When the source of the frustration is
outside of my control - an airport delay or traffic
tie-up are two situations that come to my mind - I have
been able to reduce my own frustration.
In fact, I have often found it enjoyable
and enlightening to focus on the hilarity of other
peoples' responses to these situations. I can think of
more than one time while in a car, or a line of some
sort, when I was smiling and chuckling inside at the
clearly counterproductive behaviors of those around me.
Without realizing it, I was moving to an observer
perspective, which was leading me to be more fascinated
and less frustrated.
With My Computer
A functioning computer is one of the
most business important assets I possess. In the past
few months I have had some nagging problems with my
laptop - all related to the fact that I needed more
memory and a bigger hard drive. In short, it was time
for a new machine. When I first started encountering
some intermittent problems, I would throw my own little
pity party - and be frustrated while trying to solve the
problem. The problem with a pity party is that while you
are partying, you aren't focused on moving forward.
like going to parties, and am seldom the first to leave
- but this isn't the kind of party where it pays to
Eventually I realized the partying had
to stop. As I began to notice the signs of impeding
problems, I was able to reduce the severity of those
problems. As I paid attention (became fascinated), I
learned how to recover from these problems more quickly.
I write this with my new laptop, and the
problems of the last one are quickly fading in my
memory. The lesson hasn't though - with the new machine
comes new versions of software, settings to modify,
other software to load and test. The fascination lesson
will continue to be important over the next few days!
With My Kids
I love my kids dearly, and I hope and
pray that I am a good father. Mostly, I think I am, but
sometimes I find myself getting frustrated by their
actions. While I know this is something all parents
face, unfortunately, I haven't always handled my
frustration in the most productive ways. My approach
has, too often, been to raise my voice - both to get
their attention and to correct or modify the behavior.
While I don't believe there is necessarily anything
wrong with this approach, I use it too often, especially
for things that don't require this level of interaction.
This is a behavior I have been working
on for some time and the concept of choosing fascination
over frustration (relating to their behavior) is going
to be a huge key to helping me change my response.
Frustration and Fascination
We all get frustrated. Things don't go
our way and we get frustrated. One of the early lessons
we learn as kids is that things don't always go the way
you want. Our life experiences have confirmed this.
don't get the promotion, we don't like the way our boss
talks to us, our car is making a funny noise, we can't
find a parking place, we lose the softball game because
of a stupid play by the third baseman. Our frustrations
in life are big and small.
In contrast, to be fascinated is to be
captivated by something - to be interested. When we are
interested in something we notice, we observe things.
When we are fascinated by something we are drawn to
learn from or about it - quite a different response from
frustration and the places it can lead us.
It is inevitable in life that things
don't always go exactly the way we'd like. Typically
people would then say that it is then inevitable that we
will be frustrated. The frustration however, is not the
situation itself, but a response or a choice. We have
conditioned ourselves to choose frustration. We can also
choose to be fascinated in these situations. Choosing
frustration can lead to regret, anger, resentment and
more. Choosing fascination can lead to understanding,
knowledge, and improved results and relationships.
choice is mine. And the choice is yours.
* * * * *
Copyright, Kevin Eikenberry; Kevin is a
speaker, trainer, and author. Visit him at