The year was 1875 and ice-skating was the best way to get through the winter in Farmington, Maine. The young people of Farmington would light up at the sight of a frozen lake after snowfall.
Keep in mind that this was a significant time before the creation of tablets and smartphones. Simply put, all these kids had were freezing temperatures and ice skates.
There was just one problem: Due to the extremely cold temperatures, the kids were only allowed to stay outside for a short period of time, which is understandably irritating.
Fifteen-year-old Chester grew tired of his ice-skating sessions cut short by his grandmother, so he took matters into his own hands. Chester asked his grandma for a pair of her old socks and some wire and then he got to work.
After some time in his room, Chester developed a mechanism that would allow him to stay outside and ice skate as long as he wanted. Chester Greenwood invented the earmuff.
Let’s fast-forward to Queens, New York at the cusp of hip-hop’s major influence. This new style of music not only allowed for a unique sound, but also allowed kids from the inner city to put their identities on display while telling their stories.
This new wave came with a talk, a walk, an attitude and most importantly, a fashion. The fashion was fresh, but it wasn't cheap. So, 27-year-old Daymond John took the streets to later develop the FUBU clothing line, which now grosses in the hundred-millions a year.
What do Chester Greenwood and Daymond John have in common? They both were driven by frustrations. Whether it’s being able to ice skate for a bit more time or trying to keep up with the latest fashion trend, Chester and Daymond's frustrations helped them create products people love and catapulted them into the realms of success.
A frustration is something that ticks in you; that thing that keeps you up at night; the problem that hasn't been fixed. At 25 years old, I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life. I was the typical young man, growing up in a world filled with technology -- a jack-of-all-trades, but a master of none.
I could do everything but didn't know what distinguished me from the rest of the crowd, until I ran into an old friend. After throwing myself a pity party due to my lack of direction, the friend asked me,
What's your greatest frustration? Your greatest frustration is something you were put here to solve.
It took almost a month for the question to fully sink in, but once it did, I became an unstoppable force. My frustration was the overwhelming number of people who lived with absolutely no intended purpose in life. I couldn't stand seeing people throw away, or procrastinate with, the most valuable asset they possess: life.
To make a long story short, I founded, developed, launched and initiated a social-media-fundraising campaign for my non-profit organization overnight, all due to engaging this frustration and taking action.
You see, it's not some once-in-a-lifetime idea, money from an investor or finding the perfect partner that will catapult you to fulfill your dreams. It’s the frustration -- your unsolved problem in the world -- that pushes you.
Therefore, figure out what frustrates you. Figure out what makes you say, “I wish someone would do something about this!” More than likely, you were the chosen one who was put on this planet, at this appointed time, to solve said problem.
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