The day I realized my life in the corporate rat race… was paradise

Some thoughts on cognitive reframing about corporate life

Julia Clavien


Ohhh Not Another Monday!

Every Monday, after two wonderful days of solid rest, I wake up in my comfortable bed, to the sound of my smartphone alarm clock reliably alerting me it is time for work.
I get dressed in lovely freshly washed clothes, drink some hot coffee made with clean water and fresh milk and eat some delicious hot sourdough toast with marmalade, all afforded easily by my salary.
I skip down the safe street to wait at a bus stop, where, quite reliably, a bus arrives. I’m safely transported to my workplace.
I arrive in the corporate office. I go to make a cup of coffee (freely provided by my employer), and then take a seat in my expensive ergonomic chair, out of the elements and out of dangers. I start to tap on the keyboard…

I pause for a moment and marvel at my luck, being paid good money to spend my days simply sitting in my comfortable chair at the clean climate controlled office, discussing ideas and plans with colleagues, tapping on my keyboard and drinking free coffee…

…Is this nirvana?

“Working for the man”

There’s a lot of complaining that goes on about the rat race. I should know. I did it for years. Alarm clocks, bosses, deadlines, stress. So much complaining. Daily complaining. First complaining that is it Monday. Then that it is Wednesday. Then that is is only Thursday. Then that it is too hot or cold in the office. Then that there is not have enough time to do the work. Then that pay is too low. They that the boss gives too much/too little /the wrong kind of work. Then that the computer needs an upgrade. Then that the desk is not situated close enough to the bathroom. (I’m not making these up, I’ve heard all of them this week, and it is only Thursday).

The day I realized my job was paradise was a few years ago. I spent a day working in a ricefield. Yes, it’s a little cliché, but a bit of hard labour was enough to help me reframe. (That’s not to say it’s everlasting, I take a hedonic reset of some kind to renew the effects regularly.)


In some ways the corporate rat race is a wonderland…

Cognitive reframing is about finding more positive ways to view things.

Writer Charles R. Swindoll was surely talking about reframing when he said

“Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it.”

Cognitive reframing is a way of viewing and experiencing events, ideas, concepts and emotions to find more positive alternatives.

When framed one way, spending days in a corporate rat race is a soul destroying awful experience. The glass is definitely half empty.

But when framed another way, it’s an amazing wonderland of positive safe interesting experiences. The glass here is half full.

The mere fact of being in the rat race mean sitting in the to 20% of income earners in the world. It is one of the best ways to make one of the best livings.

Mining, farming, nursing etc can be completely back breaking work.

Yes of course, some days I catch myself complaining that the free coffee has run out, but as I sink back in my comfortable chair I see what I can reframe.

“you ate sardines and Vienna sausages in the sand. I dined on surf and turf with an ocean view.” He slapped me on the back. “It’s all about perspective.”

The Noticer: Sometimes, all a person needs is a little perspective

What can you reframe about your life in the rat race today?

Further reading

The Noticer — nice little read on gratitude



Julia Clavien

Curious to a fault. Technology | Psychology | Philosophy. All opinion subject to change. ☺