Smart Reasons to Save, Use and Invest Money

Are We All COGs in the Machine Of Life?

Are we GOGS in the machine of life, destine to play the small and trite role that we are instructed to play by others who are willing to treat us as such?  Spinning in a continuous circle, never really going anywhere… until we wear out and need to be replaced by a newer, shinier model?

I know what many of you might be thinking, what can we do about it, it’s what society needs and demands…

Perhaps, but have your tried anything else?  Have you ever taken a leap of faith and try to run outside of the box (or off the bar, in my COG example)?  Life is short, so why not draw outside of the lines?  Perhaps try a side job, or a 2nd night shift job?  If you hate your current job, what is there to lose?

I once knew a woman who I worked with that use to tell me this message over and over.  She even had a bumper sticker on her car that said “Life isn’t a dress rehearsal”.

During her day job, she was an administrative assistant, but at night she really came to life.  She would tell everybody in the office about her dancing classes, and all the other outside activities that she participated in.  She kept both busy and active.  She was like a COG that ran perfectly during the day, but every night would pop off of her bar and enjoy life.  Experiencing anything that she so desired.

Back when I was much younger I thought she was like a modern hippie, but now I see the truth in her words and I admire her for living the way she wanted to live instead of the way society expected her to live.

Her story was a sad one, where her ex-husband created a very successful business and left her for a younger more attractive employee.  Her kids decided that they preferred dad over mom (perhaps because he was so rich), and so she was at first lonely.  But instead of feeling sorry for herself, she blossomed into a very active and sociable lady.

So how does one escape being a total COG?

On way is to find ways to make extra money!  I know plenty of bloggers that are trying to make money selling ebooks.  Another way would be try and make money on twitter.

Personally I like trying to make money with blogging, but here are an additional 15 Advantages of Blogging that make blogging worthwhile.

So experiment, don’t be a COG all the time, live and think outside of the box a little!  After all, who really wants to run in circles all the time… never really going anywhere?

-MR

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28 Responses to Are We All COGs in the Machine Of Life?

  1. Great post and story. I sometimes feel that way and oddly enough is the reason why I want to insulate myself. I get the feeling that life is a bit too orchestrated and that we are jumping to the tune of a master.
    I have little to no job satisfaction which is why eventually I would want to set up my own business to stop taking orders.

    Thank you for the inspiration.

    -Ravi G.

    • Very true, we lost our individuality and are becoming like the borg from the Star Trek series. Advanced but boring and all the same…

      It’s good to hear that I’m not alone on this thought!

  2. Excellent topic – I think going outside the box is key to a happier existence. It seems that the technology age we’ve created for our society keeps us more in check than previous centuries (I think centuries is appropriate, right?). We seem to be glued to our electronic “boxes” and stuck in a repeating cycle: sleep, work, television, sleep, work, television, etc. (I personally don’t own a TV but I do watch movies on Netflix.) Breaking free of that monotonous cycle means learning new skills and creating new talents – which is much more interesting.

    • I know exactly what you mean by the repeating pattern. I actually created a post in 2009 called “My Middle Class Lifestyle” where I identify that a very similar pattern. I even included a youtube video reference to NIN’s “Everyday is exactly the same” video. It really fix the bill :)

  3. Too often, we fall into a comfortable routine that does not serve us well. Not everyone can be ambitious, smart or rich, but all of us can try to accomplish as much as we are capable. Too many people complain about their existence rather than do something about it.

    • I’ve seen many smart people just stuck in COG world spinning wasting time. The later wondering why the didn’t do this or that. It’s been great motivation for me to step up a bit and to drag my kids along for the ride too.

  4. It can be scary stepping out of the box, or finding time to experiment with different activities. However, it is something people should make time for so they don’t stagnate. Being stuck in a rut can be depressing!

    • Indeed it can! In the movie “Breakfast Club”, the character Allison Reynolds (Ally Sheedy) said she was in detention because she didn’t have anything else to do. I thought that was both sad and stupid of the writers to write into the movie. But not I think I understand why they wrote that particular line…

    • I hope so, I think once a person is financially free, the world can really change to be a much more exciting non-COG like world! At least I think I would won’t follow the typical predetermined path of working for someone else. Yes, I would still work, but I would be my own boss!

  5. I think that is one of the reasons I like to have money savings/retirement goals. If after every week that goes by you are a little closer to a financial milestone, then it feels like you are making progress and not just a hampster on a wheel going no where.

    Experiencing new stuff is also awesome. If you just do and/or learn 1 new thing a year you will have a very interesting life.

  6. We all play the roles that society demands of us. I think it’s important we realize that many times we are just wearing a mask. Stepping outside that box allows us to find who we really are and create a life that means something to us. Shakespeare said the world is but a stage, and we just the players. That same quote implies that there is life beyond that stage.

    • Yeah, that Shakespeare was a pretty smart guy… (that’s an understatement huh).

      I’ve seen guy’s retiring from work that have worn their mask their entire working lives. I don’t want to wear my mask that long!

  7. I started my blog just as a hobby and I’ve enjoyed it so much I just launched another one. It’s fun and its something to do other than studying. I dont really feel like a cog, maybe this is because I’m not a part of the full time workforce yet.

  8. MR,

    Thanks for linking to my posts on making extra money. “Grabbing life by the cojones” should be my new motto. I realized that I’ve been waiting for life to begin and it’s already here! That’s why I created a bucket list and am slowly checking things off. Because life’s no fun if we don’t mix it up a little.

    • Sounds great! The last thing you want to do is realize that idea before it’s too late. I want do try thing ideas I have while I’m young enough to recover from them if they go bad…

  9. What if the machine is one big beautiful machine? If so, I’m happy to be a COG. We need to all do our part, no matter how small!

    Sam

    • Oh, I’m not saying to quit what is putting food on the table. I’m just saying don’t become a worker drone or let the job become the master of you in your life.

      Even though you have a great employer, you have at least 2 successful websites. With these 2 site, it seems that you have incredible passion developing them (which is great)!

      Actually, thinking clearly, you are the perfect example of what I’m blogging about above. :)

  10. Great inspiring post. Sad story about your friend, but sounds like she’s making the most of it. You say she is the perfect cog by day and at night she pops off her bar and really lives. Is there a way to stay off the bar day and night?

  11. What an inspiring tale! She proved two things. First, that happiness comes from within, not from how people around you act. Second, that it is worth finding time to do the things you love. And sometimes, it is worth striking out for lower pay, because there are more important things than money.