If you don’t like your current reality—try this
Let’s say you are a school teacher and you are trying to survive (literally and figuratively) in your career. You try to recall why you became a teacher and to remember your passion for the opportunities that education can provide both locally and globally. But you are surrounded by kids with challenged attention spans, way too much “input” from parents, low pay and your industry as a whole is deemed as a failure by the outside world. Your reality is not great—on a good day. On bad days you consider walking out.
When reality stinks
As odd as it may seem, focusing on your current situation will practically guarantee that you will stay miserable—even if it is true. Here’s why: every day you train your brain by what you pay attention to, and in return, your brain notices more and more of the thing that you are actually programming it to notice. Let’s say you are overwhelmed by how difficult and arduous a task is. In short order, you will begin to notice more and more about the difficulty of the task. The only way to break the cycle is to deliberately focus your attention on other aspects (like the few positive ones) of the same reality. Only then will your brain will start giving you more aspects to feel positive about. Given enough positive aspects, your lovely brain will even start giving you ideas and solutions to your most complex problems, making connections that can help you thrive. This is not easy by any stretch—but it is vital to the activation of your brain which will impact your thoughts, emotions and then actions.
Getting a grip on your reality.
In keeping with the teacher analogy, you would need to actively interrupt the negative aspects that you usually notice; change your dialogue with co-workers and community members who have likely been listening to you rail about this for years; and simultaneously focus your attention on the people you are positively impacting—the children that do pay attention and the parents that do support your endeavors. You may end up leaving but it will be in a more productive, professional and deliberate fashion than if you allow yourself to focus on the supremely negative aspects of your reality.
Keep this in mind: Your brain is your servant, and you are the master—not the other way around.