Are you living on auto-pilot? In French  there is a saying “metro, boulot, dodo” which is basically “commute, work, sleep”. Our life shouldn’t be reduced to going to work, earning money, spending it and sleeping, don’t you agree?

Instead, we should spend time doing what really matters to us, build the life and the future we want, take care of ourselves and others and be proud of it. Don’t get me wrong, life will throw some balls at you and it’s ok. As my coach says, life is 50/50. 50% hard and uncomfortable and 50% joyful, exciting and fun. We need both, even though we would like to run away from one half (and you know which one I am talking about).

What is the rat race?

What is the “rat race” anyway?

Robert Kiyosaki defines it as “the vicious cycle we learn from a young age that the only way to get ahead is to go to a good school, get a good job, and work harder and harder to try and get ahead.” In other words, the more money you earn, the more money you’ll need to earn because your wants will get bigger.

Why do people get stuck in the rat race?

When you are in the cycle of waking up, going to work, earning money only to spend it on things considered as liabilities, you get easily stuck. As humans, we are often driven by fear and greed (as per Robert Kyiosaki). Fear of not having enough to cover our expenses or fear of what others would think of us if we lower our way of living. Fear and greed are preventing us from making a change. Greed is pushing people to buy a bigger house, bigger car or more luxurious clothings which will require more money to be earned so more work to be done… It is never ending…  Unless you accept to live intentionally and make your own choices (there is hope, I promise!)

What does it mean to exit the rat race?

While getting out of the rat race is simple, it is not necessarily easy. 

It’s simple: all you need is your monthly income (from non-job sources) to exceed your monthly expenses. For instance, if you spend $2000 a month, you’ll need to bring in at least $2000 outside of your day job.

It’s not easy:  you’ll need to create incomes coming from outside of your job, probably while you are still working. It will require curiosity, commitment and time.

You need to remember that having a regular job is just a short-term solution to the long-term challenge of creating wealth and reaching financial freedom.

Financial freedom is the only way to exit the rat race but before that, you need to start living consciously and determine what matters the most to you.

How living intentionally can help you exit the rat race

In The Solomon Syndrome: A Blueprint for a More Meaningful & Happy Life, Bob Bletz writes  “intentional living is making conscious choices about the way we live [..]. A man who is living intentionally will either be found leading the [rat] race or refusing to run; he has a sense that he is in control of his destiny.”

In her podcast episode Redefining success: Intention over Reaction, Heather Boersma explains that intentional living is conscious living. It means you are aware of your thoughts and emotions and you make powerful decisions that help you show up with purpose.

Subsequently, if you feel stuck in your life, are not satisfied with your job or how you are running your business and/or feel consumed by your day to day, then it is time to take action! Redefine your priorities and reshape your lifestyle to create the future you want and deserve! Here are 3 easy steps to take and start the process:

Reflect on your current life

1- Reflect on what you like and don’t like in your current life. 

Ask yourself these questions and write down the answers. Be honest and thorough.

  • What do you truly like in your current life? 
  • What do you dislike in your current life?
  • How do you spend your time each day?
  • What do you like about your current job/business?
  • What do you dislike about your job/business?
What do you want your life to look like?

2- Think about what you want your life to look like. 

Ask yourself these questions and write down the answers. Be honest and thorough. Don’t think about what is possible to do, think about what you truly want your life to be. Then, trust that your brain will find the solution to reach the goals later!

  • What are your core values? (for example, for this year mine are Family, Connection and Adventure)
  • List all the projects you would like to do but never “had time for”? (ie: learning a new language, gardening, visiting a new country…)
  • What do you want to experience more of in your life? (travel, family time, adventure…)
  • How do you want to generate income?
Set goals and commit to them

3- Set goals, stay committed and believe.

Once you know where you are at right now and where you want to go, it is time to set your goals. Your life won’t change overnight so you need a plan. You can plan for a few months or a year at the time. The secret is to have the vision, stay committed to it on a daily basis and believe it is possible.

Use your brain as a tool to help you reach these goals. Everything is possible when you commit to it, get curious about solutions and learn from others. The internet is full of resources to help you reach your goals and create the life you want but remember that the best resource is yourself. You already have all the answers within you because you know what is best for yourself and your family. It requires a bit of work to be aware of these wants and to find solutions to meet them but it will be so worth it in the end!

As Marie Forleo says “The bad news is that time flies. The good news is that you are the pilot!” 

If you feel like your life is not reflecting your values, like you are not in charge of it and that  you and your family deserve more, then it is time to exit the rat race and build a purposeful life!

How to exit the rat race and live intentionally

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