Impatience. Such a seemingly negative emotion. We recently looked at impatience and how it can creep up on us as we navigate our projects. It can often be made to work for us, but sometimes it's not that easy. In these cases where impatience persists, frustration is a logical next step although not always the step we'd like to take. As usual, our intrepid group of bloggers will try to spin frustration on its head and make something positive out of the situation. If you're finding yourself frustrated by a piece of work, we hope we can nudge you in the right direction.
Let's say your company has essentially taken over the world of electronics, is a stock market darling and has legions of fans who hang on every mention of your products. That would be so awesome, right? Well, it would also create immense pressure to keep the production line going — the production line of ideas as much as devices. Enter the iPhone 5. Well, actually, don't enter the iPhone 5. That's kind of the problem: it's not here yet. But it will be here soon. A quick online search of the phrase "iPhone 5" yields 2,350,000,000 results at the time of writing. And the top 6 are individual sites created exclusively for following the rumor mill surrounding the product. That's a lot of pent up anticipation. I believe I read the phrase, "The salivation is so palpable, you may need an umbrella." One thing is for sure: the fanboys will certainly queue up when the 5 finally hits stores next month. But here's another thought: could Apple actually be wearing out its welcome with some of the population? The rabid anticipation for this device is perhaps higher than it's ever been for an Apple release. But it's just taken SO long, that it seems people might've exploded if the confirmed introduction for October 4th had not recently appeared out of thin air. Pair this ongoing frustration with the rigid service contracts from carriers that we're all subjected to and the window of i-adoption tightens for many. Every month that's passed saw more people miss the boat. Or worse for Apple, pick another boat. It's possible that the level of frustration with Apple over the iPhone 5's release will create just as fervent a backlash as an adoration. Maybe it's only a ripple, but it's a ripple of consumers entertaining solutions other than one designed in Cupertino. And that's never good for business.
Beware of keeping your customer waiting too long.
While a bout with impatience can spur forward movement on a project, it can incite frustration, leading to rash decisions and missed opportunities. Consider Randy "Super Freak" Moss, future Hall of Famer, recently retired, but still hoping, wide receiver of the NFL. He's had to bounce a few times in recent years from the New England Patriots to the Minnesota Vikings and finally to the Tennessee Titans. The Titans? That was just wrong. The New England experiment was the closest tenure to something that worked but it obviously didn't really work out in the end. After Randy's final season with the Titans, the team publicly stated they weren't re-signing the veteran receiver. The player and the player's agent maintained Moss stayed in freakish physical shape during the off-season and lockout. moss was ready to play for an interested team. The first problem became that teams did not show interest, at least publicly. By the middle of summer, without any offers or attention from teams, Ross quickly became frustrated and retired. No Brett Favre antics here. Peace out. Fast-forward, and now it seems that a handful of teams might've actually been interested in Randy's services. They just didn't make a public spectacle or media blitz like some teams do from time to time to grab the headlines and/or a player's attention. We'll never really know, but there's this nagging notion that Randy might've cut himself out of another championship run by allowing himself to become frustrated with the negotiating process.
So don't take things too personally — allow yourself to step back and evaluate the total picture if you're ever frustrated by a situation. Especially one that could influence an important decision — like ending your career.
I'd like to end with a closer look at Washington, D.C. But not a long one — I don't think any of us can stomach an in-depth examination. But please consider the political gridlock we witness if we happen to tune into the news any day of the week. Zero is a fairly accurate account of what's being accomplished by our elected officials. A few folks out there might even use the same term for the officials themselves. But I digress. I'd like to propose that perhaps the gridlock is actually the fault of the voters. How, you ask? Consider recent election cycles. It seems one party is put in a majority position, but never in a true position of power. Gridlock ensues because the so-called party of power isn't able to truly enact any part of their agenda due to forceful opposition. And so government stalls in the face of political postures and bickering. Voters sour on the situation and when a ballot next appears, they vote the current party out in favor of the alternative. And so on. Instead of curbing our enthusiasm, maybe we should curb our frustration long enough to allow an accurate appraisal of policies that might actually work rather than playing into an always-on election cycle.
It's sometimes very tough to do, but consider letting your ideas live long enough to rule themselves out before cutting off your support or belief.
So there really are ways to channel frustration into positive gains. But we have to do the channeling to get something out of it. If, out of frustration, we allow ourselves to be swept up in feelings of authority or importance or we just plain let things spin out of control, then we've not moved beyond the frustration. We've allowed it to take control. Here's hoping we can keep our hands on the wheel.
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Every month, we give away a free desktop image inspired by the current virtue of #smallerthinking. The current version was inspired by an actual dispenser in our office which, by the way, has since been filled. Enjoy.
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Includes: 640 x 960 (iPhone) 1024 x 1024 (iPad)