I had a discussion with my boss a while back and shared my candid views on my lack of upward mobility and feeling like I was being treated like a commodity. At the time my frustration level was high, my patience was low, and it didn't take much to set me off.
One thing my boss said stuck with me. He said he "viewed life as an upward and outward spiral." He went on to describe this as the movement foward, the betterment of his and his family's lives, and the positive social impact he felt he was having. Initially I credited his charmed trust-fund existence with his being able to make such a blithe statement.
I don't know exactly when or why, but I finally got it. I'm not Pollyanna by a long shot, but I do realize now that I have choices. I can choose to better myself or I can choose to languish. I can choose to be positive or I can choose to be negative. I can choose whether my life is a downward descent into despair, or an upward and outward spiral toward happiness.