Imagine how great life would be, if everyone had their own pot of gold.
But unfortunately, most of us don’t have access to such a think, and barely even know what we are supposed to be looking for.
So we follow the crowd, thinking they know where they are headed, only to realize later on that they were following each other.
We stick together to remain safe, or believe that by sticking together we can ensure our safety.
I’d like to present my thoughts on this with a little backstory.
After Tenth grade, I took the science stream because that’s where all the smart kids were headed. I though the pot of gold would be resting there, waiting for me to get my greedy paws on it. So I worked diligently, hoping I could end this miserable race as soon as possible and get to the finish line before anyone else does.
After reaching the end of twelfth grade, I was informed that the pot of gold was split up and moved into various colleges, and I had to go there if I wanted my share. I was also advised that the chances of finding it was higher in engineering colleges.
I wasn’t too thrilled about it, but looking back at all the time and effort I invested into this struggle towards what I believed was financial success, I hopped onto the wagon and set out on a journey that lasted four years. I struggled hard but managed to make it to the end of that maze, only to be told once again, that the gold had been split up even further and whisked away, but this time abroad, to various universities there.
Now I had to catch a flight and pick a university abroad to search for those pieces of gold. Those damn leprechauns were making a fool out of me.
Then It Struck Me
It didn’t take me long to realize that there was no pot of gold or conniving leprechauns. It was a story marketed to bring fools like me into the rat race. And once I entered the rat race, I forget about the all elusive gold, and started looking for ways to make ends meet, by saving as much as I could and spending as little as possible on the cheese that kept me alive and kicking.
I went from chasing money to chasing cheese.
So here I am, nibbling on my cheese, looking back on my life, trying to keep myself from going insane.
Hey, look on the bright side, at least I have:
- A roof over my head
- Some cheese in hand to ward off hunger
- a shackle to chain me to my workstation, eliminating my chances of getting lost.
- A claustrophobia inducing cubicle to get my work done in.
What more could I possibly ask for!
But all our managers are cats…wait don’t cats feed on mice? Wouldn’t that make us livestock? Is this why they call it the rat race? To see who gets eaten last? Oh boy.
But I Wanted Out
And there was this part of me, that kept trying to plot an escape from the prison cell I voluntarily walked into. He kept telling me that we were all rats destined to be eaten up by either the fat cats up in the HR, or by the world.
I’d explain it to him that what we were doing was the right thing for our family and future, but he wouldn’t budge and maintained those grand delusions of setting out on a gold hunt and making it big.
I’d laugh at him for wanting to stick to those childhood dreams, but deep down I too wanted them because after all,
He was a part of me.
He was a fragment of me that wanted to break out of this chain and scamper off into the wild, in search of those magical creatures that everyone believed was a fantasy.
And to be honest, I was sick of eating cheese every day. I wanted some of that caviar those pussycats above me kept eating on a regular basis. So I hid my intentions, and went to work each day, while secretly searching for those little green men when everyone went off to sleep.
By Gold, I was referring to financial freedom.
By Cheese, I was referring to the frugal lifestyle I had to adopt to plan my future.
By Rats, I was referring to the rats themselves. We were all rats, scurrying about helplessly, hoping we make it out of the maze as soon as possible, for that lifetime’s supply of cheese we were promised back in school.
The Story We’ve All Heard a Million Times
I was told that once I get a job, my finances would take a backseat and I could venture down any lane of my choice, go on trips to wherever I wanted, and fulfil my heart’s desire.
I wasn’t told how my dreams would vanish into thin air once I entered the workforce. To get a job was to settle, and everyone was content with that. They were even happy, if they could land a government job because of the security it provided, which to me meant nothing.
Now I know why adults are characterized by their frowns.
They are living in perpetual discontent.
I am living in perpetual discontent.
Stubborn by Birth
But despite my discontent, my mind would wander off, in search of those leprechauns, wondering how they even got that pot of gold in the first place.
Did they steal it?
Did they inherit it?
Or did they get it by making false promises and charge us?
Oh wait, that is the education sector.
Those Goddamn Leprechauns
But the leprechauns I saw weren’t just sitting in the field of education, they also sat at the peaks of real estate, automobile and online marketing. They were happy and free. I wanted to become just like that, and live without having to spend every waking moment cringing as I got ready for work.
So I spent my time investing in books written by these Giants, such as Rich Dad Poor Dad, The Millionaire’s Fastlane. I was shocked beyond belief after going through those books. I didn’t want to believe it because the ideas they presented in those books were radically different from the ones I was used to. I had to reassess everything I believed about finance, but the fact remained that in order to get rich, I had to move out of the job mindset.
There is a lot of controversy surrounding Robert Kiyoski, but that man had introduced me to the idea of building a portfolio of assets and instead of stacking up on liabilities. He also made it clear to me that my house is not the greatest asset I have, in fact it is a liability in disguise, so I owe him one for passing that information onto me. I don’t know, maybe he is a fraud, but I prefer eating the meat, and leaving the bones back on the plate.
Take what you want, and leave the rest aside.
And as easy it may sound, it isn’t.
Its easy to dish out advice, but to put it into practice, that requires guts, and money.
Money that I don’t have.
So I started blogging, thinking of it as a long term investment. Look, I know the odds of making it big are slimmer than a skeleton’s waistline, but I’d rather try something, than to remain a rat forever. At the very least I can proudly state, “I tried.” Before slinking back into my cubicle and crying like a 2 year old.
Keep This In Mind
There is nothing bad about working at a job.
Yes, it is heavily taxed, yes you will work under a boss, but if you take your work seriously, you will develop the skills necessary to take it to the next level.
If you work at an oil rig, you won’t start off at the top. You will be at the lower end of the barrel, but if you’re willing to struggle it out, you can make your way up. Make no mistake, it is a very laborious and dangerous job, hence the high pay. You will be expected to work in life threatening conditions, whether the temperature outside is 60 degrees or 4 degrees. Accidents happen frequently, and if you aren’t careful, it could end not just your career, but your life.
You can quit after a few years of practice, and maybe get a Masters and start teaching what you know about the industry. Chances are you’d be too exhausted to pursue a degree by then, but there are those that do enjoy such challenges.
Its not everyone’s cup of tea, and certainly not mine.
But I have to be smart about it, because things don’t always go as planned. If I decide to quit my job and fail to monetize my side hustle, then who is the fool?
My Rat buddies would laugh hysterically at me, and squeak, “I told ya, didn’t I!”
I would be jobless, with no cash in hand, and the butt of every rat’s joke.
Always Keep Options
So although, getting a job isn’t what I desire, it is smarter to stick with something that gives me a means to survive with, than to toss everything out towards the sidewalk.
There are people out there who would kill to get a job. But since they are busy killing people, I doubt they would have the time to search for one.
All I’m saying is, that it is smart to keep options while working at a job. Also, you ought to stay away from those serial killers unless you are one, in which case I will report you to the police.
Your number one priority as of now is the only thing that you know will provide you with a steady income. Your side hustle may only remain as a side hustle. Not all of them grow fast enough for you to live off, and that’s okay.
What is shameful however, is to not even try.
Don’t give up before you start, because that shame you have today will morph into a deep regret as the years go by.
Start by doing it badly, and let yourself fail. Look at me, I’m doing pretty well!
I have yet to make a single rupee with what I’ve written so far!
If I can do it, then why not you?