Working for the Man

Working for the Man

Very few people like working for the man. We complain about going to work on Monday morning, and we cannot wait for Friday afternoon. We work for the weekend.

Many people even complain that upper management and CEOs don’t deserve the salary they are paid, but we continue to go back to work for them. The reason we continue to work for the man is that we need the money to keep up the lifestyle that we desire. We continue to work for the man for 40 years or so, and most people hate it.

Would you quit your job today if you had $1,000,000 in the bank? Unfortunately, most Americans would do this because they don’t like their current job situation, and the only reason they’re at their job is that they need to support their lifestyle. Would you quit your current job if you could support yourself another way if that meant giving up some of your lifestyle?

Story of the Monk and the King’s Official

There’s a story of a monk and a king’s official that goes something like this:

Two men grew up in the same small village, and they knew each other since the time they were little boys. When they got older their lives diverged. One went and became a monk, and the other went to work for the king. Time went by and many years later their paths crossed once again. The king’s official felt sorry for the monk because the monk had very little to live on. The official said to the monk, “If you could learn to minister to the king you wouldn’t have to eat rice and beans!” The monk replied, “If you could learn to live on rice and beans you wouldn’t have to cater to the king.”

Be Content and Save

Most of us, given the choice, would not want to live on rice and beans and a total lack of other material possessions for all our life. However, consider what can happen if you cut back for just a few years. You often hear me say to put those numbers into an investment calculator and see how much you could have in 10 years or 20 years by cutting back on a few things. Sooner than you think you could stop working for the man if that’s what you wanted to do. The problem is that it’s too hard for most people to give up even just a little bit of their lifestyle, either because their friends or family have that lifestyle, or they think they deserve it.

The “poor” monk is already living his life intentionally because he decided what type of life he wanted to live and lives within his means. He does not need to work for the king, because he already knows what makes him happy. He has learned to be content with his situation.

Or Stay Where You Are

What do you want in life? Do you want to continue spending all that you have and financing even more and continue working for the man? Would you rather spend more time with your family? You’ll hear me say it over and over that none of these lifestyles are bad. When most people start out their adult life, they will need to go work for someone. There’s nothing wrong with that. Those businesses supply a lot of useful and meaningful jobs. If you don’t like working for the company or CEO you are working for, then consider that it’s your lifestyle choices that are keeping you there. Your lifestyle choices are making you miserable!

Do What You Enjoy

I don’t want you to live on rice and beans. You can if you choose to, and that is fine, but cutting back a little of your lifestyle in order to build some wealth can help open opportunities for you. When those opportunities come your way, you can jump at them. I’m not talking about taking big risks here. I’m talking about when your dream job is available to you, you can jump at that opportunity because you don’t have to worry too much about the financial implications of switching jobs even for a lower income. Instead of working for the man every day to support your lifestyle you can spend more time with your wife and family, or you can volunteer more of your time to the charities that you consider beneficial.

You can live like the monk or the official or somewhere in between. No matter what type of lifestyle you choose, if you cannot live below your means in order to pay off your debt and save, you will continue to stay in your current situation.

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