I’m sure you’ve heard the saying “the squeaky wheel gets the grease.” And if you’re like me, you’ve probably said it a few times too. But did you know that saying isn’t just about the squeaky wheel getting what it wants? It’s also about how complaining can be harmful to your health and relationships.
If you’re anything like me, you’ve had your fair share of days when nothing seems to go right. You know the kind of day: The coffee maker breaks, your kids get into a fight over who gets to use the computer first, and then you run out of gas on your way to work.
And then, because the universe has decided that today is the day it wants to make everything harder than it needs to be, you find out that your rent is due today too.
I’m sure most of us have been there at least once or twice in our lives. And while there’s no denying that having these kinds of days sucks—and that they can make us feel pretty crappy about ourselves—they don’t have to last forever. In fact, if we just learned how to stop complaining about them so much—and start taking action instead—we could actually make those sucky days better!
When we think of the power of positive thinking, it’s easy to assume that it means just thinking about nice things. But that’s not really what it’s about. What it really means is choosing to focus on things that make you feel good, rather than things that make you feel bad.
And while there’s a lot to be said for the power of positive thinking, it’s not all that helpful when you’re stuck in traffic, or your kids are driving you crazy, or you can’t afford your rent. What does help? Consistently choosing to think about things that make you feel good. And one of the best ways to do that is by consciously avoiding complaining. So here’s your challenge for today: go 24 hours without making any complaints at all! That means no “ugh”s or “why me”s or “that sucks”s—even if they are true. If you want to vent about something, talk about how you’re going to fix it instead. The point is just to avoid thinking of yourself as a victim and start taking more response-ability for your life.