I’m like most people in this world. I enjoy my periods of flow. There’s nothing better than to have thirty minutes of unadulterated, unfiltered writing time. Where you can just freely put pen to paper (or fingers to the keyboard) and just write to your heart’s content.
I love those moments. The time passes by so slowly in those cases. Actually, you don’t even notice the time as it goes away. So, I try to maximize those times of peace and freedom. Those times of minimal agitation.
Alas, not every moment is like that. There will always be times at work when I am interrupted. When I’m in the middle of thinking on strategy. Or when I’m in the middle of writing an important email to a customer. I’d get interrupted by a spam call. Or someone would ask me to do something else while I’m in the middle of doing something completely different.
During those moments, I would feel unfocused. Agitated. Frustrated. And just downright inefficient. It’s kind of a hindrance to getting things done and feeling accomplished. So, I try to minimize those moments. But, honestly, many of those moments are out of my control.
I can’t really control when someone will call me or email me about something completely out of the blue. I can’t control whether someone calls me downstairs. I can’t control the wind in the air or the clouds in the sky. It’s that lack of control that gets me a bit angsty when I get interrupted.
Ideally, of course, every day would be like rose petals. Beautiful. Perfect. Unadulterated. Focused as a whole. But, of course, no life is ideal. And mine is no different.
So, when I get interrupted, I see it as a chance to practice my mental resilience. To get used to a little bit of mental discomfort. It’s kind of like building your mental muscles. Similar to how you build your physical muscles when you’re at the gym with a little bit of pain and discomfort, you can build up your mental fortitude by subjecting yourself to a little bit of interruptions and lack of focus during the day.
It’s not ideal. I don’t go around searching for interruptions. I don’t go around asking for a lack of focus in my day. These things just come naturally in the flow of things. And I guess in a way, it was all meant to be. Occasionally, I am meant to be interrupted. Occasionally, I am meant to feel unfocused during the workday.
These feelings will arise naturally. Because we are all human beings. And we will all be subject to pain and discomfort at some point in our lives. The key is to accept this as it comes, and let it go when the time comes. There’s no need to get hit by the “second arrow” or crafting some complex storyline about your discomfort. That would most likely just get you more worked up and agitated.
The key and beauty of it all is to come to acceptance with your situation. And let it ride out naturally. Whenever I’m agitated, I just kind of relax and sit and generally (sooner or later) that feeling of agitation will go away. I won’t even completely notice it!
I do realize that these moments of agitation are first world problems. And that people do have it a lot worse in this world. I am not starving. I am not shackled with a chronic disease (knock on wood). So, these moments of interruptions shouldn’t be seen as a make-or-break moment. An end all be all situation.
But, I do think that these moments of slight discomfort can be a teaching experience to us. To see life in a less than ideal manner. Where you won’t get everything you want in this world. Not everything is going to go your way. You’re not Superman. You’re just a normal human being like everybody else in this world. One in billions trying to make it on their own. With their own unique set of dreams, strengths, and vulnerabilities.
I think that’s the greater lesson when you deal with discomfort. Chances are your feelings are not only yours. You are not alone in this ordeal. Many people get interrupted throughout the day. Many people feel agitated, anxious, or downright annoyed. It’s a universal feeling. To each our own.
So, the next time you get interrupted in your daily life, just try to accept that feeling and sit with it for a while. Acknowledge that you are feeling discomfort and that is okay. It will make you that much stronger in the end. It will help you develop fortitude and strength. That is the silver lining of discomfort. You will find a way to persevere and to come thru the end of the tunnel with renewed resilience.