The Rat Race Antidote: Get to the Office Last

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At the risk of betraying my former self, I beg you to arrive late to work. The later the better. 

I’m not telling you this is career advice, because, in fact, it might be anti-career advice. But it is the advice I want to tell myself. It’s the advice of an aging father, not the ambitious boss. It’s the advice of a loyal lover, not the corporate chorus. It’s the advice of a fierce friend, not the repressive rat race. It’s my advice, signed, The Corporate Escapist.’

Arrive at your desk last.

After a decade of promotions, I had but one grating regret: I toiled away my mornings erasing urgent petty nothings from a boss man’s to-do list. 

I’m not telling you to squander your mornings, because I know of no greater sin. 

I’m just telling you to live them with purpose. Not just to pass through them, not just to slog through them, not just to rush through them, but to live them. To cherish them. To hold them sacred. To recklessly bet on them. 

And if you ask me why you should bother to do that, I could tell you that while I earned many promotions being the first to the office, no child’s dream ever lay on that path. And your dream is not on that path.

Nor is that dream in your corporate email, nor in your boss’s plans, nor in a handed-down-over-written vision statement. All that will still be there after 10 am.

Rise early. Meditate. Move your body. Make a meal to make mom proud. And having fed your mind, body, and soul, create something meaningful. 

Mornings filled with consequential, self-directed work draw dreams closer. Mornings filled with urgent work do not.

Escaping the corporate chorus – two years of rest trailed by two weeks of silence – gifted me this lesson. 

I beg you to pay your dreams their due, seize the morning, and arrive late to work.

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Dave Shepherd

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