From Frustration to Fascination

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  • Life has a way of giving us opportunities to grow, even in the midst of frustrating situations. Sometimes, no matter what we do, no matter how hard we try, things just don’t line up for us the way we plan. For me personally, the last six months have provided ample opportunity for frustration and growth.

    For nearly 2 years, my husband and I have been renting a home in Montana. In June we wrote an offer on a foreclosed home, owned by a bank. As we did our due diligence, the bank realized they didn’t really own the home, due to an improper foreclosure proceeding more than a year before. (I know, small details…) After four months of daily follow up to help the unmotivated bank clear one title issue after the next, we entered into a second contract with the bank to purchase this same home- this time, with a closing in mid December, 2010.

    But sometimes no matter what we do, things seem out of our control…. Three days prior to the closing and after arranging financing, planning renovations and spending a month packing our home into boxes, the seller had yet another problem. It seems the IRS filed a $6.6 million dollar tax lien against the property and the former owner- once again preventing us from buying the house. (The bank now thinks it could take another 6 months for them to clear the additional title issues.) Yeesch!

    In the meantime, things are packed and we’re supposed to vacate our rental home in two weeks- only we don’t know where we’re moving. Sigh. (Fortunately, our landlord will allow us to extend for a few weeks so we won’t be homeless.) It’s been an interesting Christmas season, to say the least, with all the decorations packed in random boxes….

    Seriously, this has been six months of banging my head against a wall, knocking down one wall only to  watch another one pop up. Some days I’m frustrated and others I just have to laugh and find the humor in the situation.

    After months of frustration, I had to look for deeper meaning. Yeah, I know… I shouldn’t have waited this long… but all things in perfect timing, right?

    After this experience and at the recommendation of my good friend Jim, I’ve changed the way I view this crazy situation- from frustration to fascination. When you think about it, each time we’re tempted to use the word “frustrating”, we have the opportunity to change it to “fascinating” and watch things shift. For me, that one shift in thinking shifted everything.

    When I started to look at this situation as fascinating, I started to question why things were so hard. I heard, “Maybe this isn’t meant to be” from many of our friends and family. But I was determined to make this happen-even if I had to force it!

    “Ha!”, and the Universe laughed. This has been a perfect opportunity for me to allow rather than force, and to live in the moment and choose how I look at life. What I have learned is:

    1) Fascination is so much more fun than frustration. We may not get to choose all of our circumstances, but we DO get to choose how we look at things.

    2) Looking at the world with laughter is more fun than banging one’s head against a wall, and less painful too.

    3) When things are meant to be, they unfold naturally. When we allow things to happen instead of trying to force them, our lives are lived in a greater sense of grace and ease.

    A week before Christmas I was looking at our situation, finally laughing with fascination, as it became clear that the prior house wasn’t meant to be. When I let go of the outcome, we started to look at homes once again and expanded our geographical region, falling in love with an area about an hour away from our current rental home. Long story short- we found “home”- that place deep within where we know we belong, located in Whitefish, Montana.

    The incredible part of this situation is that the new home is SO much better than the first one! In retrospect, we are GRATEFUL for the walls that prevented us from closing on the home with all of the title issues…. only it took me six months to turn frustration to fascination. Maybe it wasn’t the perfect time six months ago, or maybe I just needed to really learn this lesson so I could pass it on. Either way, I’m grateful for the experience, for the lesson and for the ability to look at life with fascination. (As I wrote that last line, a bald eagle just flew past my window, so I must be on to something!)

    Sometimes the Universe really does know what’s best for us… if only we get out of the way and let it unfold as it should. As we enter into 2011, I’m looking at anything in my life that is “frustrating” in any way- and letting go of that word. I now only have things in my life that fascinate me!

    I invite you to look at the things in your life that provide opportunities for frustration, and instead, look at them with fascination. If your world is anything like mine, when you shift your perception from frustration to fascination, things will shift immediately and the Universe will partner with you to make things happen in a bigger and better way.

    I look forward to hearing your stories of success. As for the new house, I’ll keep you posted. Seems the next month will be a fascinating time that I look forward to sharing with you.

    Gail Lynne Goodwin

    Gail Lynne Goodwin is the founder of, bringing the best inspiration to the world. provides free inspiration, each day from a new Inspirational Luminary, to a global community of folks from over 150 countries. Gail has interviewed many well-known names including Sir Richard Branson, Guy Laliberte, Seth Godin, Tony Hseih, Gary Vaynerchuk, Michael Gerber, Marci Shimoff, Jack Canfield and hundreds more. According to Mashable, Gail was one of 2009's Top 25 Most Inspirational People on Twitter. Prior to, Gail spent several years as manager for her recording artist daughter, Carly. As a result of the success of their co-penned song, "Baby Come Back Home", Gail accompanied her daughter to bases in the US and to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba where Carly performed for our troops. Gail and Carly created the 'World's Longest Letter' of love and support and delivered the 18-mile long scroll on a month-long tour of Iraq and the Persian Gulf in 2006. Gail is excited to present her latest course, Love in 21 Days, a step-by-step guide to finding love online. Love in 21 Days is founded on a logical process that has been tested - and proven! - by not only Gail, but also by students around the world who too have found love. Gail is a published author and a regular writer for the Huffington Post. She offers mentoring and mastermind services to clients worldwide from her home in Whitefish, Montana. Follow Gail on Twitter or Google+.

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    1. Scott Pantall
      Scott Pantall says:

      Gail, I always like reading your posts. This one about turning frustration into fascination was fun for me to read because it mirrors the way I see things. I recently changed my tag-line on my blog to “More Curious Than Worried” because that is the way I’ve chosen to look at life.

      Instead of getting worried and frustrated and asking, “Oh no! What could possibly happen next?!” I look toward the future with curiosity and wonder and ask, “I wonder what’s going to happen next?”, sure it’s the same question, but it’s so much more fun to ask it with fascination instead of frustration.

    2. Michelle @ Following Your Joy
      Michelle @ Following Your Joy says:

      Hi Gail,

      My favorite line here is “Sometimes the Universe really does know what’s best for us.” Well said! Wow, what an experience you have been through that has completely tested you and how you move through the world. I admire you for choosing to come from a place of ‘fascination,’ as it truly is a choice…and not always an easy one!

      You have encouraged me to take a look at some important things in my own life – thank you. Much love to you as you continue to view the world in ‘fascination.’ You rock.


    3. Doreen Pendgracs
      Doreen Pendgracs says:

      Happy New Year, Gail! I’m of the camp that 2011 is going to be a lot better for all of us!

      I, too, felt the strain of 2010. It seemed to be a year of resistance for many people I have spoken to.

      Let’s look forward, learn and gain inspiration from the past and embrace the opportunities of the future.

      Thanks for finding me on Twitter. I’ve now connected with you there, and invite you (and your readers) to visit my lifestyle blog. This week we’re having a fascinating discussion about the many faces of volunteerism. The previous post was about the importance of friendship. I welcome comments from all at

      All best,

    4. Jef Menguin
      Jef Menguin says:

      Tomorrow morning, people will read about my new blog entry EXPECT Miracles. I am fascinated while reading you blog entry. Really, people can choose the way they think about things. Fascination is fascinating.

      Especially when you expect miracles to unfold the next moment.


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