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Thumb and hammer...

Paul MacCormack


Posted ImageWe have all been there; upside down in a hole, trying to convince two pieces of pipe that they really were once connected. Or maybe you are in the garage trying to put together your latest purchase with instructions in some obscure Scandinavian language.  The harder you try, the worse things become, until your frustration boils over. By this point the screw head is stripped or the valve is stuck harder than when you started, and you are using expletives unfit for boot camp.


Strangely enough, the task itself is inconsequential; it just happens to be what you are working at when the perspective valve pops. Causes could include stress, fatigue, life in general... just pick one, or several. Almost anything could be the reason for the blowup, but lets consider a few ways you could change your reaction to the situation.

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  • Step Back. Take a time out. Whether you are on the course or in your basement, pause and take a breath or two. It helps diffuse the frustration and helps put things in perspective.
  • Leave it Be. If things are really not going well at all maybe its time to step away for a break. Better to leave things be than to compound your frustration. When you continue to force a bad situation it can set a bad tone for the rest of the day. Not so good for your employees, or your family!
  • Laugh a bit. This one may sound ridiculous, but it follows suit once you have regained your perspective a bit. When you can chuckle at yourself from time to time it helps you not take problems too seriously.
  • Let Go of the Finished Product. If you have a solid (but flexible) plan and you trust your ability, then you can let go of the outcome. Worrying about the end result often takes us out of the present moment. When we change our focus away from what is right in front of you, we are  ore liable to screw it up. Take your time, focus on the task at hand, and do so mindfully. When you are completely absorbed Posted Imagein each step of the process, the job is done before you know it.
  • Be Mindful of Your Reaction. The previous four points dealt with your reaction with surface level solutions. This last one forces you a bit deeper. Is this reaction a common problem for you? Do you often fly off the handle when things dont work out? Its not that you need therapy or anything, but maybe its time for some reflection that helps you understand the real source of your frustration.



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