17/40 Frustration

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From the desk of Rabbi Brian

Exercise: Frustration.

We all get frustrated in
our day-to-day lives.

Why? I think it might be because
we all have expectations on how things ought to happen, but reality is not
affected by our wishes. Consequently, we get frustrated.

This week, as a
spiritual-religious exercise, I want you to practice getting frustrated. Just
to practice.

(You don’t have to.)

Let’s face it, you are
going to get frustrated anyway; so here is a chance for you to learn about
yourself in a safe environment.

What you will learn in
this upcoming exercise is going to be personal to you. You will learn answers
to the question, “what do I really do
when I get frustrated?” (A lot of us think we know, but frustration isn’t a
thinking, it’s a feeling.)

Here’s what I’ve learned about
when I get frustrated:

  • I chastise
    myself for not being clever enough to think myself through whatever problem I’m

  • I get excited
    fantasizing of having solved the problem and feeling accomplished in having
    done so.

  • I spend time trying
    and re-trying solutions that I already know won’t work and then chastise myself
    for rehashing instead of solving the problem.

  • I tend to hold
    my breath a little bit and don’t notice it until I make an audible, forceful

Now it’s your turn.

Try to figure out the

is the next number in the following series:



Note your reaction until
you either figure it out or give up on it. I advise that when you do either
(figure it out or stop trying), you spend a few moments writing a recollection
of your experience.

Please notice your
reaction to both the problem and to this entire exercise of learning from your

Spiritual-religious advise
for the week: try to learn to be comfortable with the discomfort of being


With love,

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Rabbi Brian


For those of you still wondering
about the answer? The solution will be revealed in the next issue of The 77% Weekly.

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