The Secret To Never Being Frustrated Again

Paul FennerLifestyle


Eric Barker at Barking Up The Wrong Tree had a recent post, The Secret To Never Being Frustrated Again, which caught me right at an opportune time as my wife and I try to parent our very demanding set of 4-year old Triplets.  I have to remind myself that they are only 4 and I need to level set my expectations for how I work with them as opposed to how I work with clients.

Eric’s points can be used in any field of life including how we manage our assets and finances.  Although people like to talk about long-term historical returns for equity markets, that doesn’t mean that you get the average every year.  On the contrary, you very rarely get the average return in any year.  I have been reading a lot from Howard Marks and one of the keys’s that he stresses is understanding where we are in the current business cycle.  We certainly can’t predict the future but paying attention to what is going on around us will help provide a better picture of what the future roadmap may look like.

Below is a summary from his post;

  • A is adversity. Traffic is awful.
  • B is your beliefs. And often they’re irrational. “This shouldn’t’t happen to me.”  Well, guess what, Bubba? It is happening.
  • C is consequences. You get angry, frustrated or depressed.
    • In very few cases can you change A. But you can change B. And that will change C. So let’s bring in the 4th letter.
  • D: Dispute your irrational beliefs. “Wait a second. When did the universe guarantee me a trouble-free existence? It didn’t. Traffic has happened before. It will happen again. And I will survive.”
    • Look for beliefs that hold the words “should”, “ought” or “must.” That’s where the problems lie.

My personal take away from Eric’s post is that I have a lot of work to do in order to lose my irrational beliefs that I have with it comes to my triplets.