Tag Archives: Lifestyles

Lifestyles: How to Deal With Frustration

Bryan GoldenAuthor of  “Dare to Live Without Limits”

Bryan Golden
Author of “Dare to Live Without Limits”

Frustration is something you have to deal with on your road to achievement.  The journey is rarely smooth or as fast as you would like.  If life were perfect, frustration wouldn’t exist.  Although life is great, it is not perfect.  So you need to work to ensure frustration won’t get the best of you.  Let’s first look at the causes of frustration and then cover some strategies for coping with it.

One basis for frustration is impatience.  Today, more than ever, people expect instant results.  We have become so used to high speed technology like computers, the internet, cell phones, email, text messages, that we want all aspects of life to be just as fast.

Although we are surrounded by modern marvels which function at a breakneck pace, the basic principles of achievement operate at the same rate they always have.  There is a certain amount of time required to make progress.  Exactly how long something will take is not always known.  Frustration is exacerbated when you set a time limit that is unreasonably short.

We get frustrated when comparing what we have to others who have more.  There’s nothing wrong with ambition.  It’s motivational to want to achieve more.  It’s when you feel you are in a contest with someone else that frustration grows.

Obstacles, especially unexpected ones, frequently generate frustration.  Obstacles have the tendency to emerge at the most inopportune times, thus magnifying their impact.  They demand extra energy that we usually don’t have.

Always wanting more, without an appreciation for all you have, leads to frustration.  Those who are never satisfied find happiness elusive.  Unhappy people are frustrated people.  These people are like a dog chasing its tail; regardless of how fast the dog is, the tail will always be out of reach.

Here are some suggestions for coping with the above causes of frustration.  Succeeding takes time.  Focus on enjoying life and savoring the journey.  Keep your eye on the destination while enjoying the scenery along the way.

It doesn’t matter what other’s have.  You aren’t in competition with them.  A surprising number of people who have the outward appearance of success are very unhappy.  Don’t be jealous of what you think they have.

Take the necessary action to work toward your goals.  Action goes a long way to reducing frustration because you are not just waiting for something to happen.  Obstacles and setbacks are unavoidable.  There is a solution to every problem.  You have inside you what it takes to keep going.  If you stumble and fall, get back up and keep going.

It doesn’t matter what other people say, think, or do.  You don’t need their acceptance to be successful.  Appreciate all you have.  Develop an attitude of gratitude.  When you are thankful for the good in your life you will always have more than you need.  Although you can’t eliminate frustration, you can minimize it.

Lifestyles: False Justifications – Wrong Beliefs

Bryan Golden

Bryan Golden

False justifications are erroneous beliefs that are used to support specific behavior.  When your actions are based on an incorrect understanding, you will either limit yourself or go down the wrong path.  Your mind directs you based on your beliefs.  It doesn’t care whether or not a specific tenet is correct.

Throughout history, human progress has been hampered by erroneous concepts.  Prior to the exploration of Columbus, ships would limit their travels for fear of falling off the edge of the earth.  Today, it seems ludicrous for anyone to have ever thought the world was flat.  However, at the time it was accepted science.

Another false premise of the past was the idea of the sun revolving around the earth.  As another example, many civilizations throughout history panicked during a solar eclipse, fearing it signaled the end of the world.

Just as false justifications impacted societal progress, the ones you hold affect your accomplishments.  You have to be careful what you convince yourself of.  As far as your mind is concerned, your outlook is the truth, even when it is based on a flawed assumption.  Let’s look at some often used false justifications.

“I can’t do it.”  This is probably one of the most used justifications for failure. It’s also employed to avoid any attempt at all.  The truth is that you can do whatever you set your mind to.  With enough of a burning desire, there are no limits to what you can accomplish.  Replace “I can’t do it” with “I can do it.”

“There is no solution.”  Everyone encounters problems and there is a solution for every problem.  When you don’t believe this, you abdicate control over your life by feeling and acting like a victim.  Solutions may be elusive, but they always exist.

“I don’t know how.”  There isn’t any way to know everything.  There will always be more you don’t know than you do.  You always have two options.  You can acquire the knowledge you need or you can utilize someone else’s expertise.  Regardless of the subject, the information you need exists.

“I’m too busy.”  Why do some people accomplish so much more than others?  Their key is setting priorities and working toward their goals.  Those who aren’t as productive lack focus.  By devoting time to that which is most important, you will achieve more than before.

“I’ll be criticized.”  So what?  It doesn’t matter what other people say, think, or do.  All that matters is what you do.  Every person who has accomplished great things has always done so in the face of criticism.  If you are criticized, you are in the company of the greatest minds in history.

