More Energy Project

I have been low on energy for more than 18 months. My life got turned around after my son was born and we became a family. I havn’t managed to ajust to family life. As a result I am stressed, exhausted, low on energy and I’m starting to feel discouraged and depressed.

Something has to be done! Now!

I found an article on ZenHabits with 55 ways to get more energy. I’m a big fan of Leo’s site and if he can manage to stay enegized, then so can I.

For the next 180 days I’m going to turn my life around and ajust to family life. I will try all 55 ways that Leo suggests. Everyday I will post what I’m doing and how much more energy I gain from doing it.

These posts are not perfect; I’m not going to rewrite or spell check. This is a project with one goal only: To give me more energy.

I commit to this project by involving you, the readers of my blog. – maybe you will get inspired to start your own energy project 😉

Update: I have started a list of more ways to get more energy, that I discover during my More Energy Project.

 

How to Stop Being Frustrated

Frustration © Erik Back 2012

Frustration © Erik Back 2012

Well, actually you don’t stop being frustrated, because the frustrations are part of life and you need them to get success. I have done a bit of research in the concept of frustration and that made me understand the essence and how to deal with frustration. I will attempt to explain what I believe frustration is and how you can get in control of your frustrations.

Understand frustration

Get in control of your frustrations

Learn to deal with your frustrations

Turn frustration into positive growth

While researching and writing a working paper I saw an important connection to some of my early work on this blog. I saw how I can manage my frustrations by working on my habits and basic needs.

Frustration is good

First of all I want to make clear that frustration is a good thing. We need frustrations to grow. We don’t develop if we don’t have frustrations. But for some people, myself included, frustrations are more frequent and they tend to do more harm than good. Sometimes I overreact dramatise.

It can be awfully distressing for people around me when I let my frustrations get out of control. The reason that my frustrations seem to do more harm than good is that I don’t know how to deal with them.

The feeling of frustration comes from not being able to satisfy a need or desire.

Seven common emotions that give frustration

  1. Boredom (the need for mental stimulation)
  2. Anger (a feeling that something is unjust)
  3. Fear (you feel threatend by something)
  4. Sadness (you are not happy with the way things are)
  5. Loneliness (the need to be with others)
  6. Stress (you need some time to relax)
  7. Feelings of inadequacy (you don’t feel confident in your abilities)
Habits based on Maslow and Frankl

Hierarchy of Habits © Erik Back 2011

Out of these seven emotions I have identified three that I know I handle the wrong way: stress, anger and fear. While thinking about this and asking myself what to do about it, I came to think about a model I made on this blog. I called it the hierarchy of habits.

It is based on Maslows hierarchy of needs. If I plot in the emotions and needs that are connected to frustration I get this:

Boredom has to do with the need for self-actualisation.

Feelings of inadequacy have to do with the need for esteem.

Sadness and loneliness have to do with the need for love and belonging.

Anger, stress and fear have to do with the need for safety.

The purpose of the hierarchy of habits is to show what is important to build a good foundation for your life. You have to get balance in your physiological needs before you can start building your safety needs etc. If you don’t have at stable foundation, you will face problems like frustration at other levels. To stop being frustrated you need to work on your basic needs.

To deal with anger I first have to fulfill my physiological needs. Get enough sleep, exercise, eat healthy food and cleanse my body. Then I can start working on my needs for safety at home, at work, balance my economy and order.

For a few weeks I have been working on sleep and exercise; and I can already feel a change in my frustrations.

 

 

Understanding Frustration

Frustration © Erik Back 2012

Frustration © Erik Back 2012

I’m writing this bit because I easily get frustrated. When something goes wrong I immediately twist the event in my mind and suddently everything seems to go bad. I can’t help wondering what makes people feel frustrated and what can we do to stop the frustrations?

