For most Americans, the traditional way of life includes going to school, finding a job, getting married, raising a family, and retiring at age 65. That’s all fine and dandy, but have you ever thought about how much time is actually spent in the years between getting a job and retiring?

The average American worker will work from age 21 until age 65. Using a 40 hour work week, this amounts to 91,520 hours. The significance of this is that we are spending all these thousands of hours building somebody else’s business and dreams.

Most of us will never venture to try to be different, to start our own business, to change how we spend our working years. We’re scared of failure, we’re scared of risk, and we’re conditioned to be employees. I’m not saying this is completely wasted time because we have bills to pay and kids to put through therapy school, but in all honesty, it really is.

What happens is that we become slaves to a paycheck and lose all ability to think outside the box. The employee mentality is so common yet in complete opposition of how we should be thinking. Life was not meant to be spent punching a time clock, wishing for that 75 cent raise, and feeling lucky to have some shitty job with an even shittier boss.

Life was meant to be enjoyed, appreciated, and lived with passion! The problem is that 97% of us aren’t living this way. Why can’t we have what we want in life? Why do we need to beg for scraps at others tables?

Before we know it, our lives will have passed us by and our paths will have been laid. Life is unbelievably short and knowing that I’ve already lived more than half my expected life keeps me awake at night. It’s deeply disturbing to me that I have lived almost 40 years and am so far from where I thought I would be by now?

I’ve accomplished so little in comparison to so many others. I’m sure feeling this way is extremely common and it’s truly a tragedy. We start our lives so full of dreams and the grind of life slowly eats it away. Throw in a job you hate, a stressful family life, and financial difficulties, and watch your dreams (and time) get sucked right into a black hole.

What’s worse is that most people will never even realize that they’re stuck in the grind and therefore will never get out. If you’re one of those people who is perfectly content being an employee, trading your valuable time for dollars, and biding your time until retirement, that’s your prerogative.

Personally, I can’t think of many things more depressing than someone who doesn’t strive for something better. The thought of being old and unable to do the things I always wanted to scares the shit out of me. At some point, it will be too late. Find what you love to do and do it with all your heart.

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