Four Reasons to Tame Your Complaining. New Eyes Lesson 2
“Complaining does not work as a strategy. We all have finite time and energy. Any time we spend whining is unlikely to help us achieve our goals. And it won’t make us happier.”~ Randy Pausch
One beautiful evening when we were out for a nice long hike, a man pulled up beside us on the country road. He rolled down the window of his truck and asked us what we were doing. We smiled and told him we were taking a walk. He took a big deep drag on his cigarette and shrugged his shoulders. “Why?”, he asked, “you’re gonna die anyway.” With that, he pressed his foot on the accelerator, rolled his window up and drove off in a cloud of dust, shaking his head.
We looked at each other and giggled. Everyone knew “Charlie.” Always complaining, he was known far and wide for his dark view on life so we weren’t surprised by his words. He was just that kind of guy. Cynical and bitter, he never hesitated to spew his negativity and complaints on anyone within earshot.
What a contrast to seeing life with new eyes! When we do, we speak of rediscovering joy and the infinite possibilities of living with hope, gratitude and optimism. According to an article in Forbes magazine, one of the tangible benefits to living with this mindset even includes greater longevity!
Four Ways Complaining Can Spoil the View
1. Negativity can lead to habitual complaining. This is especially true when we give voice to a daily list of gripes and grudges. The effect is insidious, a downward spiral. Thought patterns are a lot like tracks on a muddy road. Each time we drive over those same grooves, they get deeper and it’s harder to get out of the ruts. Our brains work the same way. The more often we repeat a thought or phrase, the more apt we are to go there again. That’s why it’s so easy to get into the bad habit of grumbling about everything. We can’t be a “peachy-keen-Donna-Jean” every day, but try to catch yourself before the grumpy words escape your lips.
2. Complaining takes our eyes off everything that’s good in life. Earl Nightingale wrote and narrated a spoken-word record in 1957 called The Strangest Secret. It sold more than a million copies. The message was simple. “We always move in the direction of our dominant thoughts.” In other words, we become what we think about! If complaints and negative thoughts occupy our mind, we’re bound to harvest more of the same. Our view of the world is much brighter when we think about and talk about everything that’s going right!
3. Complaining negatively affects everyone around us. No one likes a complainer but it’s contagious! Sadly, when someone opens the door to gripe and moan, it’s easy for others to fall right in. Once the downhill slide has begun, you know the expression. “Misery loves company.” And you know what else? It’s a massive waste of time because it doesn’t fix a thing!
4. Complainers are just plain unattractive. No one enjoys someone who is constantly carping and whining about the weather, the government, taxes, “kids today” or you name it, whatever the “gripe of the day”. Think of the facial expression that almost always goes with the ugly words. Ew. Not a pretty sight!
Right now. A perfect time to turn it all around!
Did you think I’d leave you without ideas about how to change a gloomy outlook? No way! The remedy is simple but not easy. Isn’t that the way with all good habits?
Here are 4 quick things you can do to create a new habit of speaking hope and happiness.
Catch yourself. The minute a negative thought pops in your head, chase it out with a positive one. Flip your thought, change it and speak the good one out loud!
Be grateful! Before any grumpy thought can ever find a way into your mind, fill it so full of gratitude there’s no room left for complaints. You’re alive! Someone loves you! There’s a roof over your head and you have a bed to sleep in! You can see and hear and move! In your kitchen is food to eat and clean water to drink! Millions of people on the planet would love to be in your shoes. Now, what was it you were unhappy about?
Let it Go! Don’t try to out grouch the grouchers. Let the crabby things they say roll right off of you because you have new eyes to see how very blessed you are and how this new day is full of possibility!
Be the joy, be the balm. Shine your light for everyone you see today and you will be beautiful!
See you Thursday. I’ll be talking about our five senses and how they all wake up when you see life with new eyes!