Complaining is an affirmation of powerlessness, while prayer and affirmations lift you up to the level of solutions for any problem.
A year ago, I was working in what I called the ‘cat dungeon’. It was an ‘office’ (and I use that term loosely) that was in a dilapidated house for a small (perhaps now defunct) film company. The bosses were curmudgeons who liked the 6 cats who lived there more than they did the 3 employees who worked under them – myself included. I wasn’t making enough to survive, the smell of cat litter would assault my nose every day and I’d leave the office smelling like I’d spent my day in a cat shelter – underpaid, unappreciated. I spent most of my days complaining to anyone who would listen about how miserable I was.
Then one day I decided I was going to go on a “complaint fast” – no complaining for the entire day. I was going to look at my world through rose-colored lenses and not complain about a thing. This was a challenge, to be sure. But I did it. And you know what? The world DID change, if only for a day. I was grateful for the fact that I had a job at all (I graduated during the recession), happy and appreciative that I had people in my life who were willing to listen to me and support me. Grateful for the fact that I have a degree and that this situation/job I was in was temporary. For that day, my world seemed a lot brighter than it did even the day before – even though nothing had changed besides my attitude. Although I didn’t keep up the complaint ‘fast’ for more than a day, I was grateful that I did it. It paid off and left me feeling renewed.
A simple Google search tells me this idea of a complaint fast is actually a growing trend. In fact, there is an entire non-profit organization dedicated to this very ‘cause’. You can check out A Complaint Free World – they encourage individuals, schools, groups, and organizations to participate. You can even download a widget to track your complaint-free progress. Give it a try – what have you got to lose? I am going to try this for as long as I can. I won’t promise myself 21 complaint-free days, and I won’t beat myself up when I do complain. But the my life could do with less complaining and more gratitude and that’s just what this complaint fast will bring.