There's pretty much always some opportunity to be had when a hassle comes up.
The world isn't so simple as to be able to divide people into camps... but I do see roughly three camps of people in how they deal with hassle.
Camp 1: "Oh boo hoo, why does this always happen to me? Life is so hard and unfair..." - I don't have much to say about that one, obviously we all know some people like that, and obviously that attitude is super-destructive. Not much more need be said about it.
Camp 2: "I'm going to fix this ASAP." - Obviously this a lot better, and most of the successful people I know have this attitude. They get things fixed quickly. However, there's also...
Camp 3: "I wonder what opportunity is here..." - Instead of immediately trying to get things back to the status quo, they pause and see if there's an opportunity to be had.
In Rework, the 37Signals guys had a great piece of advice - if one of your employees leaves your team, don't immediately re-hire. See if you can go without the role, or do it another way.
You know, some people would just feel bad and pout and complain about how unfair or unlucky it is that the person quit or stopped performing or left the business. And that's bad, that obviously isn't conducive to success.
I think most successful businesses would try to quickly, proactively fill that position. But perhaps by pausing for just a moment and observing, there's more success there? Maybe new technology has become available so that you could pay somewhere between $50 and $500 per month to totally outsource the task you were paying $3,000 per month in salary for?
Maybe isn't not so critical after all?
Things like that.
The touchpad on my laptop went on the fritz tonight, started going all haywire. My very first reaction was the Camp 1 reaction. "What the hell is this, this computer is new, why is this crap happening when I have things to do..."
I stopped myself from indulging in that pretty quickly, and immediately started looking into fixing it. Okay, maybe the drivers are corrupted and I'll try to fix it like that.
Interestingly, as a mixed blessing, my internet is patchy and unreliable, especially in the nighttime here. My internet went down before I could download new drivers.
This gave me a moment to pause and move to Camp 3 - "I wonder if I can teach myself to navigate around my computer more without using the mouse at all."
And you know what? I already knew a lot of the keyboard shortcuts, and I picked up most of the ones I didn't know with trial and error pretty quickly. While this is a bit of a hassle, there's an opportunity here to learn my way around keyboard shortcuts and get a lot faster.
Whenever there's a hassle, there's very, very frequently an opportunity in there somewhere. I'm all for fixing things very quickly and proactively, but stop and think if you can get something from the hassle that you normally couldn't get. Usually, you can.