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When I first watched ‘Office Space’ in 2001, I thought it was hilarious. When I watched it again in 2006 after working in a cubicle for 4 years, it was a bit depressing. Now, after 8 years at a desk and most of my life sucked out of me, this movie defines my existence.

Since I first took a desk job in 2002, I have slowly transformed from an active, energetic, upbeat guy into a downtrodden, pessimistic, and lifeless drone. Yes, I AM Peter!

Dragging your ass into work like you’re walking to the execution chamber is a miserable way to live. Millions of people struggle to get motivated to punch the clock for yet another ho-hum day. The next time you are sitting in rush hour traffic, look at the people around you. Most will probably look like zombies.

Sitting in an office or cubicle for 8+ hours each day, especially if you a person who loves being outside, can be excruciating. Life was not intended to be this way. So why are we choosing to stare at Excel spreadsheets and PowerPoint presentations all day long?

Life has conditioned us that way, that’s why. This is what we’re supposed to do. My wife has often asked me “why can’t you just be happy at work”? My answer is always the same, “because I hate being there”.

All those self-help guru’s will tell you that all you have to do is choose to be happy. It doesn’t matter what your situation is, it’s how you perceive that situation, they say. I get that, it makes sense to me, but applying it is damn near impossible!

When we are in a situation we don’t want to be in (i.e. our lousy jobs), we can either choose to find the positives or dwell on the negatives. Most of us will dwell on the negatives. Do you know why? Because it’s easy.

Reminding ourselves of all the great things we do have is hard work, and most of aren’t going to do it. Our minds tend to drift back to what feels natural and that’s being a Debbie Downer. I’m not trying to cast doom and gloom to all the readers here, I’m just talking about what’s real.

I’ve said this before, but the first step to creating change is recognizing you need it. Actually, I haven’t said that before…

How can we break free from our office prisons if we can’t see the bars? Take a long look at your life and the role your job plays in it. If you go to work, do your time, leave, and don’t think about it again until 9am the next day, you’re excused from the following paragraph.

For those us us who carry the black cloud of misery home with us, it has to stop. Our children are suffering and we don’t even know it. We all want our kids to be happy and full of life and we are slowly taking that away from them.

We may not see it now, but the effects of chronic stress and unhappiness have profound negative effects on our families. My number one goal is to have more time with my family and here I am bringing them down every day with my tales of woe.

Don’t be like me. Don’t waste most of a decade working a job you hate. Find something you love and turn it into a career. It’s taken me this long to make the commitment to follow my passion, don’t let it take you that long. Please.

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