Make Friends with Frustration by Disentangling your Genius Within (part 3) – Guest Blog series by Gill Bentham


Welcome to this third and final installment of Gill Bentham’s guest posts – for now.

I hope you’re enjoying them so far!

Let’s see what Gill has in store for us next…


Meet our Genius who overcame Madness


I knew that for our discussion about this knot, the guest genius I had in mind had to be a master at cyclical and escalating rhythm. 

He was the byword for perseverance and analytical correction by process of elimination. 

I contacted Thomas Edison, the inventor of the incandescent light bulb!

However, he had heard that the halogen and energy saving light bulbs had taken the corner on the market he once opened up so bravely! 

After his reputed ten thousand failed attempts to give the world its first electric light bulb, he then scaled up manufacture and made it economically viable for every household to enjoy. 

Edison graciously acknowledges that technology has now moved beyond even this feat!

Edison wanted to give way for our seventh knot of genius to be modelled by a more modern inventor who is still at the forefront of his game. 

So please welcome your contemporary inventor and entrepreneur, Mr. James Dyson!!


Tall, youthful in visage and with a shock of white hair, James casually eases himself into a revolving and reclining office chair. 

There is something very compelling and slightly intimidating about his incisive gaze that does not quite sit with his opening statement.


‘My life is a life of failure,’ he jests.

Then I realise he is not joking, he knows that his journey with failure and setback has been his education.

That this in itself IS an education and the inferior institution of established Western education I experienced is a poor substitute for learning by enquiry and experiment.

It is a rare gift for one to be able to endure so much frustration and repetition of apparent failure yet still manage to progress a degree closer and closer to an intangible outcome.


Every time there is a setback, there is a corresponding new insight or understanding. 

Every failure is redeemed and recycled into a new insight.  This is so different to one who experiences and yet never learns.


This commitment to improvement requires humility.

It is an attribute that James Dyson possesses in spades.  Hitting “Repeat” is not madness if there is a single spark of novelty to the next level of enquiry, a new variable, a new angle, a new speed or component part!

James says, I start with what others ignore and make it better, going on to explain that his interest in everyday objects has been a secret to his success.

“I ask ‘What do I want’, ‘What can I leave out?’  I use these products myself, I am a user! I always want to make everything neater, smaller, more elegant, even though it’s functional.  I

t has to be purposeful AND elegant!  This is my trademark and after something in the region of 5,000 prototypes do you not think I will fiercely protect that?”


In this observant way, every time James brushes his teeth, flushes a toilet or picks up one of his bagless cyclone suction machines, he thinks ‘What else?’, ‘What next?’ or ‘How?’ He is beautifully curious about and convicted by what others never even notice!

I sense his passion to pass this on to children, young people and invest a heritage of inquisitiveness. 

Rather he is protecting and defending that quality which children are naturally born with.

There’s always room for one more question, one more ‘What if?’

Then, my jaw gapes open when I hear these words fall out of his mouth.


‘It all starts with Frustration!’

I captured it on YouTube, check it out for yourself! Dyson’s motive

I know now, I have come full circle.

Yet I am starting out again at a higher plane.

Frustration was my enemy.

Now Frustration is my friend!

I can recreate with revived enthusiasm and hope. I have the next iteration in mind and it will be better than the last!


In your ideal private and inspirational imagined Studio space, ask yourself,

What significant and incremental change do you need to make now?

What can you do differently?

Do you have any idea what you are working towards?

What is the next degree of its evolution?

And the next?

And the next?

How will you know when you get to it?

What will help you stay honest?

What will tempt you to settle for “Good enough”?

How will you honour rather than resent frustration in your life from now on?

Can YOU be friends with frustration?


Want help answering some of the questions Gill asks above?

Click here to get more from Gill’s disentangling genius lessons and other great offerings.


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