Does frustration get the better of you?

Last week Monday I was tired after a two hour commute, I collected the children from nursery and childminder and arrived home knowing I would have to face the usual drill; evening meal, bath, story, prayers, make packed lunches, hang up clothes for tomorrow etc etc.

After dinner, I became extremely frustrated with my three year old son. He was insisting on his need to eat cake in the lounge as oppose to the kitchen. I told him he must eat around the table in the kitchen.  He then became stroppy, stood on the spot and cried (whilst holding the plate of course!) My son is extremely strong willed and stood crying for ten minutes but it actually felt like an hour. I was not willing to bend my rules in order to get a little peace but was definitely tempted for a few seconds. Eventually my son gave in and ate the cake in the kitchen.

Having witnessed awkward family situations whilst out and about, I can see why parents become frustrated with their children.  Whilst my son cried, my mind ran on the advert shown on television some years ago. A mother was out shopping with her two children and one child complained non-stop. Suddenly the mum dropped to the floor and began having a tantrum and caused a scene.  The children looked on embarrassed as if to say;

“What is up with mum?”

Mum had had enough – mum was having a fit just as children do. It certainly made them stop and reflect on their behaviour as you could see the shock on their faces.

Having children means your patience is tested throughout the day. You would like them to do one task and they have other ideas. I am learning they are their own people and their personality and character is developing each day.  My eight year old daughter is assertive and knows exactly what she wants. She will do/say anything to stay up later even if only for five minutes.  I am improving my skill of not negotiating with her which annoys me no end but simply telling her in a stern voice which she does not like at all.

I do not want to be a mother who constantly shouts at her children out of anger and frustration. If this means I have to walk away in particular situations to catch my breath/put life into perspective then so be it.  I have realised I have more impact if I speak firmly to my children and get them to reflect on their behaviour rather than acting out in frustration. 

How do you deal with frustration?
What advice would you give others?


Work in excellence!

I have been thinking about those who live a life of excellence. They do everything to the best of their ability, however menial the task may appear to others. Excellence is not only reserved for those in the public eye, in senior leadership or for those who want to aspire to more than what they are currently doing.  We should all work in excellence, with the intention of receiving great results.  Without excellence we can become complacent and sloppy.  Progress can rarely be made without working in excellence. 

When cleaning your home, I doubt one would get very far if they used a dirty cloth and ineffective cleaning products. If writing a dissertation, one would not fair well if they do not meet the word count or fail to spell and grammar check the content.

Cutting corners only brings disappointment.  It may well present as saving you time now but in the long run it will show you no favours. Your reputation will be at stake and you in turn lower your expectations.  Others can encourage, coach and mentor you but you need to make the decision to push forward and give your all.

Excellence to one person could be seen as average to another as perhaps they work smarter and are generally more competent in a particular area of work.  My daughter is a natural at drawing and anything remotely creative, she is constantly designing and building.  She has more creative skills as a child than I do as an adult. I still have the mindset that if you are not particularly gifted in an area of work it does not excuse you from delivering to the best of your ability.

I recall taking driving lessons 20/21 years ago and my driving instructor chastised me about changing gears. For some reason I would go into fourth gear instead of second and visa versa. He drummed it into me that this would hinder me from passing my test – no kidding! At the time I felt annoyed and irritated that I could not get this right. I made up my mind that I would focus on my gears as I had to pass my test first time.  The lessons were expensive as at the time I was a student and it cost almost £100 just to take your test. Suffice to say I got a grip on changing into the correct gear and passed first time.  Looking back, I would have continued until I passed as I was intent on being a driver- the fact I did not have a car did not matter one bit!

Do you veer towards working in excellence?
What have you sacrificed?

Present yourself well!

Although first impressions do not give you a complete overview of a person, we make judgement on what we physically see. It is an automatic reaction.

It is important that we give a good impression of ourselves, that we represent ourselves in the best way possible. Not only for the benefit of others but as a way of reaffirming that we matter. How others see us has some impact on our lives but how we see ourselves is what truly matters.  We have a duty to ensure we present well when leaving our home; clean body, clean and ironed clothes, polished shoes, groomed hair.

There is a well known saying;
“One should dress for the job they want, not for the job they have”.

This quote makes the assumption that everyone is striving to the next senior level in their organisation which is simply not the case. Some are happy in their roles and have no desire to move “up ranks” and some are already at senior leadership level.  Regardless of where one’s role sits, presentation is of importance.

On occasions I have taken this “appearing good at all times” lark a bit far such as applying foundation before visitors arrived to see me and my first born in hospital. I was in tremendous pain but still managed to reach over for my make-up bag much to the amusement of the midwife who gave me a “for goodness sake” look. I am sure I also saw some eyeball rolling!

I remember as a teen I rushed to my part-time job in a retail store and in a panic put on a pair of tights (hosiery) that had an unsuspected ladder at the back. I noticed after arriving in the back office and was mortified! I rushed to buy a packet of tights from the shop floor and changed. I learnt my lesson on that day, over 20 years ago that regardless of how much of a rush I am in, I must pay attention. I now allow a few minutes before leaving home to look in a full length mirror to ensure I am presentable.

I promised myself that whatever battle I faced,  I would not allow this to affect the way in which I looked.  I would put on a good front in order to face the outside world. As shallow as it may come across, it has helped my confidence. When you look good, you in turn feel better. I may, just may let the side down a little as I wear running shoes to and from the office. I walk as part of my commute and am much faster on my feet as a result. Also I walk heavily on my feet so my shoes would need reheeling far too often!

How much do you pay attention to your appearance?

How much do you judge others on their appearance, specifically in corporate environments?

Consistency brings results!

Recently I watched a short video of Mr Denzel Washington giving a short speech on consistency and commitment;

“Without commitment you will never start, but more importantly without consistency, you will never finish”.

It takes strength and perseverance to be consistent, more so when you do not see immediate results.  At times we do not want to wait months or years and if there is no passion so to speak, we can easily allow our ideas to fall off the wayside.

My first year into blogging, I was totally dissatisfied with my number of followers and comments left after each blog. I naively questioned whether blogging was truly for me as if it were, where were all these people swarming my blog?  On reflection I knew I had a passion for writing and made a decision to write once weekly regardless of how many people read my articles.  There are thousands of bloggers all over the world working to find their niche. Some are talented with a natural flair for writing and I have learnt from them. However, I will maintain the notion that among the thousands there is also a place for me. For this reason I will continue to use my voice.

The number of actors/actresses and business owners who have been on the scene for years; building up their profile by networking, attending auditions and business meetings only to be rejected for someone more talented and experienced.  You rarely hear of such people when they are on route to making it, only when they have made it.  This can give one the impression that their road to fulfilling their goal was straightforward; that everything fell into place for them. Not so!

I will admit that being consistent can be tedious and dull.  Some days you will not feel like working on your business plan/project/other but if we only did what we felt, how many of us would leave our house until noon? Nobody reaches their goal by doing what they feel. Famous authors, entrepreneurs, innovators did not make it by limiting the amount of time they spent pursuing their goal. They made the necessary sacrifices with their time and their finances.  They put in the hard work in order to reap the fruit. We must be willing to put in the work – there are no shortcuts. 

My three tips on remaining consistent;

1. Reflect on your “why”. Why do you want to fulfil this goal?

2. Schedule time slots in which to work on your business or project. Work around them as if they are non-negotiable. Inform friends and family you are not available at these times.

3. Go back to point 1!

How has consistency contributed to you fulfilling your goals?

What advice would you give for those who struggle in the area of consistency?