Best Advice: How to Avoid the Human Rat Race
How do you stand out from the crowd when everyone is racing towards the same goals? How do shine brightly when there are already a million stars around?
Here are my top 5 tips to get others to stop and take notice of you.
1. Be prepared to work hard. “The universe will fill your cup if you carry a big cup, a little cup or a thimble” –Sonia Choquette. Passion and Persistence is key. Most people say they want something but are not willing to make the necessary commitments to get it. Work hard but also work SMART. Learn the rules of the game and play it better than anyone else. Plan and Strategize: "A wise woodcutter indeed is he who rather than constantly chopping wood will occasionally stop to sharpen his axe.” I have made a lot of sacrifices and it has cost me a lot to get where I am today.
2. Be You. Dare to be you, the real authentic you. It’s okay to show your human side. "Don’t be a rat, be a person." Learn from others but don’t try to imitate them. You will be a poor replica. "Be a voice not an echo." Focus on your skills and talents. What you have to offer is incomparable and will definitely set you apart from the crowd. No one can play your role better than you. I’m by nature very inspirational so everything I do, it has my unique signature to it. Embrace your distinctiveness. Being a chameleon will get you lost in the crowd. “Don’t compare yourself with anyone in this world…if you do so you are insulting yourself.” –Bill Gates
3. Take Risks - Embrace change and take advantage of opportunities that others overlook. “Go the extra mile. It is never crowded.” Ask for what you want. Be unconventional. Be disruptive. “In order to be successful your focus has to be so intense that people call you crazy” Don’t let fear hold you back. Being a pioneer will definitely get you the attention of the masses. Most people set up shop in the comfort zone, then wonder why nothing is happening. “The one who follows the crowd will get no further than the crowd. The one who walks alone is likely to find himself in places no one has ever been.” –Albert Einstein
4. Keep Learning. Keep Growing. Personal development is continuous. Learn everything about the field you are in. Become the expert others look to for advice. However, having knowledge alone is not sufficient. What will set you apart is wisdom. I always pray daily asking God for wisdom. Wisdom is the sensible application of knowledge. It is understanding, discretion and discernment. It is a rare commodity. Wisdom is fundamental principal to leadership existence. “ To acquire knowledge, one must study; but to acquire wisdom, one must observe.” –Author Marilyn vos Savant
5. Add Value – Forget the cheese, go for significance.“Those who bring sunshine to the lives of others cannot keep it from themselves.” –Novelist, James Matthew Brice. In whatsoever I do, I always seek to make a positive contribution. Whatever you put your hands to, do it will all your might, from the simplest to the greatest of tasks. Strive for excellence. Money should not be your sole motivator. Research shows that most people are self-centric, even if they believe otherwise. Flip the card over and don’t just ask what can I get but also what can I give.
The rat race is never ending. It sucks you in and has it's grip fixed so tightly that you forget to enjoy the journey and those around you. Life is full of moving targets. The bar is constantly being set higher and higher.
Crossing the finish line: The finish line is just the beginning of a whole new race" Unknown
5 Questions to Bring Clarity
1. After you have won the coveted prize. What next? Do you leave it on the shelf to collect dust and rush after the next one?
2. Does your reward give you satisfaction and fulfillment?
3.Is the price (health, family, time, peace of mind...etc) you are paying far too steep? It is really worth it in the end?
4. What is your purpose? What is your ultimate goal?
5. What do you really want?
What consumes your mind controls your life... What's on your mind?"
Turn the hamster wheel faster than anyone else and all you’ll do is end up exhausted and frustrated. The wheel just keeps spinning.“Most people don't live; they just race. They are trying to reach some goal far away on the horizon, and in the heat of the going they get so breathless and panting that they lose sight of the beautiful, tranquil country they are passing through…” –Jean Webster
Maybe it's time for you to re-define success and the criteria for winning. Enter the race you are designed to run. "I am in competition with no one. I have no desire to play the game of being better than anyone. I am simply trying to be better than the person I was yesterday." I run for a higher purpose.
I teach a free financial planning course in my community. Most of the attendees are from poor circumstances with minimal educational background. My greatest joy comes at the end from hearing the words, "you have helped me."
"The trouble with the rat race is that even if you win, you're still a rat." –Lily Tomlin. If you are caught on the wheel you must take responsibility and the initiative to change. When you lead, call those you lead to a higher purpose and you’ll bring out the best in yourself and others. Only by using your gifts and talents in the service of others can you win a life that brings lasting fulfillment.