About a year ago I tried to kick the complaint habit for a single day. You know what I’m talking about. It’s that habit we all have to varying degrees to groan, whine, worry, and bitch about everything each day that happens to go against us. Sometimes we complain to others, often to ourselves, but either way, the effect is the same. We think about the uncontrollable incident and make it just a bit worse.
My previous attempt to kick it for a day was more difficult than I thought, but more insighful than I thought. I do not think I’m a negative person, but I felt like one after struggling to avoid the complaints on that one day.
But I’m going to take another crack at it. I just read an old blog post from Tim Ferriss about trying to kick complaining for 21 days (he himself got the idea from an author of a book on the topic). To be clear, Tim defines complaining narrowly…
I defined “complaining” for myself as follows: describing an event or person negatively without indicating next steps to fix the problem. I later added the usual 4-letter words and other common profanity as complaint qualifiers, which forced me to reword, thus forcing awareness and more precise thinking.
Every complaint results in a requirement to start over. The goal is 21 days in a row. Considering my one-day attempt ended in about 7 complaints, this will be quite the challenge. But, its worth it.
The clock start now: Thursday, February 12, 2009, 8:11 a.m.
21 days from now: Thursday, March 5, 2009, 8:11 a.m.