I received an interesting challenge this week. I don't have to dump ice over my head or jump into a frosty lake. This challenge causes much less physical discomfort but might be even more difficult than the aforementioned activities.
I found the challenge in an email from my general manager and he sent it out the entire company. The email contained a photo of a man holding a sign which read, "Go 24 hours without complaining. Not even once then watch how your life starts changing."
That got me thinking about how often we all moan and groan about so many things. I'm really guilty of this, especially around my family. Why can't you pick up after yourselves? Why can't you help more around the house? Who's going take those dogs for a walk? Yikes - that's not a very nice way to live. But I'm not alone. Every day people complain about what annoys them, what causes stress and prevents them from accomplishing tasks.
So, do you think you could go 24 hours without a complaint? It sounds easy, but I'm guessing it won't be. That's why it's called a challenge. In my case, I know this will require more thinking before speaking and more looking for solutions than trying to complain about the problem.
I'm very lucky to work with a group of people who are very solution-oriented. We communicate well with each other, and yes, there might be a few grumbles, but then it's down business to find for the best ways to solve the problem.
I've noticed quite often that complaining is due to one's inability or unwillingness to see the benefits of change. As the saying goes, change is good, but it's not always easy. That resistance to change seems to be deeply rooted in some of us. Part of it is fear or uncertainty of how the change will affect us or if we'll be able to accomplish what is required for the change. It's often easier to complain than to accept or adapt to change.
I think the non-complaining challenge also requires a positive attitude. If one tends to look at everything in a negative, pessimistic light, then this challenge could be a tough commitment.
So, give it a try - no complaining for 24 hours. I'll be interested to see what happens.