Challenges And Frustration


It’s part of the deal.

Sometimes there is just nothing we can do about it.  Situations will arise which are completely beyond control. How we react to the challenge is what sets us apart.

There are “tragedies” which happen everyday – I loose my wallet, misplace my keys, the cat refuses to come in, getting stuck in traffic…How I deal with small inconveniences preps me for the big challenges. Yes, I need to work on how I react to life’s little inconveniences. First world challenges, if you will.

Then there are the big tragedies:

Loss – physical, emotional and financial.

Decay- The inevitable course of entropy, addiction and negligence.

Breakdown – Mental collapse, losing out to stress or the failure of normal function.

These are frustrations that elicit strong emotional responses. How can they not?

Frustration is a reaction to resistance. There are going to be barriers opposed to my will and goals. Disappointment is likely to increase when life circumstances aren’t going my way. I can become angry and annoyed when more important objectives are blocked or delayed.

Frustration can come from a sense of unpredictability and self doubt. If our needs and desires are blocked, frustration more easily occurs.

Are you not getting the results you want? Feeling that your outcomes are not commensurate of the effort? Are your actions producing fewer results than you think they should?

Achieving a goal results in satisfaction, but non attainment can lead to annoyance. The more important the goal, the more annoyed. Frustration will occur whenever your actions are producing less and fewer results than you think they should.


There are two sources of goal frustration – Internal and external.

Not getting what you want? That’s internal frustration. Maybe there are some real deficiencies in your skill set. Perhaps you are perceiving deficiencies, real or imagined such as a lack of confidence or fear of social situations.  Another type of internal frustration can result when a person has competing goals that interfere with one another.

The second type of frustration results from external causes that involve conditions outside the person; life’s physical roadblocks we encounter, including other people and things that get in the way of our goals.  One of the biggest sources of frustration in today’s world is caused by the perception of wasting time. When you’re standing in line at a bank, or in traffic, or on the phone, watching your day go by when you have got so much to do.

External frustration may be unavoidable. We can try to do something about it, like finding a different route if we are stuck in traffic, or choosing a different restaurant if our first choice is closed.

Sometimes there is nothing that can be done; it is just the way life is. 

Fall Seven, Rise Eight

I do not wake up in the morning and say to myself, “Boy, I can’t wait to clean up all this crap in my life!”

Challenges have a two fold meaning. Someone can call me out for my opinion. Or a challenge can be an invitation or a call to action. There are varying levels of complexity. If a person overcomes a problem, they successfully deal with and control it.

Challenges are similar to leaks in a boat. When you patch one, another pops up, and it’s even bigger. It’s hard to maintain the boat repairs and keep it from sinking. The idea is to overcome the opposition that keeps popping up.

Doesn’t it seem that it is a continual part of life?


There are two mind sets which daily need addressing: optimism and pessimism. The problem is that they work in tandem. When the negative side wins out I face situations beyond personal control. Where as the positive side fires my endorphins. I like endorphins, I thrive on them. Yet everyday I have to face reality and understand the good comes with the bad.

Is there a problem? Is there a task, question or issue at hand needing resolution? How do I resolve that?

To complete a goal, what is the approach? Can I find a method or procedure? What is the solution for solving the problem? What are my benchmarks? How do I define them?

In the path of musical proficiency, many obstacles can raise their heads: available time, accessibility, addictions, social circles and economic circumstances.

A positive side of frustration – the things creating the challenge are actually indicators of accumulating success.

More Process

Aren’t we here to help one another? There are tasks that others perform better than myself. Asking for help and helping others is one way to accomplish goals. Just because I am more mature and independent doesn’t mean I know how to do everything. I need assistance from other people in order to achieve results. Most people are willing help out, especially if they can see a reciprocal circumstance. I have learned a great deal about that.

Thoughts are powerful. Thoughts are filled with energy; they stick to our brains. I remind myself not to confuse them for reality but to keep them abstract. That is where they belong.

Negative musings are just that, musings. They have no power unless we allow it.

Isn’t fear unconscious thinking? Can’t I control the thought rather than it controlling me? Why allow the consequence of fearfulness?

I am constantly in the process of reclaiming mental real estate, surrendering to the things beyond my control.

I have created excuses to hide failures. The fact of the matter is that I am lying to myself. Some circumstances can’t be changed and the created stress becomes destructive.

The Result

I have learned that while a situation can be distressing there is a way to limit frustration.  Learning to accept circumstances is one of life’s great secrets.

In the end, realize impressing others is unimportant. Most people aren’t judging you – they are more wrapped up in their own world.

.The only person who can limit your achievements is yourself.

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