Today’s post is a continuation of last week’s discussion on complaining.
If you’re coming in late to the game, I highly recommend reading the previous post first, since it lays some groundwork about what constitutes complaining and what does not. However, I’ll sum up the gist of it.
My friend Chad shared something with me that had resonated with him recently:
“Complaining is a waste of time
unless you’re telling someone
who can do something about it.”
And that got me thinking. It occurred to me that not only does this statement warrant some self-reflection, it also allows us to redefine terms this way:
Complaining: sharing negative information, thoughts or emotions with someone who cannot do anything about the situation
I’m a firm believer that virtually everything we do in life is done because of some perceived gain. In other words, there are reasons behind most of what we do. This says nothing of the existence of ideas like altruism, which would simply be doing something based on a perceived gain for another person. My point is that we tend to believe “If I do this, then that should happen — or at least there’s a high enough likelihood to make it worth my while.”
Quid pro quo.
The problem with perceived gains, however … is that “perceived” part. You see, perception offers no guarantee of aligning itself with reality. Yet, since most of our perceived gain system becomes automatic, even subconscious, we lose track of asking ourselves, “Is what I’m doing here actually working?”
With these ideas as a springboard, let’s take a closer look at why we complain. Then, for those who are suspecting that complaining isn’t getting us where we had hoped it might — and in keeping with the theme of The Best Advice So Far, that “You always have a choice” — I’ll offer some thoughts about breaking free of the “grumbles” and trading them for greater overall peace and happiness.
Before you even continue reading, however, I want to pose a challenge …