Browsing the Internet gave me a few insights from an article at Erupting Minds:

  • Ignoring frustration leads to pain
  • Fustration is due to unfulfilled needs
  • Long term ignoring results in depression
  • The feeling of frustration comes from not being able to satisfy your needs, wants or desires through your own actions and efforts.
  • Frustration is lack of control of your life.
  • Lack of control leads to uncertainty and fear.
  • Frustration is loss of personal control
  • A person that is frustrated feel trapped; this cause them to feel fear
  • Frustration is a means to success

This morning I listened to a speech by Tony Robbins; he explained how we need uncertainty in our life. Uncertainty will give frustrations, so, how can uncertainty be something we need?

Maybe the problem in my frustrations are that I don’t know how to deal with them. By learning about my frustrations I will turn uncertainty and frustration into an asset that will fulfill my needs?

There a basically three ways to deal with a situation:

  1. Accept things as they are
  2. Leave the situation
  3. Try to change the situation

Four ways to stop frustration

  1. What I’m doing now is not working; find a different apporoach.
  2. Identify the feeling: Fear or anger?
  3. What am I doing that is not working?
  4. Do something to satisfy a currently unfulfilled need

Seven feelings and their message

  1. Boredom (the need for mental stimulation)
  2. Anger (a feeling that something is unjust)
  3. Fear (you feel threatend by something)
  4. Sadness (you are not happy with the way things are)
  5. Loneliness (the need to be with others)
  6. Stress (you need some time to relax)
  7. Feelings of inadequacy (you don’t feel confident in your abilities)

To find out what to do to satisfy a currently unfulfilled need, Ihave to be persistent. I have to try again and again before I succeed. Frustration often comes out of failure of some kind; but success, says Edison, comes from faliure. So, in som bizarre way, my frustration is the first step to success, provided I choose to act upon it.

How to find the need to fulfill

Step 1: What is causing me to feel frustrated?

Step 2: What is it I am trying to do?

Step 3: What need am I trying to fulfill?

By asking these questions I can better identify what my primary feeling is.

Tony Robbins: Resources are not success, resourcefulness is!

Trying harder will not help you fulfill your need, but trying a different approach will!

This post is a working paper. It’s purpose is to explore frustration.

 

 

 

 

Does Your Identity Make Sense?

Erik at his Castle © Erik Back 2011

When you were born you were given a name; so was I.

Have you ever looked you name up in a dictionary to see what it means? – I have.

My name is Erik and it means ‘one ruler’ or ‘ever powerful’. In Denmark we have had seven kings named Erik. I cannot help being influenced by the meaning of my name. It is as if I’m destined for something great because there is greatness in the meaning of my name.

I chose to study strategy and management at business school – why? It could be coincidence but my choice of education is a decision I made upon my perception of identity.

My name is the first identity tag I received. Later in life I have received other tags and experienced other events that helped form my identity.

We need an identity to exist; without an identity life becomes pointless, it won’t mean anything – it wouldn’t make sense to us.

Identity is fuel to the process of sensemaking.

What Managers Should Understand About Change on the Floor

Change on the floor © Erik Back 2005

Lately I have been thinking about how change agents implement changes in companies. I have an academic background in strategy and management; I have studied a lot of theories and methods about change and it is all very exciting.

Most change agents are very good a making managers understand how important and how good change would be for their companies. The agents and managers meet to make a strategy to implement change. Until now everything is good. Both agent and manager speak the same language.

People on the floor don’t care

I have worked on the floor among non-academics and it has been a great experience. I have had jobs like warehouse operative and sales assistant; my family are all workmen. What I have experienced is that they put pride in their work and their craft; but they hate change and they especially dislike when academic managers tell them how to do their work.

Management has to find a way to gain trust and then initiate change in a non-academic language. The manager needs to understand that people on the floor do not care about LEAN, kaizen and positive thinking. They care about doing their jobs.

“Managers are just lazy academics sitting on their chairs all day drinking coffee!” I have heard this sentence many variations countless of times. Most people at the floor will agree with the statement and help maintaining that image.

If you want to initiate change you have to change yourself first. Next you have to show appreciation and communicate what you want. If people are pleased with you appreciation they will give you what you ask for.


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