Work Life Realizations 101: On Surviving the MRT Hassle


My usual route home every day from work includes a round-trip MRT ride from the Ayala Station southbound to Taft. There I’ll secure a seat after the train is emptied and then pull a book from my bag. I’ll pore over it quietly, oblivious of the commotion around me as the train honks back towards north.

That’s my favorite part of the day.

When I was just about to work barely a month ago, I was very anxious about commuting. I already geared myself up for battle for every travel hour since I heard that it is the most difficult part of going to work, and the major activity that will drain my energy for the day.

Actually, it really is. For the first few days, I would almost crawl back home as if the MRT was a huge enthusiasm-magnet that left me dead batt.

But towards the latter end of my first month, I discovered how to make my commute time more convenient, even something to look forward to! During my first week of MRT journey, I observed that most passengers would bring out their phones or tablets and watch something from it. I am too cautious of snatchers to imitate that. So I thought of bringing a book instead – something that is also very practical since I have a pretty good number of unfinished books on hand. To avoid the hassle of squeezing in between passengers, I strive to get to the MRT station every 6:30 am in the morning and for the evenings, I do round trips.

I am rather proud to say that the fear of the MRT hassle made me more disciplined in terms of time management. More interestingly, it provided a time of reflection and simply losing myself into pages and pages of books.

I never pictured out that a seemingly horrible ordeal can turn into something enjoyable, worthwhile and self-transforming. Plus, I am induced with a pleasant mood throughout my travel time since what I usually bring with me are inspiring books to keep my spirits up for the day.

It certainly is one myth about working that I just broke or got my way around. As a young professional, it is one of the first few lessons I’m gonna take away with me, even when I’d one day be driving my own car in sore traffic. To enjoy rather than endure. To find a better way of doing or seeing things instead of absorbing all the negativity around.  To continue to hope, dream, be inspired and see beyond the reality I’m in.

For this particular day, my takeaway from the book I read is that, too often, people charting their career path find themselves in a rat race where winning is the sole focus. So what if they win the race? Those who win a rat race still emerge as a rat. The goal is not to be trapped in a rat race like a rat but to be a winner not only in terms of salary, investment returns, or lofty positions, but a winner in terms of character, attitude, and integrity.

To all yuppies out there: run a different kind of race; and win well.




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