“I’ll fail.”  In order to increase your success rate, you must increase your failure rate.  Besides, you only really fail when you stop trying.  To succeed, get up one more time than you fall down.  Failure is nothing more than the discovery of something that didn’t work as planned.

“I’m too old.”  You are never going to be as young as you are today.  If there is something you really want, get started now.  What are you waiting for?  Life isn’t a practice run.

Don’t waste any effort justifying why you are not attaining all you want.  Examine your beliefs and make the necessary adjustments.  There are countless examples of people accomplishing everything you think is not possible.  Get off of the sidelines and get on the path to achieving your dreams.

Always Something to Stress About

Bryan Golden

A stress free life is a goal for most of us.  Ideally, each day should be perfect, without any problems.  The reality is much different.  It seems as if there is always something to stress about.

Often, as soon as we solve one problem, another emerges.    Ironically, there is no shortage of information on how to manage, reduce, or even eliminate stress.  Yet, it can feel like a constant struggle to avoid becoming overwhelmed.

Our minds become conditioned to look for things to stress about.  It’s almost as if we feel uncomfortable if life is too smooth.  When all is too quiet, we can think we must be overlooking something.  Our thoughts automatically focus on a new issue to stress about.  Even if there is nothing wrong, we are adept at seeking out a troubling perspective.

Sources of stress range from the mundane and inconsequential to major events.  A stain on a shirt, a rude remark from a stranger, or a bad hair day might be sources of anguish.  Even while being stressed, we have all thought, “why am I getting so stressed out by this?”  Still, it’s difficult not to get caught.

There are those people who appear to have the capability to let just about everything role off their backs.  They evoke jealousy as we wonder how they do it.  Granted, only a few have this capacity.  Many others hide the stress they internalize.

It doesn’t matter how others deal with stress.  What’s important is how you handle your circumstances.  You can’t always control what happens but you can control your reaction.  This reality is the key to avoid getting caught on the stress treadmill where you continually hop from one issue to another.

How do you stop finding things to stress about?  Start with recognizing how pointless stress is in the first place.  You can devote as much energy as possible.  It won’t accomplish a thing.  Besides, stress is exhausting and doesn’t make you feel good.

When you find yourself stressing about some issue, decide which of the following categories it falls into.  Either there is some action you can take or the situation is out of your hands.  If there is something you can do, by all means do it.

Don’t sit there and fret.

For circumstances you have no influence over, let it go.  This advice may not be so easy to apply at first.  With practice you will make progress over time.  Be diligent and catch yourself whenever you begin to stress.

You can substantially reduce the number of things you stress over by maintaining a positive perspective.  Constantly question whether the event at hand is even worth your attention at all.  You will quickly find that much of your stress is caused by quickly forgotten issues blown out of proportion by your mental lens.

It’s difficult to stop stressful thinking.  Much more effective is displacing these troublesome thoughts with a focus on the good in your life.  You take many things for granted that deserve regular recognition of gratitude.  Put your energy into identifying them rather than stressing.

You have to act proactively to break the cycle of stress.  You are probably more used to this habit than you realize.  Although some level of stress is a normal part of living, it is usually too elevated.

You will be amazed how much better you feel as your stress level drops.  Break the pattern.  Don’t look for something to stress about.  You will wonder why you didn’t do it sooner.

Searching for Gold

Bryan Golden

“Men are developed the same way that gold is mined. When gold is mined several tons of dirt must be moved to get an ounce of gold; but one doesn’t go into the mine looking for dirt-one goes in looking for the gold.” – Andrew Carnegie

Wouldn’t it be great if you could go for a walk and find piles of pure gold waiting to be gathered?  No effort would be required.  All you would have to do is shovel as much gold as you wanted into buckets.  However, if gold were so abundant, it wouldn’t have any value.  The aura of gold is linked to its exclusivity.

What makes gold so expensive is that it is so difficult to come by.  Mining gold takes a great deal of time and effort.  First a mine has to be discovered.  Several mines might have to be dug before gold is reached.  Next, extensive digging is required.  All of the many tons of excavated dirt have to be carried out of the mine.

Even when gold is found, it is not in usable form.  Raw gold is very crude, a far cry from the metal we see in jewelry or coins.  Before it can be used, it must be melted down in order to remove the impurities.

Because of all the work involved, gold is one of the most desirable metals.  You will never hear someone say, “I don’t want gold, it takes too much effort to get it.”  However, when it comes to achieving dreams, “It takes too much work” is a commonly heard mantra.

Anything worthwhile takes effort.  Whatever is readily available doesn’t have much worth.  Gold is a perfect example of this concept.  Reaching your goals is no different from searching for gold.  The reason more people don’t live their dreams is because it requires hard work and dedication.

