Seth, great words to live by. If only people would apply these principles when driving on the roadways during rush hour traffic…just sayin’…I guess in a perfect world-huh?
Don’t get frustrated
The light turns red when you are in a hurry to get home. The problem is, you expected to go faster.
An important check is late; you’re in danger of an overdraft. You expected it sooner.
A subordinate’s work is sloppy. You expected attention to detail.
A volunteer fails to live up to his commitments. You expected integrity.
Learn from it
I have a friend who says, “When things go wrong, rather than getting frustrated, I just assume that the problem is my own fault. Inevitably there is something I could have done to avoid the problem. If someone has let me down, perhaps I selected someone without the skills necessary to perform the job. Or perhaps I didn’t train them sufficiently. Or perhaps I simply need to lower my expectations. By taking responsibility for everything, I defuse other people’s anger. I give them an opportunity to grow. In so doing, I avoid being a scapegoater.”
Don’t show it
Feeling frustration is one thing; actually showing it is far worse. Even the slightest roll of the eyeballs can communicate displeasure. It diminishes another person’s self-concept. It is a putdown. It also diminishes trust. If you’ve expressed frustration toward a co-worker, they’ll be less likely to trust you in the future.
If someone is angry at you, the temptation is to respond in kind. A much better response is to use the situation as a learning opportunity. Thank the person for calling the source of their anger to your attention. Develop the ability of thanking an angry person and you have fulfilled a biblical mandate. The Bible says “bless those who persecute you.” It says that doing so will “be like heaping burning coals” on the person’s head.
- Did I create a poor fit?
- Was my training inadequate?
- Are my expectations unrealistic?
- Have I really communicated?
Learning to not be frustrated often means choosing to un-learn old behavior patterns. But it can be one of the most positive changes you ever make. It can be a first step toward living the life of faith, without which, the Bible says, “it is impossible to please God.”
Perfectly timed. I have been moving to this mind set, and a slower pace to living in the moment, and the transformation is amazing. Thanks, Seth
Thanks Seth. This was especially helpful today as I have been navigating some tumultuous waters. Have a blessed Thanksgiving and love to the Barnes.
Yes! Expectations are huge! I learned this in the school of hard knocks by trying to care for an elderly Alzheimer’s patient of mine for four long months. On many an occasion I would get frustrated with her because I would expect her to do the simplest of things without resistance…like eating or allowing me to change her/ bathe her or brush her teeth. When I was met with this resistance of me trying to help her, I didn’t understand at that time that I was actually expecting for her to act in a manner that is inconsistent with her having this disease. It confuses it’s person, and I just held wrong expectations for her. I thought that she should appreciate all my hard work, as though she was coherent. She hardly even knew her name. Sometimes we just need to stop and evaluate our expectations, and frustration is definitely the key sign of needing to do this. Thanks for this blog!
hehe… on the right side of the picture (above), I can see two jackasses
This is good.I need to print this and give a copy to everybody that I work with.We need to read this every day. Thanks again Seth.