In one of my recent posts, I explored the life-changing potential of taking personal responsibility for everything that happens in your life.
Recently, I came across a similar story.
In 2006, a minister from Kansas City named Will Bowen laid out a simple challenge to people across the nation: Eliminate complaining from their lives for 21 days — the length of time it takes to make something a true habit.
His book, A Complaint Free World: How to Stop Complaining and Start Enjoying the Life You Always Wanted, got him featured on Oprah, The Today Show, Fox News and hundreds of other media outlets nationwide. He makes eight key points — both positive and negative about the impact of complaining.
- Complaining is about what you cannot have or get. Get over it.
- Avoid chronic complainers — the disease spreads.
- Patience is key: It takes 4-8 months to move from unconsciously incompetent to unconsciously competent.
- Complaining traps you in a constant state of “something is wrong.”
- Complaining is a form of manipulation; it pulls other people down.
- Instead of complaining, seek alternative language or be silent.
- Silence is mature self-possession.
- Commit to what you want and go after it without complaint when you encounter the inevitable obstacles.
Since the book, Bowen’s movement has persuaded more than 10 million people in over 100 countries to wear his purple bracelet symbolizing their commitment to go three straight weeks without uttering a single complaint. One of his many colorful quotes is:
“Complaining is like bad breath: You notice it when it comes out of somebody else’s mouth, but not your own.”
How would you respond to this challenge? Could you do it? Do you think you would have the self awareness, emotional control, sense of optimism and, at times, sheer willpower to eradicate complaining for 21 days? What would it mean to you — and to the quality of your life – -if you did?
Imagine… a complaint-free world! I’d love to get your feedback. You can reply by leaving a comment below.