#428 Antifragile Affirmactions

How to Use Micro-Moments of Frustration to Grow

Today we’re going to have some fun mapping out how to use micro-moments of frustration to catalyze the next-best version of you, antifragile style.

We’re going to call the whole process “antifragile affirmactions.”

We’ll start by identifying some little thing that might currently annoy you.

So… What’s one situation in which you find yourself getting a little annoyed? Doesn’t need to be a big deal, but let’s take a moment and find one little thing.

Got it?

Awesome.

(For curious souls, I’m going with my son whining. 🙂)

Alright. Now, let’s imagine this little currently-annoying thing occurring. Put yourself there.

Now…

!!! OMGoodness. HOLD THE PRESSES, Ladies and Gentlemen. This is funny. !!!

Get this: My dear son literally JUST came upstairs and started pounding (!) on my office door. Mind you, I’m in super-crushing Deep Work-mode with my Hearos earplugs in and my shooting range ear muffs on (I kid you not). I’m pretty focused as I’ve got to bang out another four of these +1s before hitting the road to get to Big Bear Mountain where I’ll be doing a Spartan Beast tomorrow.

So…

I open the door and I’m like, “Dude!!!” (Laughing.) “You know when I’m working that it’s not the time to bang on the door.”

He’s sitting there with his little Lego fireman hose thing he’s trying to build. (We just signed up for some monthly Lego membership program—he gets four new sets every month. Little-boy heaven. He built the first three sets within 24 hours of getting the first delivery—hah!)

Anyway… The little black “hose” thing isn’t fitting through the little hole in the holder thing. And he wants some help.

What do I do? I tell him (a little more impatiently than I’d like to admit) that I’m sorry but I’m super-busy right now and I can’t help. (D’oh. Attend your own Good Samaritan lecture lately, Mr. Philosopher?)

What does he do? Starts crying after I shut the door.

Then… I open the door and try to actually PRACTICE the idea I was just writing about. (Oh, the irony! Thank you, Life!)

Long story short: The end of the “hose” was super frayed. We got it in the dinky hole once but then it fell out. So, I thought maybe I’d snip off the frayed part and burn the edges a bit and then try again. I’m the least mechanical person on the planet so I was actually kinda impressed with my plan. It almost worked. (Laughing.)

But it didn’t. Then I got to a point where I said, “Buddy, I’d love to help some more but I think you’ve gotta finish this one on your own!” To which he replied, “No problem! I think your fingers are just too big but mine will work!”

Sweet little human.

OK.

Today’s +1.

a) Let’s remember the whole point of all this work is to be better humans. And, if our ultimate goal is to actualize our potential then EVERYTHING that helps us get there is awesome. Therefore, all those little things that annoy you? Little diamonds in the rough. Let’s pick them up. Polish them. Etc.

b) In those moments when we find ourselves triggered, let’s step back and SEE that this is, in fact, an awesome opportunity to grow. Then, imagine what the best version of you would do. Then do it.

That’s an antifragile affirmaction.

<- When you use the micro-challenges of life to DO the thing you know is right. To “affirm” your best self by DOING what that version of you would do.

Life is always giving us little diamonds waiting to be picked up and polished.

Dear God: Please help me see them. 😳

+1. +1. +1.

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