If you’ve ever felt frustrated, you’re not alone. Everyone in this world at one time or another feels the sting of frustration. But, frustration needn’t slow us down. Actually, if we see it for what it is, an ever-present teacher, and deal with it wisely, frustration can help us in amazing ways.
I personally discovered the value of frustration from an event in my own life. Many years ago, when I was absorbed in working hard to increase my business, I received some bad news. One of my distributors called to tell me that an absolutely vital account that we had started overseas was closing. I tried everything, but nothing seemed to work and my mind continued to spin as I tried to fix the situation. I became so frustrated that I was having trouble sleeping at night, and I couldn’t find a way to shake it off.
So I called one of my mentors on the phone and I told him how much frustration and anxiety I was in.
He listened carefully to my story and replied, “Vaish, this just proves, you are not the supreme controller.”
His words shot to my heart like an arrow. As soon as I heard them, I not only smiled for the first time in a few days, but I also felt an instant sense of relief. I had been so attached to my plan and the way I thought it should go, that when it went another, I suffered; I not only forgot the reality of the world that I am not the supreme controller and that the world doesn’t revolve around me or bend to my desires. It was strange. My mentor’s reminder that I am insignificant gave me not only relief, but also profound sense of happiness.
It’s not that I gave up doing what I could to rectify the situation, but after hearing my mentor’s words, I worked on it with new insight and energy. I thought, “I will do what I can, but I won’t worry about the result.” Working with a detached mind, I found new ways to approach the situation that I had not seen before when I was attached.
When challenges come, we often feel that the world is against us and that we are victims of an unjust universe. This causes frustration. But, when I see that frustration is the doorway to a teachable moment I’m able to detach my mind, walk through the door, and pick up a most valuable lesson.
Frustration comes from a Latin word. It means, “in vain.” But, if it weren’t for frustration, we’d have very little reason to continue learning and growing. Frustration helps us to try on new perspectives, and to experiment with new approaches to solving problems. Ultimately, this sparks creativity and help support our evolution. So, you see, frustration needn’t be in vain; in fact, it’s a ally coming to us in the guise of an enemy.
The next time frustration visits you, try greeting it. Not only as a reminder that you are not the supreme controller, but also as the deliverer of a teachable moment. Rather than resisting it, welcome it as you would a sage bearing wisdom. This can work wonders not only in improving the quality of your life, but also in making you more effective amidst this world’s many reversals.
How has frustration helped you to learn and grow? Please drop me a note with your realizations using Ask Vaish form. I would love to hear your story.0