I’ve been noticing this alot lately – how quickly we are (as a society) to complain. It’s often the habitual way we start a conversation – ugh, it’s raining again, my umbrella broke, the bus was late, that driver cut me off today, I was late for work – my alarm didn’t go off, my cell phone service sucks, my co-worker did…, it’s monday morning and I’m tired etc. etc. etc. It’s so easy to fall into this pattern or perpetuate it in a conversation. All this does though is set a negative tone for the rest of the conversation or day and can leave you feeling exhausted and stuck because your focusing all of your energy on picking apart problems.
In reality, it’s not going to stop raining in Vancouver (ever), someone will cut you off tomorrow again I’m sure, you’ll probably be late for work again in the next week, the bus will be late again, your cell service won’t change unless you change providers (and then they’ll be something wrong with the new one), there’s going to be one monday morning every single week and you’ll probably be tired on it again next week…these things aren’t going to change so why waste time and energy dwelling on them?
I’m not suggesting we should all start acting like overly cheerful people all the time with nothing wrong in our worlds. The point is to not dwell or get fixated on the crappy things. To acknowledge them, and move on. To spend your time focusing on the good things or finding a solution to the problem. After all, life is an amazing ride and should be enjoyed.
Here’s something to try – start your conversations with friends, co-workers, family etc. with what’s good today?? What happened today that made it a good day? Let’s talk about that! Use that as an opening instead. It’s something so simply but this little shift in perception can have a profound effect on your mindset and mood.
So I’m throwing out a challenge – to go 14 days without complaining. Try it and see what happens. Best case scenario you’ll start enjoying your days more and realizing how many good things happen in your life everyday. Middle case scenario, you’ll become more aware of how often you complain and then you can choose to keep on the same path or change it (this is where complaining can actually be a good thing – If you are aware of it, it can spark change). Worst case scenario, you remember to do it for 2 days then fall off the bandwagon, then your no worse off than you are today.
Let me know how you fair and good luck!