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Frustration comes from Ambition

Most of us desire to achieve our dreams and this fact compels us to embark on lifelong journeys. Our aspirations are driven by all kinds of reasons; to change our lives drastically, to prove others wrong, to offer others lives we were deprived or to atone for our past sins.
One of my favourite quotes is, “What you carry is what defines you. It can be the burden of feeding your family, the responsibility of caring for patients, the good that you feel you must do for others, or the sins that you will not release. Whatever it is, we all carry something, every day.”

So our lives are driven by our ambitions and because of that, we make sacrifices every day in pursuit of these ambitions.

Even when you love what you do, there are moments you’d prefer to be engaged in something else. However, you realize that you have to put in the work. I love going to the gym, but I also know that going to the gym is not enough to give me a really good physique. I struggle with keeping up with my diet but dieting is the tough part I have to contend with. If there were no consequences, I would eat pastries most of the time; while still passionately going to the gym. But I know for sure that doing so slows my progress.  My point is that life gives us what we put into it most of the time and that If we desire something, we have to work for it. Passion is not enough.

How Being Fixated on the Future Makes Us Frustrated

While having dreams and goals are important for personal development, being fixated on them and living in the future can cause us to be anxious and depressed. A dream is an image we create in our minds and we want that image to materialize, otherwise nothing else matters. When we are too preoccupied with the future, we become frustrated with the present. Worse, we are unable to objectively assess how much progress we’ve made.

People often say, “You once dreamed of the life you have now”. Well, maybe you did not. I bet you had a much bigger vision and there was no intermediate dream.  If where you are right now, was never part of the dream, it makes sense that you are disconnected from it. But this mindset is dangerous. According to the WHO, close to 800,000 people die due to suicide each year. This means, on average, one person dies by suicide every 40 seconds. In essence, don’t let your dreams kill you.

If you are frustrated with how much progress you are making as an entrepreneur or in life generally, here’s what I suggest:

Choose Self Compassion

What you hate cannot grow and If you constantly criticize yourself for coming short of your expectations, you’d be doing so for a long. On this premise, I believe it matters that we see the potential in the results we currently produce, so we can grow and yield more results. A lot of the people who become frustrated with their progress, hinge their happiness on achieving their dreams. For a future, so uncertain, this does not make sense. But in reality, many of us are like that. I am too. But if you can’t be happy, decide not to be unhappy and I believe this alone is very powerful.

Learn. Read Books.

Knowledge impacts progress. It has been the same driving force behind advancements in science, technology, medicine, social systems, and many other fields. And the same is true of personal growth. Another favourite quote of mine is, “When you know better, you do better.” So, when things aren’t turning out as expected, go and seek knowledge. I blogged for many years and despite my efforts, my blog was still a ghost town (crickets chirping, tumbleweeds tumbling ghost town). Then I came across how to write search engine-optimized content, and that knowledge alone has made a lot of difference. So, instead of staying frustrated, go and learn. Sometimes, the solutions to our problems will not align with the rest of our preconceptions, but we cannot place the hope or desire to be right above data or facts. More importantly, we must apply what we learn because taking action is the key to moving our lives forward.

Come to Terms with How Uncertain the Future Is

The future is uncertain. My life did not materialize the way I dreamed about it 17 years ago. At 17, I thought I would one day become a community pharmacist and later in life own a wellness centre. Today, I’ve done so much more than community pharmacy practice. I have worked in regulatory affairs, medicine access and moved abroad. Understanding that we cannot control every aspect of our lives or predict the future allows us to let go of our need for excessive control. Instead of becoming frustrated when things don’t go as planned, we can learn to focus on what we can control: our attitude, and response to situations

Acknowledge Your Limitations

It has been said that the ultimate purpose of life is to embrace every moment of it. To lead a satisfying life, it’s crucial to avoid the constant feeling of frustration and defeat. Acknowledging that things may not always go as planned, despite our utmost efforts, can assist us in handling difficult situations.

Lastly, I still believe in holding on to grand dreams. And I also know that your dreams shouldn’t block you from being able to recognize how blessed your current life is. The prayer for all of us dreamers is simple, and it is to recognize when we have achieved any of our goals because I’m sure we would always move the goalpost.