After much positive aggravation, the area contests were a huge success. (Source: Anu T. Photography of Tallinn)

After much positive aggravation, the area contests were a huge success. (Source: Anu T. Photography of Tallinn)

Positive Aggravation

On August 22nd at a meeting of the Stadi Talkers Toastmasters Club of Helsinki, I coined a new phrase for my limited vocabulary during table topics, the impromptu speech part of the program. Positive Aggravation.

I define Positive Aggravation as the situation you find yourself committed to and have made promises for and taken responsibility for that now gets higher on your priority list due to tight deadlines and other external forces. Note: Internal forces such as procrastination can also increase your Positive Aggravation level.

It is a PITA* (Pain In The Ass) situation where one is forced to lead, coach, and manage oneself or others to accomplish a specific task.

You are aggravated by the situation you have found yourself in and of which you agreed to (what seems like ages ago), but you hope that a little elbow grease can lead to something positive.

There is positive energy to be gained upon the final outcome of a project or task well done. There are opportunities to inspire others and to see the positive energy that they also can obtain.

Positive Aggravation. A welcome challenge that is annoying at first but turns quickly into a sense of accomplishment when the job is done.

Here is Positive Aggravation used in three sentences:

— Dude. Once I take care of all my positive aggravation, we have to meet up for a beer or two.

— The club’s treasurer didn’t expect this much positive aggravation to arise on such short notice.

— Honey, I’m getting swamped with all this positive aggravation. I have to work this weekend, futsal season is starting up, the boys need help with their schoolwork, and I promised to help Toastmasters as an Area Manager. I’ll take out the trash once I finish with this post. 5 minutes tops. OK? … Hello? (crickets)

Now is your chance to use positive aggravation in a sentence. Go ahead. Give it a shot.

Thank you for reading this post.

(*Term commonly used by my friend and fellow Toastmaster, Mr. Kangas.)