You vs. the Cubicle

October 13th, 2009 by Steve Pavlina

Ah, the cubicle. The beige cage.

The cubicle is the antithesis of doing work you love. Virtually no one pictures a cubicle when they think about doing what they most love.

The cubicle is where you end up when you fall out of harmony with what you love.

The only way you can be stuck in a cubicle is by giving your power away to it.

A cubicle has no power over you. You can empower the cubicle, but it can’t empower itself.

To complain about a job you dislike is an act of giving your power away. You chose the job, and you can just as easily choose to stop showing up.

Think of it this way: If you and your cubicle got in a fight, who would win?

Still not sure? How about this: You plus a chainsaw vs. the cubicle plus a chainsaw. Who’d win?

If you decide to leave the cubicle, it is powerless to stop you. You could smash the thing to pieces just for spite.

So the only one keeping you trapped in that cubicle is you. You’re there by choice. You’re there because that’s the life you chose to create.

“But I need that cubicle because I need money,” you say.

Now you’re giving your power away to money. Money is nothing but a piece of paper… or a number on a computer screen. How can something so lifeless and inanimate have any power over you whatsoever?

If you and $1 million cash got in a fight, who’d win?

Not sure? Ok, try this: You plus a flamethrower vs. $1 million plus a flamethrower. Who’d win?

Is that even a fair fight? You could repeat it for a thousand matches and win every single time.

“But I have bills to pay,” you say.

Now you’re giving your power away to your bills. You do realize you don’t have to do that, don’t you?

What is a bill? It’s a few pieces of paper at most.

You vs. your bills in a fight — who’d win?

Can you see who’s stronger here, or do we need to arm each of you with a paper shredder to be sure?

“But I need a roof over my head and food on the table,” you say.

Now you’re giving your power away to the roof and the food. Those are inanimate objects.

Who’d win in a fight between you and a house or you and a ton of food? I think it’s clear that you’re the fiercer opponent in those matches, and unless you do something stupid and slip on a banana peel, an easy victory is yours.

Follow this chain of making and busting excuses for as long as you desire. You’ll still end up at the same place. Each rationalization is just another instance of giving your power away.

Giving your power away is stupid. Who would use their creative powers to create a trap for themselves and then complain about being stuck in the trap afterwards? That wouldn’t be very bright, now would it? I mean… you’d have to be really, really stupid to do something like that, wouldn’t you?

Do you realize that you don’t actually have to give your power away to anything? Really you don’t.

You don’t actually have to create a trap for yourself, fall into it, and then spend years complaining about the trap.

It’s not like your traps are very strong anyway. A cubicle isn’t a particularly strong cage, now is it? You can walk away from it this very second, and it’s powerless to contain you.

An unfulfilling relationship isn’t much of a cage either. Again, it’s easy enough to just walk away.

Even now, you have the ability to withdraw your power into yourself and reclaim it.

That power is your creative ability. Your power allows you to bend reality to your will. If you want to experience a different reality, you have the power to create it.

If you desire a roof over your head and food on the table, you can use your power to create that.

If you desire to have bills in your life and also have them be paid on time with ease, you can create that reality too.

If you desire to have money flowing through your life, that is also within your power.

And if you desire to live your life outside a cubicle, then once again you are strong enough to make that happen.

Do not make excuses. Do not complain about your situation. Complaining and excuse-making are acts of using your power to create what you don’t want.

Whenever you complain about anything, it’s because you do not understand the true nature of power.

Do not pretend you are powerless. You are stronger than any excuse.

Use your power to constructively create what you want. Focus your will upon your desires. Withdraw your thoughts from helplessness and hopelessness.

Realize that you’re the creator in your reality. If you find yourself in a cubicle, who created that reality for you? Who used their willpower to walk up to the cubicle and sit down? You willed that into existence. You thought about it. You felt what it would feel like. You fed that potential reality your power. And so you manifested and experienced it. But you didn’t have to. You never had to. And you never will have to.

Look around your life and notice all that you’ve created. You did all of that. Your repeated applications of power constructed the reality you are now experiencing.

Celebrate that realization. See the good in what you’ve created. Remember the thoughts and feelings you summoned to create it. Do not give your power away by pretending that you didn’t create it.

