The Problem With Gravity

My last title, using the tricks I’ve picked up from reading other blogs, failed to drive much (any) traffic to my site. So, for now, it’s back to normal.

 I’ve read recently about what one author calls “gravity problems”.

These are problems that, even though we may like to complain about them, there isn’t much we can really do to “fix” them.

For Example:

“Teachers don’t make enough money. We work longer hours that the posted school hours, we spend our own money on our classroom supplies, and there is additional stress involved that outweighs the pay that we receive”

After a speeding ticket:

“Cops are jerks. They just sit around and wait to catch someone speeding so they can meet there quota. Shouldn’t they be spending time catching real criminals”

“I really want to make a career change and do ____, but I can’t get a job without going back to school for four more years. I know I can do that job, but nobody will hire me without the required certification and experience”

“School is so stupid. I’m not learning anything. I don’t know why I have to go to school”

Note: I don’t necessarily believe nor am I experiencing any of these issues, they are just examples.

But the point is, we often get stuck on things that we can’t really change. These things don’t have actionable solutions.

At least in our area of the country, there is little to nothing that we can do about teacher’s pay overall. We don’t have unions, and we don’t have any control over the pay scale. They tell us what it is, they tell us when we will get a raise (or for how many years we won’t get a raise) and that is pretty much it. We could write a letter to a congressman or something, or organize a strike, but the is little to be done to increase teacher pay from where we sit.

Write your congressman again, and let him know that you are angry that a cop gave you a ticket, and that you think it’s because he was just trying to hit a quota. And then let me know how that goes…

If the career field that you have decided you want to change to, has collectively determined specific certifications and experiences are required to enter the field, that isn’t changing.

Until you hit 18, you have to go to school. Unless you can convince your parents to home school you, but then, you are still in school. So…. There isn’t anything you can do to change the fact that until you hit a certain age, unless your parents are willing to home school you or risk going to prison for allowing you to stay home from school, you have to go to school. Even your congressman can’t help on this one.

In addition to the fact that we often get stuck on things we can’t change, and then complain about them an awful lot, over and over and over again, focusing on gravity problems causes us to focus on the wrong problem.

In other words, if you want to make more money in the teaching field, there are specific, actionable things that you can do to make that happen. Getting more certification, becoming an administrator, creating things and selling them on Teachers Pay Teachers, etc.

The problem with you getting a ticket…is that you were speeding…

The real problem that you may be having with your career, may not be making a change, it may be needing to find a situation that is better for you in your current field. Or maybe you make a change into a different role in that career field that you want, that doesn’t require the extensive certification.

As good as I am at this blogging thing, I can’t solve all of your problems, and I don’t know what it is you might be stuck on.

(My next post: 11 1/2 steps to solve all of your problems in 3 weeks or less, in just 5 minutes a day)

But I think many times we get stuck on these gravity problems, the ones that we can’t fix, and the ones that aren’t usually the real problem anyway.

I encourage you to take a look at that thing that you’ve been stuck on, or complaining about, or wanting to change. Is it worth your complaints and your mind space? In other words, are there actionable steps that you can take to get to where you want to be, based on the problem you are focusing on?

If not, maybe get one more gripe in, if that makes you feel better, and then think about what the real problem is, and what steps you can actually take to move forward, at least mentally, if not personally, professionally, and spiritually.

I came up with this little reminder that might help you:

God grant me the serenitto accept the things I cannot change; 

courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference.

Just kidding, someone else came up with that one.

This is certainly more than just an easy saying to remember. Take stock of what those things are in your life that aren’t worth your energy in trying to change, and redirect that energy into finding solutions that are real, attainable, and meaningful to your journey.

Much Love,
Bryan

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