Taking the easy route may be appealing from an effort standpoint, but the destinations easily reachable don’t have much value.  Going into the woods and gathering rocks is easier than finding gold.  However, no one will be willing to pay you hundreds of dollars per ounce for the stones.

Developing yourself follows the same rules.  It takes effort to enhance your value.  People with more knowledge typically earn more than those with less.  Knowledge can be obtained from many sources, not just formal education.  Continual learning should be a lifetime endeavor.

In addition to education, you have numerous personality attributes you can continuously enhance.  Your character traits are just as valuable, if not more so, than what you know.  Individuals who are trustworthy, hard working, dependable, honest, pleasant, friendly, kind, and motivated are considered invaluable.

Your search for gold within yourself is a never ending pursuit.  It’s a journey, not a destination.  You can always dig deeper inside with the objective of further self-development.  Each of us has flaws that can be corrected.

It doesn’t matter how old or young you are.  It’s never too early or too late to begin your internal prospecting.  To start, look in the mirror.  What you see is your gold mine.  There is a virtually limitless supply of riches within you.

How far or how long you have to dig is irrelevant.  Time goes by regardless of what you are doing.  Why not devote your energy to going for gold?  You can live your dreams.  Get started today.  You will never have any regrets you did.

NOW AVAILABLE:  “Dare to Live Without Limits,” the book.  Visit www.BryanGolden.com or your bookstore. Bryan is a management consultant, motivational speaker, author, and adjunct professor. E-mail Bryan at bryan@columnist.com or write him c/o this paper.

Competition

by Bryan Golden

Is competition good or bad? Are you in competition with other people? Is it OK to do whatever it takes to win? Is winning of paramount importance? How are winners determined? Understanding the answers to these questions is essential to have a satisfying life.

Competition can be either good or bad, depending on the situation. In sports, competition between teams is good. Within each team, cooperation between the players is essential for peak performance. Competition among businesses creates innovation that benefits consumers. However, a company whose employees are just out for themselves will falter.

Competition on an individual basis is great, when appropriate. On a personal level, you seek to be the best you can be. In an educational environment, each student can strive for an “A” without having a negative impact on anyone else. In a business, each employee can endeavor to do the best possible job and everyone benefits.

Healthy competition compels self-improvement. A competitive environment fosters innovation. Competition motivates people to excel, pushing them beyond self-imposed limitations. Competition provides an incentive to work hard. Without competition, there are no rewards.

Historically, countries that have sought to eliminate competition have failed miserably. In a free society, everyone has the opportunity to compete. They also have the freedom not to. But it’s the competitors who reap the most from life.

Competition is bad when it is self-serving, to the detriment of others. Competition is good when it doesn’t undermine anyone. Competition to get ahead by excelling is good. Attempting to advance through unethical or underhanded tactics is bad.

The best competitors compete with themselves to continually improve. They don’t measure their progress by comparing themselves to others. They consistently try to do better then they have. They understand that there is always room for improvement, however slight.

Although it may seem as if you are competing with others, you are actually competing with yourself. If you are not maximizing your potential, not developing your capabilities, you are cheating yourself.

It’s not OK to do whatever it takes to win. If you win by stepping on others, any victories will be short lived. When your strategy involves tripping others, you will inevitably harm yourself. A victory won through nefarious means is no victory at all.

The news regularly has stories of athletes attempting to excel through the use of performance enhancing drugs. When caught, these people become disgraced and may even be banned from their sport.

Companies that deceive their stockholders and cheat their customers never rise to greatness. Employees who get promoted by back stabbing their coworkers invariably stumble and fall. Dishonesty may produce temporary gains, but the long-term results are disastrous.

Winning over someone else is not the goal. You don’t need to compare yourself to others in order to determine your level of success. You don’t have to be better, smarter, or wealthier to be happy.

Real winners are happy, content, and appreciative with their life. They compete with themselves by consistently growing. They are always competing in a positive fashion and never rest on their laurels.

You are your main competition, not someone else. Your objective is to keep developing rather than trying to be better than another person. Winners of races train to go as fast as they can. During a race, they look forward at the finish line, not behind them to see if anyone is catching up.

Are you a competitor or are you sitting on the sidelines? It’s never too late to jump on to the field. Do your best, keep improving, stay motivated, and you will always be in the front of the pack.

NOW AVAILABLE: “Dare to Live Without Limits,” the book. Visit www.BryanGolden.com or your bookstore. Bryan is a management consultant, motivational speaker, author, and adjunct professor. E-mail Bryan at bryan@columnist.com or write him c/o this paper. 2006 Bryan Golden