You may have created much that you no longer desire to experience. In that case, focus your creative energies elsewhere. Stop feeding your power to what you’ve already created, and begin channeling it toward what you now desire.

You cannot uncreate what you’ve already created. Well, maybe if you use the flamethrower. But you can re-create your reality into that which you desire to experience.

Imagine being in the place of experiencing a reality that you created. Actually you’re already there. You’re experiencing that every day. But now imagine yourself enjoying a reality that you very much desire to experience. You can create that too.

What if you don’t know what you’ll enjoy? How do you know what to create next?

Well, start with what you know. If you know you aren’t thrilled with what you have right now, then pick a direction and target your creative energies there. If you know what you’re experiencing right now isn’t what you desire, then the most foolish thing you can do is to use your power to keep re-creating it.

Explore. Experiment. Create new experiences for yourself. It is only through exploration that you will hone in on what you most desire. Be willing to fail.

Celebrate your creative failures. Celebrate those times when you created something you didn’t like. Those experiences are your greatest teachers.

When you know you’ve created something you don’t like, learn from that contrast. Ask yourself, “How does this help me understand what I truly do want?”

If you know you don’t want to spend your life in a cubicle, how does that help you? It helps you better understand what you do want. It suggests other places to explore.

Based on your reaction to cubicle life, perhaps you will see that you desire to spend more time outside. You desire more freedom. You desire to manage your own time without having to be at a certain place at a certain time. You desire to physically get up and move around more. You desire fresh air and sunlight and moonlight. You desire to be with people who are on fire with passion and happiness, not with people who are slaves.

Observe your creations. Take credit for them. Take full responsibility for what you’ve created. And then learn from them. Allow yourself to have an emotional reaction to what you’ve created. Do you love it? Do you hate it? Are you bored with it? How do you really feel?

When you observe the life you’re living, are you blissing out? That’s a sign you’ve created what you truly desire. Or are you bored or frustrated or stressed? That’s a sign you missed the mark and need to try again.

Use your emotional reactions to what you’ve created as a way to re-orient yourself in the direction of new desires. Then withdraw your power from the creations you no longer wish to experience. Realize that you created all of it and that you now have the power to create something else.

Now focus your power in that new direction. It doesn’t have to be a perfectly crystal clear direction. It just has to be a path with a heart, something that feels good to you, something you’d like to explore.

If you can’t find a path that feels good, then look for a path that feels better than what you’re already experiencing.

That path with a heart is a path that requires courage. If you haven’t chosen a path that requires courage, you’ve chosen to create another trap for yourself. In the end you will only create more of what you don’t want.

True desires pull at your heart. But if your application of power has been rather weak, then the mind will resist these desires. This conflict between head and heart is called fear. Fear is what you experience when you turn your inner eye to see the path with a heart, but your mind doubts you have the power to create it and have it feel good.

When you see that path with a heart, it’s okay to feel fear and tension. It will take time to re-awaken your power and apply it to the pursuit of that path.

Imagine power and energy flowing forth from you. Flow your power toward your desires. Imagine them as real. Use your power to create them in your mind and in your heart. See your creations as real. Feel your creations as real. Know that this is an act of creation.

Be careful not to feed your power back to your undesired creations. Let the old creations die. Let go of the cubicle. Disconnect from the unfulfilling relationships. Channel your power toward your desires only.

If this is difficult for you, then strive to minimize the amount of time you spend feeding your power to what you don’t want. Go on a power fast in those areas. Starve out those creations. Keep pulling back and withdrawing more and more of your power into yourself.

Notice when you are channeling energy to something you don’t want. You will know it’s happening because you will be feeling negative emotions. When you notice this happening, withdraw your power and re-channel it toward something you desire. You will know it’s happening when you experience positive emotions. Feeding power to your desires feels good.

Enjoy the unfolding journey as your new desires begin to manifest. Keep following the path with a heart. Turn your body, mind, heart, and spirit in the direction of your desires. Keep facing toward them as much as possible, as you turn your back on that which you no longer desire.

Do not pretend to be powerless. Such behavior is unbecoming of conscious beings.


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