Recently, I have been extremely fascinated by complaining. In fact, I have been so fascinated by it that I was doing it….a lot! I was complaining about everything. Work, life, my lack of hobbies, lack of exercise, etc. etc. Something that I noticed about all of this complaining was that when I was actually complaining I felt great… at least for a few minutes. Shortly after that everything just turned for the worse. My self-confidence was being shaken, my temper was shortened, conversations were not deep and meaningful anymore. Something I noticed the most is when I complained about one thing I would complain about everything. Talk about me being a Debbie Downer!
Then one day while I was scouring the internet on ways to be more productive (that may seem like an oxymoron but I was doing just that). I came across this article by Tim Ferris, author of the 4-Hour Work Week and other books, about complaining. After reading the article I decided to take the challenge that he outlines. Go 21 days with out complaining. Here is a very crude break down of how the challenge works:
- Get a bracelet (I used a red rubber band).
- Place it on one wrist.
- Any time you complain move the bracelet to the other hand and start your counter over.
- The goal is to keep the bracelet on one wrist for 21 days.
This challenge is not for the faint of heart. It is going to be very difficult at first. This that challenge is completely in your control; which means you can literally change your life!
The fist week you are changing hands multiple times per day. You realize how much you complain and you feel like giving up every day. But after about a week I was only changing over about one time per day. Then I realized I was not changing hands for days.
Eventually my rubber band broke and I never got a replacement. But I am confident that I have completed the 21-day no complaining challenge. I have never been the same since. I have been more positive, more pleasant to be around, and my confidence has increased dramatically. Most importantly I am now able to recognize the times when I have begun to complain and engage in the down spiral to loathing and self-doubt. Because of that I have been able to change the direction of my conversation or change the subject all together if I did not have constructive way to make whatever I was complaining about less vexing to me. That ability has allowed me to make my life better.
In a fat life you do not have time to complain. You do not have time to listen to people complain. What you do have time for is recognizing things that annoy and you wish would change and do something about them. You have the time to take the 21-day challenge and change your perspective forever. A complaint free life is a fat life. The fat life is a life full of things you love. The fat life is a happy life.
This challenge works. This is my experience. What is yours? Please comment and let me know!