The Rate Race
I have previously written about the importance of investing in your earning power. I believe that is of utmost importance to ensure a successful life from a financial perspective. However, it also often contributes to what we usually term “the rat race”. You work hard to get good grades in school, which again creates pressure to get into the best universities. Once there, you need to perform at undergraduate level as well to keep up with the pace of the others. This again creates expectations of securing a good job, and from that follows expectations of promotions and so on. Before you know it, you are approaching retirement, and your entire adult life has been at an ever-accelerating pace, in a race to always stay ahead of the pack. That life is not for everyone. Today I shall therefore offer a perspective from “the other side”, but you can of course also find your way somewhere in between the extremes.
So what does life “on the other side” mean? Well, for most it’s probably about securing a stable life, without having to succumb to the pressure of constantly doing more to achieve more. To have the ability to take a step back and move at a pace you are more comfortable with, to live a less stressful life. It could mean that you for some years partake in the rat race, but only to create the foundation needed to live life at a slower pace. Because like it or not, to get out of the race, you still need food and a roof over your head. So, once you graduate and start working, my advice to you would be:
- Ensure your education makes your services attractive, also in the long run, whether you work for others or yourself. In other words, seek a profession that is dynamic, versatile and in demand
- As soon as possible, secure your accommodation. Make sure this has low regular payments and maintenance costs
- Save money, as much as possible, because there will be rainy days. In 2023, 54% of the US population would not be able to handle emergency expenses in the region of 750 to 800 OMR or more. 13% cannot even handle an emergency expense of 150 OMR. Do not be one of those. And if you don’t know how to save, read “The Richest Man in Babylon” for some inspiration
- Forget about career thinking, but be flexible and open-minded. Learn to be happy with what you got
- Avoid an expensive lifestyle. Have low bills, and don’t spend money on bad habits. Learn to cook, to plan and budget and live by it
- Don’t incur debts, and if you do, get rid of it as quickly as you can
Is this not for you? Well, then you better start investing in your earning power.