[Rat Race] Rush: Why You Need And Love the Rat Race (2011) book review

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Obligatory social media posts you’ll see everyday reminding you that your life supposedly “sucks”. (Image source: Etramping)

Quit your corporate life, travel the world and do what you love. 

This is the continuous ‘fairytale life’ that has been fed to us by the media and viral content as the “correct & fulfilling way of life”. Honestly, I don’t mind much if other people felt that this is their way of life but I really wish that the media and society would stop glamorizing this lifestyle because the fact of the matter is –

A majority of people can’t afford to do that.

I think for a lot of us, for one reason or another, don’t have much choice but to continue with our corporate office life. And that’s why seeing a lot of the media parading around on the “travel & do what you love!” lifestyle pisses me off. I’m envious knowing that it can never be my life, so stop rubbing it in my face, please?

Hence, I felt that this book is almost like a Godsend to me on first impression, because there’s not enough content out there that helps us to be happy with corporate life. Yes, I get it. There is nothing happy about being in the corporate rat race life. But everybody has got to live with illusions that their life is okay, right?

Before I start diving into the book review, I’ve got to say that the title of the book is misleading. The cover made it seem like this book will centre around the benefits of being in the corporate rat race, but that only encompasses about a quarter of the book. Whereas the rest of it advocates on the benefits of having competition in general.

 

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Rush by Todd G. Buchholz

 

1-Sentence Summary. Todd G. Buchholz disagrees with Edenists (those who advocates a stress-free and back-to-basics kind of life) and went on to justify why and how stress & competition have brought mankind to be progressive, happier, and made life for everyone much, much easier.

Why I Picked it Up. As mentioned above, I got this because the cover implied that it was going to tell me the advantages of being in the corporate rat race life. Clearly, I have misread with my first impression,

Why It’s A Gem

  • UNIQUE ANGLE TO COVER ON HUMAN BEHAVIOUR. There is an infinity of other books out there pressing you to de-stress your life or go back to the simpler way of living (because modern world is apparently causing us all so much unnecessary pain). It is absolutely refreshing to be reading about another point of view showing proof that competition and modern life is the main driver for humans to evolve and provide a better life for the next following generations.
  • STATING THE BIG IDEA AT THE START OF EACH CHAPTER. The issue with some non-fiction writers is that they can go round-and-round with their writing and you somehow lost the point that they’re trying to make. Thus, I really appreciate it that each chapter starts with a ‘Big dea’ statement, helping readers to focus on the main message as we read on.
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“What’s the Big Idea?” – Perfect introduction to each chapter!

 

Why It Can Be A Rock

  • SYNTHESIS OF INFORMATION COULD HAVE BEEN BETTER. The flow of the writing just didn’t do it for me. It felt like the author was just trying to cram in every single thing that he knows into each chapter. Half of the times, it as more like ‘Touch n Go’, where he would quote certain studies or proof in two sentences and just move on, not exploring in-depth with some of the more interesting evidences. I’d personally much rather read lesser evidence but with more meat, rather than reading a hundred of research being condensed into 2 sentences.
  • UNNECESSARY POP CULTURE REFERENCES. It almost seemed like Todd was trying too hard to make his book more cool and fun by putting in random unneeded pop culture references that made me feel like, “Why am I wasting my time reading this?Neither of these help to support his point in any way.” It could have been a more concise read if the author controlled his impulse of having to put in unneeded pop culture references in all of his chapters.

015897-yellow-comment-bubble-icon-animals-animal-panda3-sc37 (2)  As A Reading Panda,  I’d Give It :

bamboo_1bamboo_1bamboo_1bamboo_1bamboo_1(5 out of my 10 bamboos)

Despite my dislike of several matters about the writing, I have absolutely no regrets on reading this book. Its unique perspective on work, busy-ness and stress being a necessity makes it a rare content that I think the world needs more of.

Although I was picking up the book more to feel better for myself and the corporate life I’m living, this book actually plays a larger role than just a feel-good factor. It legitly wants to you to understand that the myth of “taking it easy and de-stressing your life” doesn’t work out as well as it was embellished to be.

If you’d like a peak of the book, try watching the below short video of the author giving a few snippets of the more interesting chapters and irony in the book. Even if you don’t agree with his points on the above, I’m sure you’d learn somethign new as he reveals some tidbits of his research in the video:

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