As I interact with family and friends and work with clients, I have been recently reminded that the “rat race” is alive and well. I find that we are stressed and often find it difficult to take a break for rest and rejuvenation from our jobs, businesses or other projects. We neglect the things that are most important to us often with little realization that this is occurring. The “rat race” has a way of decimating individuals, families and institutions.

What is the “rate race”? Wikipedia defines it as follows:

rat race is an endless, self-defeating, or pointless pursuit. It conjures up the image of lab rats racing through a maze to get the “cheese” much like society racing to get ahead financially.

The term is commonly associated with an exhausting, repetitive lifestyle that leaves no time for relaxation or enjoyment.

At some point, either consciously or subconsciously, we have all been involved in this race. The “rat race” is subtle. Early on, we are prepared through societal conditioning to strive for more. However, there is a cost associated with this relentless pursuit.

It is often not until a life-changing event occurs such as the death of someone close to us, an illness, a job loss or something else that we realize the need to change. When we come to this realization, it is often very difficult to break ingrained conditioning or habits and make changes.

I realized this after hitting a virtual wall during my time as an executive with an international corporation. The story is a little too long to cover here, but believe me, it was a life changing experience. It led me on the path of becoming a certified life coach and ultimately, a certified executive coach. Applying the principles that I learned in my own life resulted in a tremendous change for the better. I now have a mission of helping others realize that they are participating in the “rat race”, and we evaluate the impact on their lives and those around them. We then partner to develop a plan to change.

Are you in the race? If so, how is it going? Is there a need to change? If so, how will you and who will hold you accountable for doing so? These are important questions. They are certainly worth being answered. If not for you, certainly for those you love and others around you.