There's a movement afoot being spread by people I don't completely agree with, but they have a great premise. The movement is called A Complaint Free World. It started when a minister in Kansas City, MO decided to challenge his church to going 21 days without complaining. Supposedly it takes 21 days to form a habit, and this was what they were trying to do--form the habit of not complaining. I read the book A Complaint Free World and was impressed with how people's lives were changed for the better when they stopped complaining. Many people had no idea that they were chronic complainers, but when their attention was drawn to it, they began to see just how much they spoke negatively.
Perhaps you don't see why complaining is such a horrible thing. Well, if you are a follower of the Bible, you might be familiar with Philippians 4:13 "Do everything without complaining or arguing." Everything. How many of us do that? But even if you don't care what the Bible says, there are plenty of others reasons to stop complaining. Here are a few--
1. Complaining makes things seem worse than they are. The more you complain about something the more you are focusing on it, and you can blow something small all out of proportion, making you miserable.
2. Complaining alienates people. Who wants to be around a chronic complainer? No one! You can lose friends.
3. If you focus on all of the bad things in your life, even if nothing really changes, at least it will seem to you that everything is going down hill faster. Not something to lift your spirits.
4. Sometimes smiling when you aren't happy makes you feel happier. Similarly, when you complain you almost inevitably feel worse.
5. Psychologist Martin Seligman showed in his groundbreaking research in positive psychology that people who see the world in a positive light have a long list of advantages, including:
- They live longer
- They’re healthier
- They have more friends and better social lives
- They enjoy life more
- They’re more successful at work
Do you think that "blowing off steam" is actually good for you? Actually, complaining about your health actually tends to make your health worse!
Do you think that you really don't need it? Perhaps you believe that you really aren't that bad of a complainer. Here's a great way to tell: try to go three days without complaining. That will probably give you a pretty good idea of how tough this thing will be. The average person takes 4-10 months to reach the goal, but everyone is different.
So how does the system work? Well, you put on this funky little purple bracelet (or one of your own, if it works better that way) and whenever you catch yourself complaining, you switch the bracelet to your other wrist. The goal is to go 21 straight days without switching the bracelet once. Sound impossible? It's been done many times by people probably much worse than you.
Personally, I'm still on day four. But I'm not getting discouraged! Even if I live to be eighty years old and I'm still trying for my 21 days, I will have been a better person simply for paying better attention to what I say. Will you take the challenge with me?
Do you have any ideas for new year's resolutions? Tell me what you have planned for 2010!
Tata for now,