Magens Bay --San Thomas

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Frustration ...

My teenage girl, Pepper, told me the other day that she was frustrated with her piano teacher. Her piano teacher was also frustrated with her. She felt like it was not fair that the teacher was upset with her, for she had tried her best in finding time to complete her piano written assignments, but didn't find enough time to practice. For some weeks, Pepper just overwhelmed with school work and couldn’t find enough time to do her part, but her piano teacher won't budge.

One way or another, we have been in that situation ourselves.  Adults often get frustrated, and in some occasions, we can't handle frustration itself. Pepper then asked me, why adults get frustrated more often than kids. My answer to that was us adults have so many things going on in our lives. Sometimes we are overwhelmed with so many moving parts in our lives, sometimes things don’t go the way we wanted, sometimes our expectations are not met, sometimes we don’t have enough sleep, and sometimes we worry about every little thing. All of those add up and our minds are no longer at ease. Next thing we know, we are frustrated over little things.  What is the result? We find ourselves venting out against others who happen to be there at the wrong time at the wrong place.

--courtesy of

Let’s examine frustration itself, is it good or bad? According to the researchers, our brains are thriving for frustration. They claimed that “our brains need constant pressure to grow, develop, and even maintain skills over time. “ Now the question is "Just how well we handle frustration.  Do we see frustration as a challenge to overcome, an opportunity for us to grow or do we vent out at others? If we can’t even handle the frustration, how do we suppose our next generation can learn from us?

My advice to Pepper was to manage her piano teacher's expectations.  If she knows ahead of time that the week after would be a busy week, she should let the teacher know what to expect. If she happens to learn later that week that her work load becomes substantially heavier, she should call the teacher ASAP to reset the teacher's expectation. In this case, with the right expectations, the chances of frustration gets in the way will be minimized.

Another fact worth noting here is we have developed the ability to handle frustration since young age. So knowing that, we indeed could take on the challenge and handle our frustration in a more graceful manner. After all, life without frustrations would be a boring one.

Until next stop,
Journey of Life

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