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May 01

Are You Busy Making A Dying?

Do you come home from work at the end of the day feeling energetic and full of life? Ready to do all those amazing things that popped into your head during the day?

Not me, I get home at the end of the day and don’t have much energy to do more than be entertained by a screen. I suspect that is closer to the truth for many of us. Kinda ironic, isn’t it? They tell us we are all out there “making a living” but it sure isn’t my idea of life.

It’s the opposite of living, lots of us go out there and “make a dying.” Spend the best, healthiest, years of your life and as a reward you can enjoy the scraps the world hasn’t taken from you in the end. I have to believe that many people out there feel the same way. That feeling you have on a Sunday evening with a whole work week ahead of you, or the most unwelcome interruption to your sleep when the alarm clock goes off.

I feel that way, or at least I used to.


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Is this a typical workday for anyone?

  • Wake up to the alarm at 5:30am
  • Shit, shower, and shave
  • Grab a cereal bar or a banana to eat on the way to work
  • Enjoy a crowded and/or long and stressful commute
  • Get busy doing the tasks that someone else wants done
  • Buy a lunch because you didn’t have energy to make one to bring
  • More running around doing tasks
  • Fight the crowd back to your home
  • Worry about losing your job, all these bills need to be paid
  • See family for a little bit
  • Be entertained by screens because you are too tired to do anything else
  • Go to sleep, have a nightmare about work
  • Realize that nightmare was just a recap of your day

Is this familiar to anyone here? To me it is. So is it any wonder that so many people are unhappy, depressed, and taking 3 different types of medication?

It was pretty close to how I lived years ago. I always wanted to be free from it, but I fell into the crowd. I just did what everyone else was doing, even though I didn’t like it.

But one day I broke out of that trance. I got back on the path I had started out on. I’m not free yet, I still have some crap to crawl through.

It’s uncomfortable breaking out of the crowd, but the best destinations require you to do so.


I think it is like being in prison, even though we are innocent. I liken it to the movie The Shawshank Redemption.

We have a choice to be Andy Dufresne, the person who chose to work towards escape or the institutionalized Brooks who was scared to leave prison and ended up hanging himself when he was released.

Andy is informed by another inmate, Red, about prison life.

“They send you here for life, and that’s exactly what they take.”

Andy was in prison for a crime he didn’t commit.

We are all born into the system, we are innocent. But just because you did nothing wrong, doesn’t mean you can pass the blame for where you are. You need to take responsibility for your lot in life. If you want something, go work towards it!

He meets another inmate who tells him he is innocent, but the bribe taking warden has been using Andy to ‘cook the books’ and has the other inmate shot.

You can have a dream to be free, but those that are using you don’t want that. They are your warden and will shoot down those dreams of being free.

Andy doesn’t give up like most other inmates. He comes up with a plan to be free.

He continues to do as he is told, but every chance he gets he is working towards that dream. Using the only available tool, a tiny rock hammer, he manages to chisel through about 6ft of concrete wall over the course of 19 years. Slowly and piece by piece he broke through the wall that would lead him to freedom.

Even all the effort of tunneling through the wall only led him to another part of the prison.

He had to crawl through a pipe of raw sewage for 500 yards to get out of the prison. There are going to be numerous obstacles to overcome, numerous yards of crap to crawl through.

He takes all the money in the accounts of the thieving warden and manages to make it to the beach town in Mexico, the efforts of his dream.

Because he was focused and because he never gave up he got his dream, all the crap he had to endure has allowed him to be free.


There was one memorable thing Andy said to his friend, Red, before breaking out.

“Get busy living or get busy dying.”

What one are you doing?


Picture credits: 1 2 3 4 5

6 comments

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  1. Mrs. Picky Pincher

    I finally took matters into my own hands and just transitioned into a new job. I have a lot more freedom and flexibility, which is something I think I’ll really benefit from. I really only feel “alive” when I’m not at work; it sucks to admit it, but it’s true. Unless you work doing what you’re passionate about, it’s going to feel like a chore.

    But I guess the point is that I do sacrifice my time at work so I can earn money to pay bills. The less bills I have, the better chance I have of achieving FIRE sooner rather than later.

    1. MrDD

      Hey, I am right there with ya sister. Trading little chunks of my life for money. Pretty much everyone is or has been where we are. The trick is to not waste it on fleeting crap and instead use it to free yourself from that ‘trade’. To own all of your time, to do what you wish with your life.

      I know you know that though. Soon your student loans will be paid off and you will shoot past me in net worth. 😀

      It’s ok, my needs are few and I have one of the last ‘Cadillac’ pension plans that vests in about 21 months. We all can do it, one way or another. Just have to not stop.

  2. Mr Defined Sight

    I hear you, loud and clear on this one. I find myself thinking about that work “rut” quite often. Here it is Sunday and already have the Monday dread. Still grinding to make changes!
    Mr Defined Sight recently posted…Guest Post: 4 Assets That You Should Not Invest InMy Profile

    1. MrDD

      Two days off, and we spend half of them dreading the coming week. I’ll be right there grinding it out with ya! We do what we have to so that one day we don’t have to anymore. 🙂

  3. Tim Kim @ Tub of Cash

    I like this post! We’re all living on borrowed time; and eventually all of us die. It’d be a shame to just exist…I want to live!

    1. MrDD

      Hell yeah! No matter what crap you deal with on a day to day basis, if you have a plan to break free it is all worth it. If you are doing all this crap with no plan to be free, why? Change the way you see your life. It might take a lot of time, but it will never happen if you stop or never start in the first place.

      Andy got free while all the rest languished in prison.

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