I took one step towards a new future yesterday.
Right in front of my desk, between my two monitors, I posted a envelope that says "Break in Case of Emergency". In that envelope is a resignation letter with spaces for the dates to be filled out.
Bold? Suicidal? Possibly both. It was initially a mentally exercise to type the letter, an exercise in expressing an embryonic freedom that I am not trapped at my job - yes, I have to bear the consequences of every decision I make, but bearing consequences is not the same as being trapped like a slave or indentured servant.
However, the reality was that changed my day. I suddenly had the sense that I was not trapped anywhere, but that I had a choice (perhaps a rock and a hard place choice, but a choice none the less). It changed how I worked at work. It changed what I chose to work on. It changed the fact that after 8 hours, I simply said "I'm done and it's time to go home" rather than fret about everything else that had to get done.
Can I work better? We all can. Can I be more efficient and dedicated at work? Again, we all can improve. But the way a free man works and the way a slave works are two different things. And the difference is dictated by how we view our position where we work. Are we enslaved without hope - or do we have choice?
The answer to that will determine a great deal about the future course of our lives.