Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Quote-A-Day: Day 110

#Frustration can cloud any decision. Control it, rather than let it control you. #QuoteADay #Day210 #edchat #edu #TakeADeepBreath

We’ve all been there.  Something happens as we’re heading off to work (maybe we spill a cup of coffee or tea, maybe our oldest is having a monstrous “getting out of bed” scenario, or we get into our car and it won’t start) and our frustration thermometer starts to creep up. 

We know the feelings that come along with this.  Tension, stress, an inability to control our thinking.  Basically, we’re like Bruce Banner transforming into the Hulk, but likely without the green skin and ripped purple shorts (but good for you if you’re wearing these).

Frustration can’t really be avoided.  It happens and we have to address it.  But, what happens after can be moderated.

We always have the choice to control our frustrations, or let our frustrations control us.  Let me give you a quick example.

We had company over last night for dinner.  It was great, and both of our kids had a great time.
They also went to bed way too late.

So, it wasn’t a surprise when our oldest (she’s four) did the whole teenager thing and refused to get out of bed in the morning.  Now, granted, I couldn’t really be mad about this.  After all, we were the ones who had the company over, so if there was blame anywhere, it was on me and my wife.  Still, time stops for no one, and we had to get going.

We finally got her and our youngest ready for day care, and as I was buckling in our four (going on fourteen) year old, she had a major meltdown.  In the car seat (ever try to strap in a melting down kid into a car seat. . . yeah, it was like that). 

I felt myself getting hot, and knew that I was going to lose it.  In fact, I opened my mouth and said, “Sydney (that’s my daughter) we. . .” and then trailed off.  My voice was too loud, and I was speaking before I was thinking.

So I stopped.  I backed away from the car for a second, took a deep breath, and then came back.  I let Sydney tell me what was going on, and just listened for a minute.  I fixed the problem (which was due more to her being exhausted than anything else), and strapped her in, and we were off.

Now, I likely could have yelled and shaved a minute or two off the commuting clock.  But for what purpose?  To arrive to work angry? To further upset my daughter?  Definitely not worth it.

Any leader and learner that wants to start and end the day happy needs to be the shepherd of his/her own frustration flock.  We need to know when it’s coming on, know how to address it, and know how to prevent it in the future.  Otherwise, we end up making decisions that aren’t really made by us, but instead mirror our feelings at the moment.  And that rarely ever works.

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