Overcoming Frustration

One of the hardest parts about frustration is how addictive it is. While there a tips and tricks to being less frustrated with situations, a lot of times being frustrated is a "happier" state than getting down on yourself about complaining too much. As easy as it is to say "let it go man", it's extremely difficult to do this if your mind doesn't have anywhere else to go.

In a recent conversation with a good friend, he mentioned a book he was reading and how it talked about a team that came together and decided on a single goal for the year.

Once they defined a goal, they then based their decisions around that goal. If there was some seemingly important issue that came up, they re-evaluated it against their decided goal and from were able to really tell if it was important or not.

I want to adapt this for personal use. I want to identify a personal goal that I find really engaging and motivating.

I want to be able to come back to this goal when I get frustrated with anything really. It needs to be a reminder about the actual importance of certain things. It also needs to serve as motivation for moving past frustrations that aren't related to my goal.

This isn't a huge issue for me, but for the sake of an example, say I had trouble with getting frustrated constantly regarding soccer. Say I come home from a game, a bad one, and just spend the rest of the day focused on how frustrating the soccer experience was (maybe there was a bad ref, maybe I played poorly, maybe a bad combination of both).

It's easy to let this frustration become the focus of my attention. It's easy for it to become more important than it actually is. The truth is though, no matter how much I enjoy soccer, it's something I do for recreation. My livelihood doesn't depend on it and being the best at soccer just isn't the most important thing to me.

What's important to me is building a great career in technology. Specifically about being able to create and produce something that I'm passionate about. So setting my goal, a specific item that I want to reach for, around that benchmark that I've identified as my personal most important thing, really can help when I need to dig myself out of a frustration slump.

It's much easier to let go of frustration when you realize that what you're frustrated about isn't blocking you from your end result. It may certainly be blocking one path that you could take, but knowing that you've chosen not to take that path makes it so much easier to stop trying to get around it's roadblock.

So I want to try setting a personal goal, then place that goal in a spot that I'm constantly reminded of what it is. When I find myself overly frustrated with a specific situation, I need to look back at the goal and see if my frustration impacts it. If not, I do a quick five minute meditation, take a deep breath and just get over it.