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One of my dear California clients and I work together by video on Skype 2x/week. We are clearing her desk, redoing her filing system, and improving her clutter-free connection with the people in her life.

Last week, unbeknownst to us, Skype was not working globally. We thought it was us. After trying it a few times we restarted our computers but to no avail. Then we tried Skype on our phones, but the video didn’t work. Aha, we said, forget Skype! Let’s FaceTime on our iPhones! Pleased we had solved the problem, we began, and the wifi immediately went out. Just when we were about to give up on video and speak on the phone, I remembered that we both have Fuze, a video capable program that I use to teach online courses. Of course, my client needed to reinstall and update hers. We continued laughing throughout this process, joking that we would reach the Joumor Principle of Follow-up 5-12 Times in just one session. My client completed the update, restarted her computer AGAIN and we eventually smiled and waved at each other on video.

Reading this, at what point would you have given up?

Oh, and by the way, my client has ADD, and (like most of us) a normally short attention span for technological challenges. For most of us, the Techno Tangle is particularly Terrible! Whether it’s forgetting passwords or things mysteriously not loading, it often gets the best of us, and we give up, which only leaves us further mired in said tangle.

This anecdote is a triumph of perseverance, especially for my client, whose ability to handle frustration has expanded tremendously in our work together over the past few months. Remember Thomas Edison? “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” Most of us give up after 1, 2, or 3 times. In Joumor we try to make it to 5-12 efforts before we let it go. Imagine getting to 10,000!

Morals of this story:

You might have ADD or some other “disability” that typically limits you. Patience, perseverance, and support can help you excel beyond what you previously believed you could handle (without medication).
Frustration doesn’t mean quitting. As you increase your ability to tolerate discomfort, there is more room for creative problem solving.
Sometimes things don’t work. Have a backup/alternative plan.
Keep trying the same AND different solutions. Don’t give up. Be willing to fail and keep going, the answer IS there, even if not the one you were looking for.
When we feel at fault or “cursed” it’s very hard to problem-solve creatively. Think outside “what’s wrong with me?” “Why does this always happen?” etc. Don’t take things personally- it might have nothing to do with you.
Laugh. It’s ok! Don’t take things too seriously.

As you live in the world this week, look at your problems with amused curiosity, and be willing to find the solution…as many times as it takes.

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