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Jaws tighten and fists clench. You’ve just received another visit from  frustration! Its knock is never preceded by an engraved announcement. It just shows up at your door.

  • You are running late. You turn the key only to hear a “click, click, click.” The battery is dead.
  • The shirt you were planning to wear is at the bottom of the hamper.
  • The project you have put time into suddenly gets cancelled.

What do you do with frustration, anxiety, and just plain pique?

You can try many remedies but let me propose one which involves a change of perspective.

Stop and breathe. Then ask a single question.

Will this make any difference in 10 years?

Seldom do the things that kick our mood out of shape matter enough linger for ten years. Most evaporate like a shower in July.

One critical lesson for all to learn in life is things that last are important. Things that don’t last are trivial. Let them go.

Right now, our house is torn up. Painters are scraping the popcorn coating off of our ceilings. Rooms will be painted. Floors will be refreshed. We had to move all of our clothes out of the closet. We moved into a guest bedroom. Because I wait for the contractor in the mornings, my morning routine has changed. It’s been a change, but ten years from now I will not remember the closet cleaning nor the morning interruptions. According to the ten year rule, just drop any irritation.

What’s happening in your life right now that would benefit from asking the ten year question?