If there’s one thing I hate, it’s complaining.
Now I don’t mean to be complaining about complaining here but shit, I guess that’s exactly what I’m about to do!
This post is dedicated to all my old co-workers in corporate America who know exactly how I feel about complaining.
You know who you are!
This blog is for the hundreds of people that tried to waste my time by complaining so I wasted theirs by telling them exactly how I feel about complaints!!!
Complainers are cowards
Heres the truth: complaining is a complete waste of time!
In fact, for a guy who prides himself on being accepting of others, I have a real blind spot when it comes to the complainers and victims of the world.
In my eyes, those who complain are taking the easy way out of life while the rest of us struggle to make something of ourselves. It’s incredibly easy to blame someone else for our problems but what isn’t easy is to take responsibility for our own circumstances.
To this day, I’ve yet to meet a complainer thats had any level of personal or professional success in life.
Why is this?
When we complain about others or our life or what’s happening to us we are effectively giving up control of our lives.
Think about that for a second…
If life is always happening TO you, do you really have any control over your life???
If life is a series of unfortunate events, then who really has to the power to make it better???
If it’s always everyone else’s fault, then who will help you get to where you want to go in life?
The point is this:
Unless we OWN our shit, we are victims of our shit!
In other words, if we take responsibility for where we are in life, right now, in this moment, with NO EXUSES, then we can finally begin to start making the changes necessary to live a better and more fulfilling life.
Take control of your life
There is a lot of power in this realization and I have seen people make tremendous strides in their personal and professional careers just by taking a look in the mirror and saying,
“I did this; where I am today is because of me, but I have the POWER to change it whenever I want.”
When you realize this and truly feel it in your bones, you become a participant for the first time in your own life.
Instead of being a spectator and thinking your destiny is controlled by others, you are now in the game and ready to play.
As the author Sam Harris says, “As you think, so your life becomes.”
Meaning, if you think you have control over your life you will – it’s that simple!
What to do if you can’t stop complaining
Now, this isn’t to say we can change every situation to accommodate our lives and aspirations.
In fact, there will indeed be times where we don’t have control.
Think about the last time a loved one got seriously ill in your family.
In that instances like this, it can be incredibly difficult for us to “own” what’s happening.
So then, what are our options?
When we find ourselves in circumstances where we have no control or influence over the outcome we really only have three choices:
- Accept the situation fully
- Attempt to change the situation
- Leave the situation entirely
How to apply our three choices
To show you how this model is applied I will share a recent personal experience from my life where I used this helpful process to make a difficult decision.
As many of us know, when we get older we change and this change can make it difficult to hold on to past relationships that used to serve us well.
This exact situation happened to me last year where previous relationships that I held so dear started to become unbalanced and unenjoyable.
At first, I tried as hard as I could to change the situation. I tried setting clear and concise boundaries, being honest about my expectations for the relationship and even offering to try and meet them in the middle and find common ground.
Eventually though, I realized things were not getting better and in fact, were getting worse. At this time I was practicing a lot of meta and compassion meditations and I thought that I might be able to accept this person and our relationship as it was, without trying to change it. As you can imagine the gap between me and this person grew and it became increasingly harder to accept a relationship that was no longer beneficial to either of us.
So what to do?
The model says start with acceptance…
Could I accept the current state of my relationship?
Next step then would be to try and change the relationship by having open ended conversations which I did. Unfortunately that didn’t work either.
I couldn’t bring myself to accept the relationship as it was and the boundaries I had set were repeatedly dismissed so I realized I really only had one option left.
I had to leave the relationship…
Eventually I had to have an honest conversation with this person and told them exactly why I no longer wanted to be a participant in the relationship.
But heres why this method works:
There really was no surprise!
This person in many ways knew the day would come where our relationship was no longer beneficial and it did.
By trying to accept the situation or change it through honest and open conversation I had set expectations for how I thought the relationship should go. As with all expectations though, what you expect and accept is what you teach…
To be honest, once the relationship was over I felt like a weight had been lifted off my shoulders.
At the end of the day if you are unhappy in a relationship it is your own doing. YOU are the only one that has the power to choose happiness, no one else is going to do it for you. So take a step back and evaluate that relationship that has been causing you stress and find your inner courage to either accept it as is, change it, or leave it entirely.
Thank you as always for reading today’s blog.
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