This month, starting Sunday, August 13th, 2017, I will attempt to go complaint-free for 21 straight days.
No whining about traffic, no tsk’ing at slow service when out to eat, no grumbling about flight delays or difficult people. If I slip up, it's back to square one: Day Zero.
I envision some of you might be thinking this is blind optimism, however, I understand some days won’t come without difficulty. It will be the best day ever, every single day, just like it’s always been, but it’s all a matter of your response. It’s understanding that it is on you, and always has been on you.
“You are pre-programmed to complain at certain times.”
Without even considering what is making you frustrated or angry, you complain. “GET OUT OF THE ROAD!”, this and that…it’s all a pre-existing condition. We’ve made it a habit to blame others and allow our emotional response to life get out of hand.
Why am I doing this? My goal is try and understand what frustrates me, why it does, and then change my reaction to it.
Can I control the outcome?
Yes? Great, do it.
No? Great, move on…and quit your f*@*(n)8 bitching about it (talking to myself here).
Essentially, it’s the Elimination Diet for negative emotional responses. Control all the variables first, isolate the major issues, then work to fix them.
I am not a complainer to begin with, but I do foresee a few challenges to zero complaining, like the knee-jerk reaction to someone infringing on my day to day peacefulness.
Challenges I am anticipating:
1) Drivers not using their turn signal and trying to kill me when I ride my Divvy in the city.
2) Hearing other people (incessantly) complain about something trivial.
3) Being tired from lack of sleep, which causes my brain less emotional control
4) Forgetting to caveat an “observation” with an “emotional solution."
Which brings me to my last point. There is one rule exception. I am allowing myself to make an observation about something that may (in the past) have been construed as a complaint (e.g. I can’t believe it’s raining outside again, but you know what, I love running in the rain. Going out anyway”). Thank you, Tim Ferriss, for this nice little addition. It provides a way to find a solution.
I am wearing two Lokai bracelets on my left wrist (usually), but if I happen to slip up and complain, they’ll be moved to my right wrist for the remainder of that day.
Annoying and in the way…just like complaining.