For several years I thought it was Dianna Kokoszka who said that we should work on being fascinated rather than frustrated, yet I’ve learned that it was actually Jim Rohn.
Jim Rohn is an old-school motivational guy, and I don’t see very many references to him these days, his era being one of books and tapes rather than snaps and tweets. Yet his legacy can be traced through all of our modern-day motivational characters: Tony Robbins, Dianna Kokoszka, Tim Ferriss, and more.
I thought of this concept of frustration versus fascination recently during a conversation with an individual who referred to himself as frustrated no less than four times in the space of twenty minutes. Every time he used that word, he winced, and the pain was so evident I could practically feel it myself. Inside my brain I heard a voice resisting: no, no, not that word!
You are… (insert your destiny here)
Dianna Kokoszka tells us that whatever we put behind the words I AM will find us in our lives. If you say I am wealthy, eventually you will become so. If you say I am happy, you are that much closer to living the feeling. And if you say I am frustrated, well, that reality will come and find you too.
When we say that we are frustrated, a certain part of our brain stops working – the problem-solving part.
The dictionary tells us that to frustrate means:
(to) prevent (a plan or attempted action) from progressing, succeeding, or being fulfilled.
So when we say we’re frustrated, we are literally asserting that we are stuck – something outside of ourselves has blocked our ability to progress, succeed or fulfill.
We are announcing defeat.
Fascination can be practiced
In the real estate coaching program BOLD, Dianna instructs us to be fascinated rather than frustrated. And specifically to swap out those words.
Some people roll their eyes at this, and I may well have been one of them when I first hear her say that. I can imagine myself back then thinking come on now, that sounds hokey and really, how important can one little word be?
Yet think of a time when you were actually fascinated with something.
How exciting was that?
The dictionary describes the verb to fascinate as:
(to) draw irresistibly the attention and interest of (someone).
When was the last time you found something irresistibly interesting? When you eagerly paid attention and desired to learn more about that thing?
Often we are fascinated by our hobbies. We can’t wait to get off of work or put the kids to bed so that we can attack the internet in search of details about our favorite baseball pitcher’s style and technique, or the latest trends in knitting tiny animals. We may be fascinated by travel, food, and culture, delighting in the learning that we get to do as we plan, experiment, and experience in those realms.
Remember when fascination came easy?
Jim Rohn reminds us that little children are fascinated:
We’re walking on ants and kids are studying them. They say, “Don’t walk on those ants. I’m studying them.” How come an ant can carry something bigger than they are? That is a good question. They must be unbelievably strong if they can carry something bigger than they are.
Can you imagine what life would be like if we were fascinated by our challenges?
Instead of thinking: !OMGF#$@$$@!! when something doesn’t go our way, we think: Wow! That’s so interesting! I wonder why that didn’t work the way I expected?! Let me dig in and find out!
What would be possible in our lives if we thought that way?