Frustration is a good thing

As I was working on a project recently, I was getting extremely frustrated. Things were not going well. Nothing was working the way I expected it to, the things I was doing did not have the effect I needed them to have, and I just felt like I was wasting my time (I was).

After this carried on for a couple of weeks, it occurred to me: frustration is a sign that things aren’t working right. When there is frustration, there’s also a desire for things to be better (at a minimum, you want the broken thing to go away, right?). Now that is something we can work with.

When there is frustration, there’s also a desire for things to be better.

Now, with that frustration, we can recognize that we have an opportunity to channel that energy to improve things or we can give up and resign ourselves to a broken system.

I decided to use my frustration to work with some other people to figure out why I was getting the results that I was seeing. I definitely made it known to others on the project that there was a problem and that I was being held back by this broken system.

After several days, I was able to work with someone far smarter than I. We worked together for several hours and I asked a lot of questions to make sure I really understood what we were doing to fix the problem.

Finally, after testing several different theories and possibilities, we fixed the system.

We fixed the system.

Talk about a relief!

Just a couple days later, I was working on something that would have taken me at least several hours to complete. Because I worked on this with someone else and he helped me figure out what was broken, the new problem only took me a few minutes to fix and test my fix.

Instead of spending countless hours or days on it, I was able to move on after a few minutes. I learned a valuable lesson: use the frustration to stick with a problem until it’s solved.

So, what are you going to do with your frustration?