Stuck on the Hamster Wheel of Life?

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Do you feel like the hamster on the wheel? Running really hard, really fast…giving it all you’ve got, but seemingly STUCK…can’t go anywhere in life. But running on the wheel is seemingly your only option?

At one time or another in each of our lives if we paused & truly examined our life in one of our key areas, we might not like the direction our life: Relationally, physically, emotionally, mentally, vocationally, or even spiritually…where would we be headed? Is the path of my life leading to my desired destination? Do I like the path I’m on? Do I like where I’m headed, how my life is going?

Sometimes, life throws us a favor in disguise…we have a misstep or something happens & we get knocked off the hamster wheel…maybe a relationship or a job ends. We experience what appears to be a setback, but could really be a setup…a setup for something greater, sometime better.

Although the crash can hurt, getting off of that spinning wheel can be one of the best things to happen to us. The hampster was forced to make a change and sometimes…so are we. Beware…you will be tempted to get back on that same wheel & head in that same direction. Why? Because that’s what’s comfortable to you & we’re creatures of comfort. Though our desire for comfort sometimes protects us from danger, it also can be a subtle enemy, robbing us of the life we deeply long for, hindering us from making the move we need to make. The move that leads to our BREAKTHROUGH…

What is a breakthrough moment? A moment of piercing clarity, an epiphany, you know where you want to go a specific aspect or situation of your life, l, “Ah-ha!” – the breakthrough moment happens when you realize are free to move in the direction that you want to take your life free from the hampster wheel. Sometimes breakthrough moments are magnanimous events that forever change the course of our lives. Yet we can also make breakthrough moments happen in our daily lives.

First we have to get off the wheel. We need to stop and disconnect from the incessant busyness of our lives. Walk away from the computer or the TV, put down the cell phone, don’t facebook stalk tonight. Take a night off from socializing…or get out & socialize if you never go out. Create space to breathe, reflect, think. Often, the longer the better, 30 mins is good…2 weeks is amazing. My biggest breakthroughs have typically come on trips, esp. international trips. On those trips, when I’m disconnected from my normal routines, my own hamster wheels, sometimes for weeks at a time….

How do we get to this breakthrough moment? Ask yourself, “Is the pattern of my life going to lead in the direction that I want to go?”


If the answer is YES and you are content, then great! Accelerate & enhance your life in that direction…but if not, it’s time for a change…time to shake off the complacency, the boredom, the monotony. It’s time to engage in the 2nd step that will lead to a breakthrough.

The 2nd step is to actively change your current pattern, or enhance the current pattern if you really like where it is leading you. Invest quality time with the right people. Intentionally choose the people that you hang out with or with whom you pursue relationships. They affect the trajectory of your life dramatically.

Embrace the changes, the discomfort, the learning, the growth… Often, the times when we are most excited about our lives are when we are experiencing growth or something new. As we get older & stuck in our routines we become bored with life, we lose the childlike wonder and awe.

Watch a small child who is completely captivated by something as small as a butterfly. Have you lost that wonder, that sense of awe of life? What’s different from you & the child? Are you stuck in a monotonous routine, a comfort zone that’s not changed in years??? Come on!! Get out there & experience life!! You’ve only got one life to live!!!

Live your one & only life well, my friend.


4 thoughts on “Stuck on the Hamster Wheel of Life?

  1. This is so true! Thank you for the reminder that we have the ability to bring change to our lives. It is all in taking that first step of change that may seems so uncomfortable but may be the step that will change our lives. For me to really see a change in an area of my life where I would like the outcome to be different, I have to look at how I am responding now and do the exact opposite.

    Thanks Mike!

  2. Thanks Mike!!! This is so true..we all need to stop and smell the roses from time to time.
    Life is awesome and we need not let the small things pull us down.

    GOD is Great!


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