The difference between frustration and success

As I’ve worked with numerous people over the years and learned about their frustrations and successes, there’s one thing that has emerged as the difference maker between frustration and success: A plan.

As simple as that sounds, a plan brings focus, hope, and most times, positive results. I personally have been at a point when I was frustrated and couldn’t see why things weren’t going differently for me. I almost had a sense of entitlement, like “I’m a talented guy. Why doesn’t someone just give me what I want?” The light went on when I realized I had no plan for what I really wanted.

When I finally realized I needed a plan, I did some homework on what I wanted and built one. The result has been an awesome experience. Although there were days when that frustration would try to creep back on me, I simply reminded myself of my plan. That reminder would set me back on course.

Can plans fail? Sometimes. But if you have a plan, and plan some flexibility into it, your failures will usually be minimal.

If you want to trade frustration for success, start making a plan!

Take control of what you CAN control!

So many times we get frustrated about things we can’t control. We spend even more time stewing about them, even though there’s absolutely nothing we can do about them. Although this is common among all of us, it’s amazing what happens when you replace those stewing moments with thoughts of what you CAN control. Now THAT is using your time wisely!

We can’t control others choices, their attitudes, or the weather, to name a few. But we CAN control our own choices, our own attitudes, and how we react to the weather. Are we going to make choices that will lead to better things, have attitudes that are positive and uplift us, and roll with whatever weather comes our way? I hope so, because that’s really the only way we will positively progress in our lives.

If you want to be happier and more successful, take control of what you CAN control!

You can make your choices, but you can’t choose the consequences…..so make better choices!

We can make choices, but we can’t choose the consequences. True statement. But how many times have you heard someone (including yourself) complain about a situation but never do anything about it? I hear it all the time and I’ve busted myself more than a few times over the years doing just that.

Life comes down to this: You can make your choices, but you can’t choose the consequences, so make better choices! These choices are anything from who you choose to associate with, what you spend your time on, what you take into your body, how you spend or don’t spend your money, etc. The list is endless. But one thing is for sure. If you don’t like how something is going in your life, you have the power – through your choices – to change it. The results may or may not be immediate, but you can start by making better choices.

As you make better choices you will feel better about yourself and see your life going in a different, better direction!

The reason we can and should be positive.

I dedicate this post to a friend that has been an amazing example through difficult times. His wife’s funeral was yesterday. She passed away after a long battle with cancer and was only 37 years old. How can anyone be positive through this kind of trial? My friend has been about as positive as anyone could. Yes, there have been awful times and will continue to be hard days, but he knows something that Jesus sums up in John 16:33:

“These things I have spoken unto you, that in me you might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.”

What more positive news could there be? My friend knows that even through what is most likely the lowest time in his life, he can turn to Him whose birth we celebrate.

This Christmas season, hold your family close and be grateful for Jesus Christ, for He has made it possible for us to overcome anything.

The Complain Drain vs. the Positive Pulse

The other day after getting off the phone with someone who wanted to do nothing but complain, I was reminded of something we’ve all realized from these types of encounters. It saps anything fun or enjoyable out of you for a little while. It’s a downer, especially when the complaining is not constructive. I get the idea that we sometimes need to vent. That feels good and can be healthy. But without mentally moving on, you’re drained. I call it the “complain drain”.

On the opposite end of the spectrum there are people with the “positive pulse”. These are the people that build up, help out, and find solutions to problems in order to help those around them better their situations. When you feel that positive pulse from these people it’s invigorating – the complete opposite feeling that comes from the “complain drain”.

I’ve seen it time and again and have observed that you will get more out of life and find more success when you have the “positive pulse”.

Most days are great

When we think about how relatively good we have it in life, most days are great. We have the occassional reminder when we hear of a natural disaster ravaging a certain part of the world and we go home to food, clothing, water, and a bed to sleep in. We have the occassional reminder when we watch the news and hear of a crime or murder story and think about the relative safety we usually live in. We have the occassional reminder when we see a neighbor go through a hard time while we live a fairly busy but great life. When you really think about it, reminders of how good we have it are everywhere.

Sure, we will have some tough times on occassion. It’s part of life. Some of those tough times test our endurance and patience. But even during those tough times we can still look around and say “even so, my life is still great”. Some of the people I look up to most looked at the things they had during hard times, not the things they were lacking.

The more you look around at the good things in your life, the more you will see them. And the more you will realize that most days are great.

Give in, give out, and give up!

Sounds demotivating, doesn’t it? But if you want to find real success and real happiness in life, you’ve got to do these three things. Let me explain.

Give in
Give in means to give yourself opportunities to grow into who you want to be. That may be personally, professionally, or any other way. You have to elevate yourself before you can help others do the same. Find ways to develop your talents, career, passions, etc; and don’t feel selfish about spending this kind of time on you. It may only take a few minutes per day and you can start to see results fairly soon. Give in!

Give out
Give out means that when you’ve reached a point that you can give to others by teaching, training, sharing, helping or any other way, you do it! By lifting those around you, many things can happen. If you lift your boss by your own solid performance, that can only help your own and your bosses career. When you give to your spouse, you help your marriage. When you give to your neighbor, you help the neighborhood. The list could go on. The great thing is that when you do this, you help someone AND you elevate yourself! Give out!

Give up
We’ve all been blessed with god-given talents and abilities. Whatever god you believe in, you should thank him as often as you can for what you’ve been blessed with and give credit where credit is due. By doing this you realize how blessed you really are. This turns into more blessings, or at least a gradual realization of how much you have going for you.

These things can be done in any order. You don’t have to wait to complete one before moving on to the next. They all should be going on simultaneously. So Give in, Give out, and Give up! Watch great things happen as you do.