Author Jon Gordon (“The Shark and the Goldfish” and “The Energy Bus”) has a great blog post on “5 Things to do Instead of Complaining.” The basic idea is this: we can choose how to respond to our environments. Here is the article:
I’ve been speaking to a lot of organizations around the country and the one thing I keep hearing from leaders and employees is that complaining is at an all time high. I’m not surprised. There are two main reasons why we complain. 1. We complain because we feel powerless. 2. We complain because it’s a habit. The economy has shaken a lot of people’s foundations and we feel powerless which leads to a rise in habitual complaining.
So this week I want to encourage you to go on a complaining fast. Not because it will make everyone around you happier, although it will, but because it will help you experience more joy, peace, success and positive relationships. Believe me; I know a lot about complaining. I use to be a professional complainer and found that it not only sabotages your happiness and success but the morale of your team and family.
To help you break out of a “complaining” rut here are five things you can do instead of complain. These tips will help you realize you are not powerless. You have the power to choose your beliefs and actions. And in your focus on the positive instead of the negative you’ll find the faith, strength and confidence to take on life’s challenges and identify the solutions to your complaints.
1. Practice Gratitude. Research shows that when we count three blessings a day, we get a measurable boost in happiness that uplifts and energizes us. It’s also physiologically impossible to be stressed and thankful at the same time. Two thoughts cannot occupy our mind at the same time. If you are focusing on gratitude, you can’t be negative. You can also energize and engage your coworkers by letting them know you are grateful for them and their work.
2. Praise Others. Instead of complaining about what others are doing wrong, start focusing on what they are doing right. Praise them and watch as they create more success as a result. Of course, point out their mistakes so they can learn and grow, but make sure you give three times as much praise as criticism.
3. Focus on Success. Start a success journal. Each night before you go to bed, write down the one great thing about your day. The one great conversation, accomplishment, or win that you are most proud of. Focus on your success, and you’ll look forward to creating more success tomorrow.
4. Let Go. Focus on the things that you have the power to change, and let go of the things that are beyond your control. You’ll be amazed that when you stop trying to control everything, it all somehow works out. Surrender is the answer.
5. Pray. Scientific research shows that daily prayer reduces stress; boosts positive energy; and promotes health, vitality, and longevity. When you are faced with the urge to complain or you are feeling stressed to the max, stop, be still, plug-in to the ultimate power, and recharge.
What do you do when you find yourself complaining too much?