Henrik Angelstig

How To Instantly Turn Frustration into Joy A simple trick for brightening your mood when you can't find anything to be happy about

Have you ever had a period when your happiness dipped despite no change in your environment? 

This recently happened to me. For 2 weeks I just felt disengaged with my work and the people around me. I was doing the same things which had excited me before. But I wasn’t as happy as I used to be. 

One evening I was studying alone in the living room when one of my roommates, I will call him Phil, came to join me. At first I felt annoyed. I had enjoyed my alone time and I didn’t want anyone to disrupt it. But then I thought “How can I appreciate Phil being here?” 

For some strange reason, I imagined Phil as an adorable 5-year old whom I was responsible for providing for. As if he was my much younger brother. Suddenly, my annoyance with Phil melted away completely and was replaced by warm compassion. I felt a responsibility to be my best self and show him how much I cared about him. We ended up having an amazing conversation and I felt such an appreciation for Phil that I spontaneously gave him a goodnight hug. I was feeling alive once again!

I had accidentally stumbled upon a solution to my disengagement. 

What if I imagined whatever frustrated me as if it was a cute 5-year old whom I was responsible for?  

This practice sounds incredibly silly. And it is. It also worked wonders for me. I began approaching every person as someone I cared about. Every individual became someone I wanted to show appreciation towards. And this shift in mindset influenced my actions. I began saying “Hi!” and stopped to chat with people I usually didn’t talk with. I listened with excitement more than I spoke. I found something to compliment in every person. And all of this made me feel happier with myself. 

I even applied this practice to material things as well. When I got caught in a downpour and became frustrated with the rain, I imagined the rain as a playful puppy. At once, my annoyance vanished and I said “Haha! Ok, rain. You felt that we needed a shower. Then keep pouring on. This is fun!”. I ended up more energized once I got back inside than when I went out. 

Childish as this practice is, there are two reasons why it is so powerful: 

  1. You start acting as a role model
    Imagine the source of your frustration as an innocent child, and you begin acting as your very best self. When I saw Phil as a 5-year old whose care I had been entrusted with, I would have felt like a complete jackass if I just left the room when he came to seek my company. I instead switched my thinking to: “How can I show Phil that I care about him?”. This inspired me to start a conversation about a topic I knew he was interested in. You set a much higher standard for yourself when you believe that others are relying on you.
  1. You begin caring more for the other person
    View someone as an adorable child who is the joy of your life, and any frustration melts away and is replaced by a desire to see them better off. You actually start caring more about the other person, and you will want to give your time, attention, and effort to help them. 

If you would like to try this practice in your own life, simply follow these steps: 

  1. Catch yourself whenever you feel annoyed, frustrated, or disengaged. 
  1. Imagine the source of your emotion as an adorable child whose care you have been entrusted with. 
  1. Take the action you know is right. 

Of course, you are not going to treat an adult as if they are a child. The purpose of this practice is only to get you into the right mood, and then let your mood guide your actions. 

Which person will you be a compassionate role model for today?


The 3 Reasons Why You Aren’t Getting Results How to find the root cause that's stopping you from achieving your goals

If you only work hard, have a positive attitude, and stay disciplined, you will achieve success.

These three virtues are important in any endeavor. They also only show one side of the coin. Success is actually achieved through two steps. And hard work, positive attitude, and discipline are all part of the second step. 

The first step is to follow a good recipe

Success is just like baking a batch of cookies. Combine a specific set of ingredients in a specific way and you will get a certain result. Whatever outcome you want to accomplish, there is a recipe for that. 

There are three reasons why you might not be getting the results you want:

  1. You are using the wrong recipe

If you want to accumulate $1,000,000, then working a 9-5 job, being frugal, and investing in the stock market likely won’t get you there anytime soon. 

  1. You are missing a core ingredient to your recipe

If your goal is to run your own restaurant some core ingredients you probably will need are: 

  • Popular location
  • Attractive menu
  • Great customer service
  • Financial viability

What if you chose to start a restaurant without one of these ingredients? Like trying to bake cookies without flour, your restaurant will likely fail. 

  1. You don’t put in enough hard work, positive attitude, and discipline in the baking 

Even with the best recipe no cookies are going to bake themselves. How much you make your recipe count is up to your work ethic. 

The three virtues of hard work, positive attitude, and discipline are incredibly important. But they are only the second step of the path to success. Following a good recipe comes first. 

Imagine that you tried to accumulate $1,000,000 with the above-mentioned approach. Frustrated by your lack of progress, what if you then decided to work harder, adopt a more positive attitude, and become more disciplined? 

You would get more of the limited success you already had. 

Every recipe has an upper bound of success. The three virtues can only scale your results towards that limit. But no further. And for each core ingredient you fail to include, the success limit of your recipe is reduced. 

In which areas are you not getting the results you want? 

Now ask yourself: What is my process failing? 

  1. Are you using the wrong recipe? 
  2. Are you missing ingredients? 
  3. Have you not put in enough effort? 

You must know the cause before you can prescribe the solution. Since you are reading this, then lack of work ethic is likely not your problem. 

If you are uncertain about your recipe then study other people who have already achieved the success you seek? Read books. Check your friends and associates if they can connect you with someone. Ask people you admire if you can buy them a cup of coffee where they can tell you their story. If you are just curious to learn, they will be happy to help you. 

Which recipe will you choose to improve?