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Jim's Gems: Frustration Creates Opportunity

August 2, 2010
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After a training session the other day one of our students openly talked about his frustration concerning a work situation. Listening to his recital it was easy to see he was clearly upset. After a few minutes and a few questions, he realized there was an opportunity to turn his frustration into something positive. He was so frustrated, and angry, he was unable to see it at the time.

Everyone feels frustrated occasionally. However, how many times do we think of this frustration as an opportunity to create something positive out of a negative situation?

Frustration is an unmistakable signal that things could be better. Certainly we may be unable to change the outside circumstances that initiated the frustration. At the very least, however, we can change ourselves for the better.

We need to channel that energy. Instead of becoming mired down in our frustration, we need to become inspired by the energy that is created by it. Start thinking of frustration as a positive opportunity. Have faith that our frustration is pointing us to some positive, valuable action we can take.

Frustration is indeed unpleasant, and that's how it gets our attention. Yet once frustration has our attention, we train ourself to quickly move away from it, reverse direction, and create positive action.

As soon as we feel frustrated, take a mental step backwards. Calmly assess the situation and look to find the positive value that can occur from this situation. It will be there. Once we find it, a whole new world of possibilities opens up for us.
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 In honor of World Quality Month, we spoke to James Rooney, ASQ Past Chairman of the Board of Directors 2013, for his take on quality around the world.
For more information, read the ASQ Speaking of Quality column.
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