Is It Possible To Escape The Hamster Wheel?

Thoughts and first steps

Britta Ollrogge, MBA


A hamster in a hamster wheel
Photo by Matt Bero on Unsplash

Many people feel trapped in the hamster wheel from time to time.

At the end of this month, my assignment on a significant project ends, and when I reflect on the last months, the following thoughts come to my mind:

  • It was fun but also very routine, and I learned not many new things.
  • It was hectic, with many meetings and little room for creativity.
  • It was very time intensive, so there was no time for side projects, training, or vacation.
  • But, on the other hand, it brought me good regular revenue month after month.

And now my first thought is: Where can I quickly get a new, big project? But wouldn’t I then go from one hamster wheel to the next?

The challenge is that if you want to get off the hamster wheel, you must get off your comfort zone.

If you take a look at a real hamster wheel, you could get the impression that it’s not so bad:

  • The hamster gets the exercise he needs.
  • He can move around in a safe environment with no enemies and nasty surprises.
  • The cage, his prison, doesn’t seem so small and confining anymore since he can still run a very long distance.

What would happen if we put the hamster in the garden so he could run there? If the area is not escape-proof, he would just run away and probably get eaten by a cat or other animal. But there is certainly a middle ground. We could build the hamster a large enclosure with several levels, where he can live and run together with conspecifics. That would undoubtedly be unfamiliar initially, but after a short time, the hamster would get used to it and enjoy the new environment.

As humans, we have many more options because our cages are of our own making, and we can leave them ourselves. We may make mistakes and fail along the way, but we will learn steadily. And ultimately, we can always go back to the hamster wheel.
So why not just try the step into freedom?

Steps out of the hamster wheel:

  1. Think about your vision, and derive from it…



Britta Ollrogge, MBA

I write on Self Improvement 🌱, Productivity 🎯, and Agile Product Development 🏄. My goal is to inspire.💡