Work breeds frustration. It’s a fact.

You get frustrated when people or things knock you off balance, where you’re out of control. It could be a late project, or a recalcitrant associate, or a vendor who never gets back to you.

Let’s be honest — if everything worked perfectly, all the time, you would be quite bored at your job.

Did you know airplanes are off-course 95% of the time? The pilot or auto-pilot course-corrects to keep it headed in the right direction — it doesn’t check once in awhile – it’s an ongoing process.

Work needs course-corrections frequently. And the number and severity of the course-corrections are directly related to how much frustration you feel.

Now if everything starts to fail and you lose complete control, one of two things happen:

  1. You get angry. You direct your frustration in an emotional manner towards the supposed perpetrator of the issue. You yell, you get mad, and you probably say things that are not found in the professional handbook.
  2. You shut down. You lose energy and you become unmotivated. You move on to other projects and tasks and you probably procrastinate on this issue.

What would happen if you turned your frustration the other way? Instead of getting angry or shutting down, you use this situation to MOTIVATE yourself into action?

Turn your normal reactions to frustration into positive reactions.  

Next time, take a look at the more successful people at work or in your life. See how they handle frustration. The ones who are moving up quickly and are happy are the ones who figure out how to bypass their frustration and get motivated to solve the problem. They never let people and things get them down.

Let’s go back to that pilot. If they got frustrated whenever their plane ventured off-course and god forbid, procrastinated on doing anything. What would happen?

Now put your career in that same situation. Is frustration, anger, or procrastination going to solve your problem and move you forward?

What techniques do you use to move you from frustration to motivation?

Many thanks to Zach Klein from Flickr for the image of Streeter Seidell.