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Sometimes we grow restless, or we experience a lull in our lives. What should we do to get back on track and find fulfillment again? Might it take career change? A big move? Something much smaller? Where can happiness be found?

Retrain Your Brain

Changing careers or moving to a new town might bring you happiness; but chances are, in a few months, you’ll find yourself feeling restless again. Why? Because happiness doesn’t exist in a beautiful town or with an innovative new company—it can only be found within. Now, turn your focus inward and start with what Dr. Bates, a leading brain expert who has dedicated his life to helping people find fulfillment by starting at the center of it all, says the first step is: retraining your brain.

“Life will always be challenging. If you’ve got lungs, you’ve got problems. That means, we must choose how to navigate the day with how we respond to stuff that happens, good, bad, ugly, beautiful. Relying 100% on our feelings has never been a wise choice. Why? Feelings lie. Sometimes our brain will let our emotions overwhelm us with doubt, and it stunts our growth—and without growth, life sucks! Depression can seep right in and flood us. Most of us think that having purpose is doing big stuff, like finding a cure for cancer or starting a company that turns into a huge success or even 6-pack abs. One thing that is 100% true, you have met people doing the big stuff or seen them on TV, but they too need daily purpose with the small things to keep their engine going to stay the course. They too have to define: how do I keep on going with all these setbacks and other people saying negative things? The answer? Start with your best asset: your brain.

By training the brain to react with confidence, self-awareness, emotional stability, wise decision-making, and healthy energy. That comes with practice! You must choose to practice at life every single day. It’s why filling your mind daily with health is a prescription that will never have any other side effect than fulfillment, even while you do the laundry for a loved one, or clean the bathroom or the cat’s litterbox. May I say it? Or, better yet, let’s say it together: it’s the small stuff that matters! And then how your brain learns to find, feel, and think better. It needs to become more aware of the good that you’re doing and not focus on the negative. Then comes the energy to take a chance and go for a career change or new relationship, curb loneliness, or just try something new and don’t care about failing. Fulfillment really means having purpose with wellbeing. Don’t doubt—go!”

How to Do and Be Better

Once you’ve reframed your mind, you can likely crush the denial that Gabriel Villarreal—a therapist specializing in ADHD and performance—says many of us engage in. “There is always something to work on to be better,” he says. However, we oftentimes don’t put in said work—instead we lack the humility to accept and admit that we can do better. Kick this denial to the curb and acknowledge the fact that we can all improve every single day. Once you’ve taken this big step, listen to Villarreal’s next two pieces of advice: identify your goals and pursuits, and then chase them:

    1) Identify your goals and pursuits.
    “When we grow restless or experience lulls in our lives, it usually means that we lack a goal or a pursuit towards something new that will better us. Oftentimes this happens once we’ve achieved a goal or milestone and are coping with everything that comes with it. If our end goal was a promotion, the lull may come after we’ve gotten used to the new position, we’ve navigated the changes and responsibilities that accompanied it. For lack of a better word, we are coasting.”

    2) Chase those goals; embrace those pursuits.
    “In a world where everything is at our fingertips, we must embrace a pursuit of excellence. Once one milestone is achieved, we must find another hill to conquer. This can be anything, and does not have to be job or career related. The hill could be something as simple as learning about a new topic, reading a new series of books, or anything that involves our personal growth and betterment. These hills can be as big or small as you’d like as long as the intent is growth and you are pushing yourself to be better than the day before.”

Taylor Bennett

Taylor Bennett

Taylor Bennett is a staff writer at Thriveworks. She devotes herself to distributing important information about mental health and wellbeing, writing mental health news and self-improvement tips daily. Taylor received her bachelor’s degree in multimedia journalism, with minors in professional writing and leadership from Virginia Tech. She is a co-author of Leaving Depression Behind: An Interactive, Choose Your Path Book and has published content on Thought Catalog, Odyssey, and The Traveling Parent.

Check out “Leaving Depression Behind: An Interactive, Choose Your Path Book” written by AJ Centore and Taylor Bennett."

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