Frustration can result from several causes. Usually, it is the result of unrealized expectations. It can be caused by a change in your resources to accomplish the task, inadequate or improper information, change in the objective or the requirements, a change in governing regulations such a law relating to the subject, excessive tiredness that changes your perception and attitude etc. Frustration can result from inadequate preparation or planning. It can result from a naive conception of what it means to invest in a risky venture. Perhaps the biggest cause of frustration is in not realizing how much work is required to do so something new. The biggest challenge is to know who you are, and, who you are not as it applies to your project.
How many things did Thomas Edison try before he found a suitable filament for the light bulb? History says that from 1877 to 1880 he investigated over 3,000 solutions before he found that a thin sliver of bamboo that was bent into shape and heated until it turned into carbon would work and last long enough to be practical. Can you see that he didn’t let ‘failure’ cause frustration in his research? His attitude was; the experiments were not a failure but successes because they revealed the things that didn’t work and this was a positive result. How often have we heard; ‘If at first you don’t succeed, try – try again.’
We are often frustrated with our children. “How many times do I have to tell you to clean up your room?” We know right from the start that the child has not yet learned who he is. A harried mother has fallen into a trap of her own making. The truth may be that, at least for now, she can’t ‘make’ him clean up his room. She may, indeed, need help and support from her family. The basic problem may be that she is at fault by not knowing who she is. Can you believe that? It may be true that she works hard to keep the house running and ‘there is no reason’ why her 14 year old son can’t straighten up his room’ – or is there?
When you finally understand who you ‘are’, you can begin to learn who other people are. The first step in dealing with other people is to, first, recognize and accept them – ‘warts and all’. This is the first step in gaining the power to control your circumstances and recognizing what you can’t control. Instead of making demands that fall on deaf ears, it would be more productive, first, to not raise your voice which says that you are not in control.
I watched two preteen children, a brother and a sister, as they watched their mother put on a performance of screaming because her children didn’t do something right. I was amazed as they stood there, completely emotionless as the performance continued. Let me ask a question; Who was in control of the situation? Would you like to guess if the frustration accomplished any good results? What was the mother’s problem? Right, she didn’t know who she was. Let me emphasize, you can’t understand other people until you understand yourself. Reason tells us that you can deal with people only in the terms of who they are. Who you want them to be or what they should be is completely beside the point. This understanding empowers a person to make the best of relationships. It may be that the 14 year old boy will not learn to clean up his room until he is much older.
I can hear people say, “Not in my house, I train my kids’ right!” Nevertheless, we have to deal with the truth as we find it and relationships are fraught with problems. It is the person who understands the dynamics who has the most power and can exercise the best control.
The more ‘adult’ parents can be, the more and better influence and ability they have over their children, and the family is happier and more productive too. If you are frustrated with your children, ask yourself if your parents were frustrated with their children. This problem may be a learned attribute.
We have frustrations in our workplace as we associate with people with different attitudes, values, and practices from ours. Again, accept people for how you find them to be. Somebody works with a radio playing loud. You need quiet to do your work. Who has the right to do what? I know a scientist who cut the wires to the intercom in his laboratory because he didn’t want to hear the background music. He was ‘big enough’ to get away with it but most of us don’t have that power. Instead, we have to find how we can deal with problems within our control and ‘roll with the punches’ when we must simply accept those vexing things that we can’t control. The ‘bottom line’ is simply this: we can’t allow frustration to take over for the understanding.
Frustration is virtually eliminated when you know who you are and who other people are. This is because we know ahead of time about the kinds of problems we are likely to face and we are prepared for them. This condition allows a person to have responses ready before they are presented so you are prepared and not surprised. If you really know yourself, you will be prepared to understand other people and react to circumstances with greatly reduced frustrations of unanticipated situations.