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How to Turn

Frustrations into Opportunities

Positive Thinking; a Misconception

Frustrations come in difference shades and colors, daily.

Yet, we’re sold on the popular idea of positive thinking, as if that is the biggest secret for attracting success.

The positive-thinking idea became so popular at one point because it appeals to very basic human desires and emotions. We all want an easy way out and to achieve massive success.

Positive thinking seems to be an easy concept, an easy process and an easy way out. Many people have brought into the idea and tried and tried, without any success.

The positive-thinking way to success is a misconception. It can motivate people for a moment or two or even a day or two. After trying for a few months, most people know that positive thinking alone doesn’t get you where you want to go. Motivation doesn’t last.


The idea of positive thinking is easy to sell. Practicing positive thinking is not so easy. Have you ever tried to think positively and the negative thoughts just keep popping up from nowhere? Daily, we face so many little things that frustrate us.

We can become frustrated with others, with little things and situations, and even with ourselves, daily. Yet we keep on doing the same things and interacting with the same people in the same situations. Just hoping for the best.

Can you relate?

How We Think Matters

It’s important to think about what we’re thinking. Positive is better than negative. But we can’t think our way out of obstacles. People who want an easy way out practice positive thinking as wishful thinking. We need to build a different mindset instead.

How we think (mindset) is more important than what we think (positive or negative) to make a change.

How we think can change our energy, our perspective and our understanding of ourselves and others. How we think directs our actions and changes how we feel. When our thinking and feelings align, we can then make a lasting change and feel the positivity we seek in our lives.

Practicing How to Think

One way to practice is to turn our daily frustrations into opportunities.

Have you ever brought your frustrations to the surface so that you can resolve them and move on?

Left alone, frustrations can turn from daily stress to chronic stress.

Examples of daily frustrations, all are trivial in the beginning:

1. Getting a parking ticket for parking in an restricted zone

2. Being late for a meeting

3. Others being late for meeting you

4. Eating something you didn’t want in the first place

5. Hanging with people you don’t quite enjoy

6. Wasting time on emails and social media

7. Having the impulse to check emails and social media

8. Reacting to email or social media comments

9. Judging people on social media

10. Tolerating an inefficient app or software just because you know how to use it

11. Standing in line for anything

How we deal with small frustrating things can easily be translated into how we deal with a failure that needs our mind, soul and sanity to work together.

Turn Frustrations into Opportunities (“F2O”)

What if…? What if we can turn frustrations into opportunities? What if we can find solutions to everyday annoying problems? What if we can become more creative and innovative by simply doing this F2O practice daily?

What if the side effects include reduced stress, increased confidence, inner peace, happiness? What if we find we can change the world through this daily practice? There are no limits to the possibilities.

Here are some simple practices that we can use to exercise our creativity, curiosity and thinking muscles.

  1. Create a four-column table with the headings: Date, Frustration, Opportunity, Solution
  2. Write down your top three frustrations of the day and ask

a) What can I do better?

b) What can I eliminate or say No to?

c) What can I learn and apply?

d) Do I see an opportunity here?

e) What’s my solution?

  1. Think fast and write down whatever comes to your mind. Don’t overthink or overanalyze. If you can’t find an answer today, move on and come back another time.
  2. When the problem is solved, think about what’ve you learned and how you can turn it into an opportunity.
  3. Review your writing on your F2O table weekly.

The Key

The key to this practice is not to get things perfect, which is a waste of your time and energy.

The key is to help you focus on the solutions from the right frame of mind. In the beginning, like doing any new exercise, you will find it a bit painful to do the practice.

If you keep on trying, even within a week, you’ll experience less pain, more joy, with creative juices flowing from your mind almost non-stop.

The F2O practice is simple, but not easy. Simple practice takes daily discipline to follow through so that you can turn your frustrations into opportunities on demand.

The Great Potential of F2O

Many great businesses started by turning a personal frustration into a massive opportunity and world domination. Dropbox is a good example. Even if you can’t find any business opportunity yet in the short run, you can at least benefit from feeling better, feeling less stressed and happier, daily.

The practice puts you in a problem-solving and “can do” mindset. The actions make you feel more positive. When your thinking and feelings align, you experience positivity.

Practice for seven days and see how positively you’ll think and feel.

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