Why I Left the Rat Race - To Live Free -To Live Life

Shane Lifeman

Business is closed. I'm retiredPhoto byMedium RareonUnsplash

Growing up. It was ingrained in me. The person who had the nicest house on the street, drove the best cars and dined at the finest restaurants, was who you wanted to strive to be. Me, I wanted to be that person. I wanted to be Them, I wanted to be THE GUY, and nothing less was acceptable. I worked my arse off with everything I did, and I paid the price trying to live what is referred to as the American Dream. Yes The American Dream existed within me, and in a very big way.

I will admit and I know this. I am a high achiever. Everything I do. I want to do it to the best of my ability, or not do it at all. I might not always be the best at the things I do. But, I will always give it my 100%. I also had the mindset of every time I succeeded in something. I always brought the people around me with me. It didn’t matter if they were co-workers, employees, friends, or family. When I moved up the ladder in life, so did they. I had the mindset that if it wasn’t for the people around me. I wouldn’t be in the position I was in.

When my business succeeded, so did my employees. They would receive random bonuses. Every 6 months I would take 10% of the profits and distribute it to the employees. I would shut the business down for a day, treating them to various day excursions. Their family members were also invited along to enjoy the day while paying them their normal wages for the day. .

Without my employees doing what they do. I wouldn’t be able to then in turn, Do what I did. It was always a team effort in my mind. I was no better than the lowest person in the company. To me, everyone is and will always be my equal

Having the mindset of, I wanted to succeed when I was either working for a company as an employee or running my own business. Always put a target on my back. As soon as I started to achieve any form of success. People outside of my circle would gather around me, doing everything they could to take it away from me. To knock me off the ladder of life so they could then take my position on this ladder. But that is all part of living life in the rat race.

When I was in my early 30s. I started to realize I was living life like I was going around in a circle. With each passing year, this circle became smaller. Right in the center of this circle was a large trap, all primed and loaded to do just one thing. That was to take me out and put me out of my misery, as I was not happy in any way.

It seemed like my life. No matter what I did or who I helped out. Every time I came close to achieving a little bit of success. Something would always happen that was out of my control that would knock me down and there was nothing I could do to stop it. I became sick and tired of the whole entire chasing this all-great American dream of being a slave to the grind and living to work. I wanted to just work to live.

Due to my desire of wanting to succeed. I also made some critical mistakes in life, that cost me. In my 20s and 30s. I was working during the day and four nights a week attending college courses to better myself so I could move further up this ladder. During that time period. I missed so much in relation to life events and life in general. Now in my mid 50's. I reflect back and just say to myself. The sacrifices I made, it wasn't worth it.

In order to simply protect my household income, or so I thought. Many times I would be working full-time and also have a side hustle on the go. Due to this, I was never home. I was always working in some form. This mindset just isn’t healthy. If you think you are doing it to provide for your family and to give them a better life. You are wrong. All your family wants is…you.

I remember waking up on my 38th birthday. I was all alone, and I literally had nothing. I didn’t even know who I was or even what I wanted in life. All the years I spent sacrificing were wasted. That’s when I realized the true dangers of living in the rat race, striving to achieve this thing called the American dream, or what I thought other people perceived to be this so-called dream, and the price you pay. I was literally living my life, just to impress other people, and mostly these were people I didn’t even know

When I woke up on my 40th birthday. I remember just sitting at my kitchen table having my morning coffee and simply reflecting on this thing called… Life, and where I screwed up, and where things went wrong. By the time I had finished my coffee. I felt a huge release from all the stress I was feeling due to my situation at that time. All I did was ask myself this simple one-word question and that was, WHY? Once I asked myself this question and I couldn’t answer it. I was officially done with living in this rat race. I also noticed a change in my mindset. With the last sip of my morning coffee, my new mindset had developed. It was no longer HE WHO DIES WITH THE MOST WINS. My new mindset now consisted of HE WHO DIES WITH THE BEST MEMORIES TRULY IS THE WINNER…IN LIFE

I no longer wanted the nicest house on the street, the expensive vehicles with the fancy name, the fine dining. Why waste your money on stuff like that when you can invest in yourself and your own quality of life? All I really needed was a comfortable place to live, that I can actually call…home and truly have it feel like — Home. I didn’t need a place where all I used was just 20% of the living space. I also didn’t need the expensive brand-new vehicle with the flashy name when something a couple of years old and practical will do and surprisingly, was actually more comfortable to drive.

Now 17 years later. When I think of that moment in time in my life. It was one of the biggest deciding factors that set me up to live the life I now lead. Today I have a much simpler life. I’m in a position where I don’t need a lot of money to live. Yet I am now leading the life I dreamed of. My dream life consisted simply of me living in a beachside community where it’s warm all year round, and where I have no stress in my life. I now am leading this life

Now I don’t need a lot of money to live the life I now lead. I became semi-retired at the age of 52. I now only work when I want to, not because I have to. I also now work just to help others out. It’s not because I want or need the money. Truth be told. A lot of my money-making projects. I donate these funds. I also now have an amazing wife by my side who believes like myself, Live life and pursue your dreams, and live what you would consider your dream life. The memories you will create are so rewarding. I now know this as a fact.

When I look at my life now, compared to what it was like 20 years ago. Though I now have a lot less when it comes to materialistic things. My life is so much richer. When I look at my life now, I can truly say I feel like I am one of the richest people on this planet. Simply put. The life I have now. I can’t put a price on it or even a value. In fact, I would consider it to be priceless. I am living large, with less. I am now earning memories, and not just earning a paycheque. I no longer live my life for a company, a CEO or even a boss. I now live my life for me.

He who dies with the most, isn't the winner in life. When who dies with the best memories truly is the winner in this game called life

Live Free Live Life

Shane Lifeman

Please Click "follow" to see my future articles about what I like to refer to as living free living life. I write about living life in general, working from home, work life balance, establishing personal finances, side hustles, living simpler and more.

This is original content from NewsBreak’s Creator Program. Join today to publish and share your own content.

Comments / 0

Published by

As a certified life coach, entrepreneur and business consultant for over 20 years. I plan on merging these three topics by writing about topics that are related to succeeding in life, money management, evaluating side hustles, and inspiring people start living the life you want to live.


More from Shane Lifeman

Comments / 0