The Daily Grind. The mere mention of the phrase is enough to make one cringe. You cringe for good reason, for if you look up terms associated with the daily grind, you will not find words and phrases that elicit joy in the soul. Words like treadmill, drudgery, menial labor, and grunt work are never words that you want to define your life. The daily grind is also associated with words that most of us are far too familiar with: job, labor, and occupation.
Whatever you want to call your form of employment, how most people fall into their version of the daily grind relates to the origins of the phrase. The phrase dates back to a time period when people had to grind grains, which was done to produce flour, which in turn was used to make bread. Bread was a staple food of Anglo-Saxon England where the phrase originated. It is understandable why people from that time period did the literal daily grind of flour.
- If you did not do your daily grind then you produced no flour.
- If you had no flour then you had no bread.
- If you had no bread then disease, starvation, and eventual death occurred.
This is pretty strong motivation for people from that time period to not miss one day of their daily grind. It should also make us appreciate supermarkets.
The modern-day daily grind follows the same thought process.
- If you do not do your daily grind then you produce no money.
- For some people this literally equates to the living situation during that time period in Anglo-Saxon England. If you do not make money then malnutrition, disease and substandard living can occur.
- For most in Western society, it simply means you cannot go on vacations, buy nice things, buy a home, buy a car, or enjoy other luxuries of life.
So people get up, go through their routine and start their daily grind, or as we love to call it, the Rat Race.
One of the most well-known sayings in the Rich Dad vernacular is the phrase The Rat Race. People find themselves in the Rat Race when they spend their time, energy, and talents working to make a little money, while in the process making a far more substantial sum for someone else. If this sounds familiar, it should, most people spend their entire life in the Rat Race performing their version of the daily grind.
It would seem that most people are willing to accept this tradeoff. The percentage of employees vs. employers would back up this assumption. These employees are willing to trade their time for the payment of money, which in turn allows them to acquire items of either necessity or luxury. There is a sense of security that people feel in making this tradeoff. As long as I pound that wheat, the bread will surely follow. Unfortunately that is increasingly not the case.
A Quest for Security
For many people, the quest for security is what allows them to justify the daily grind they undertake. They believe that if they have a job, then their basic needs will be taken care of. They believe that if they have a job, they will be able to provide a home for their family. They believe that if they have a job, then security will surely follow, both now and after they retire from their daily grind. For those that accept this, it seems like the best, if not the only path they have to choose in order to acquire the security they crave.
Many have come to the conclusion in recent years that the security they thought was guaranteed through jobs was simply an illusion. Layoffs and downsizing have altered the paths of millions in recent years. Their daily grind for someone else did not produce the desired result. Their quest for security was nothing more than an illusion that came at the cost of their freedom.
The concept of freedom vs. security is a common theme in the Rich Dad philosophy. As Robert Kiyosaki’s Rich Dad told him years ago:
“Somewhere along the way, people become more desirous of security and have paid the price by selling their freedom. You may have noticed that schools today focus primarily on job security rather than financial freedom. The problem is most people do not know that the cost of that security is their freedom.” He continued to say, “If you choose security, someone is always telling you what hours to work, how much you make, and even when you can eat your lunch. That is the price of security.”
Choosing Freedom and Security
The vast majority of individuals are going to have to pound some version of wheat for their daily grind. For those that choose freedom this can take many forms. The road of the entrepreneur has numerous paths, whether it be starting your own business, real estate, or becoming a trader of the financial markets. Each of these avenues can help create the income necessary for you to eventually escape the rat race and ultimately your daily grind.
For those that value security, and so desperately want to choose security over freedom, then an honest evaluation of modern business and society will lead to one conclusion. This conclusion is that if you truly want security then the only way to guarantee security is to provide it yourself. If you have created the passive income necessary to escape the rat race then you will stumble into both freedom and security, even if you were only looking for one of them. This is why escaping the rat race is the mantra of many Rich Dad followers. It is the ultimate destination where freedom and security meet. This is the moment when you are no longer a slave to the daily grind and are free to pursue whatever you want.
Each of us has the ability to choose freedom starting today. As Robert Kiyosaki has stated, “Your future is created by what you do today, not tomorrow.” At times the thought of starting down our own path can seem overwhelming. But you are going to have to pound wheat to make some bread one way or another, so it might as well be for yourself.