Hari Om. Pranams.
Thanks for sharing such nice insights and practical techniques that will be helpful to all. Here is what I have discovered in my experimentation on myself.
Our hasty efforts to change our tendencies are like forcing the bud open by pulling its petals and expecting it to blossom like a flower. Everything in nature happens silently and slowly. We can't see exactly when a baby grows each day but it does grow. So we need to be patient while putting forth our efforts and we need to have sound faith that we are going to change for sure. Pujya Gurudev has said "Hasten slowly". Also, it is not the change that is our goal. It is the continuous effort towards divine virtues that purifies our mind. No effort is wasted this we have to keep in mind.
Secondly, we also need to examine our 'expectations' from us. While trying to be divine and Godly, we have to understand that "we are not God". So instead of "feeling helpless", we have to understand that "we are helpless". This makes us humble in our behaviour and humble in our expectations from ourself as well as from others. We become more understanding towards ourself and more forgiving and compassionate towards others. The corollary to accepting "I am helpless" is understanding "God is immensely powerful". This is very empowering because if I am surrendered to Him then "I have His immense power behind me". That takes the burden, worry off of our chest and our "focus on result" goes away. Result is no more our problem.
Thirdly you mentioned about not being able to focus. I too have that problem. What I do is when I can't focus on one thing I pick many similar things. e.g. say on certain day if I am not able to focus on listening to discourse then I can do japa or puja or serve somebody or read some saint story or post message in this forum. I am doing different things but they are of same color so focus is still on God. This way we can remain focused without focusing.
Lastly, what you say is very true. Mind needs to be subdued otherwise it takes us for a ride. Strong motivation to change enables us to do that e.g. what changes I want to see in myself is a great motivator. However if that motivation is weak then we can approach it from the other end, by asking 'why do I want to change'. There is something that made us understand limitations of this world and turned us to spirituality. Bringing to mind those sorrows, finiteness makes us grow in dispassion and that is a strong motivation which can enable us to subdue our mind.