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Back in the early part of May, a friend of mine, whom I follow on Facebook, mentioned something about a challenge of no complaining for twenty-one days. I had been in a foul mood and things were just no turning around for me. Something had to change or things were going to get ugly. I committed. I made it public by posting the challenge to my friends on Facebook and talking to my employees and colleagues at work. Some joined me. Others just watched. Can she do this?
I knew this would not be easy so I also put a jar on the kitchen island and vowed to add a quarter each time I caught myself. The first day was rough. Four quarters went into the jar. The next day, a few less. The first week was tough, but I was vigilant and determined. I found myself asking people, “was that a complaint?” Sometimes they caught me and agreed, “yes, it was” and other times it was just a gray area. I added a quarter in all cases. There were soon days when no quarters were added.
What I found was a couple of things. Firstly, I complain A LOT! Becoming aware of this nasty destructive habit was a first step to eradication. Check. Secondly, I found that the less I complained, the happier I was. Complaining breeds negativity and generally nastiness among all those involved. Life was MUCH more pleasant without the complaining.
I stuck with it for the duration, maybe even more than the 21 days. As a result, I came out happier and much more aware of the vibe that those negative words breed in everyone within complaintville’s earshot. And so, what challenge is next?