“If only I could get more of the right kind of patients.”

“If only I could increase my income by 15 percent, my problems would be over.”

“If only I could get away for a few weeks to a beach somewhere, I'd feel a lot better.”

The problem with all these sentiments is that they are dreams of escape, and even though you can sometimes escape circumstances, you can never escape yourself. Wherever you go, you take yourself with you.

More new patients won't help if you don't have a strategy for how to create the right value with them. An increase in income is easily absorbed into increased lifestyle demands and if you don't have the right economic plan, you'll just be stressing at a higher level. And how much will you really enjoy that beach if you are constantly dreading your return to the office?

The fact is if you're dominated by a burdened mindset, you'll take that mindset with you into everything you do. It will affect how you feel at work of course, but also at home and everywhere else you go.

Life doesn't come gift-wrapped; we have to shape our own destinies, and that starts with having the right mindset for dealing with obstructions and disturbances. It's something you have to work at – the negatives in life always seem to be more amplified than the positives because the negatives are out of the ordinary and force our attention, while the positives are so often overlooked and fade into the background.

The secret then is to bring those positives to the foreground. Stop and remind yourself of how much better you have it than people in so many other careers. Anchor your thoughts in what's good about your life and your profession. Let the bad things serve as a reminder of what you can improve, or if they have no instructional value, let them roll off your shoulders. Life is too short to be burdened by things you can't change.

When you feel energized, purposeful and valued, that is also a mindset that goes with you everywhere and it's a feeling you don't ever want to escape.