This is a tough one you guys. Can you do it? I saw this article on The 7-Day No-Complaining Challenge and decided to give it a serious go.
In all honesty, before I get out of bed I promise myself that this will be the day. Some days my feet barely hit the floor, often I make it out of the shower still going strong, and some days I do really well, and it’s noon before I’m off on a tangent about something. It’s hard not to complain when the hot water turns cold before you’ve rinsed the shampoo out of your hair. Frankly, I don’t know about you, but after a while I get sick of hearing my own voice complain.
We’re all smart cookies. Each minute we live without complaining, we know we get another minute to enjoy, well, the moment. Over the course of the day, that can add up to a lot of happy moments. How many are you washing down the drain?
A funny thing happens when you become aware, really aware, of complaining. You might catch yourself at first but blurt out some drivel anyway — complaining is a hard habit to break. The next time maybe it’s a bit of spit, but still, you catch yourself.
In Will Bowen’s international best-selling book, A Complaint Free World: How to Stop Complaining and Start Enjoying the Life You Always Wanted (2007), his take-away is simple:
Your thoughts create your life.
Your words indicate what you’re thinking.
So what are you thinking? Is it productive? Add value? Helpful? Hurtful? Negative? Just hungry for pizza?
We’ve all heard that it takes 21 days to create a new habit or break an old one. Bowen created the now famous No Complaining 21-day challenge. The goal is to wear a bracelet for 21 consecutive days. However, any time you complain you must switch the bracelet to the other wrist and the counting begins again. (I’ve heard people doing this with a coin in their pocket, etc.)
Ah, we humans can be taught. And when we know better we do better.
With diligence, a thought enters your head and as it trickles off your tongue you simply SHUT THE TRAP DOOR.
Congratulations! A moment of your life has been transformed from ugly to beautiful, eh? Well, not so fast. Two seconds later, your bare feet swish through a spilled dog bowl and we’re off to the races again. Give yourself a break. It will get better, and easier.
It might take more than 7 or 21 days to stop complaining, but it’s a worthwhile goal when you consider all those positive minutes you will gain.
Doesn’t make me happy to sensor myself when all I want is to shout out something to somebody using four letter words. But it’s the right thing to do.
Are you up for the challenge? It’s self-monitoring. You have no one to answer to but you.
7 Days. No Complaining. And when you get your 7 day victory, why not go to 21, then…
Good luck comrades. Pizza anyone?