What is the No Complaining Challenge? Whether you see this as the next social media idea or not, at its root, it’s a good thing. Just think, spending seven consecutive days without complaining about what you don’t have or about the people in your life (family, friends, co-workers, or strangers you encounter day-to-day); it can be quite an eye-opening experience. Making the conscious decision to be content, happy, or pleased with what you have and the folks in your life; what an uplifting experience. Where can you turn around a complaint to a positive experience? A few ideas include:
Morning Routine – Getting to work on time is, for many, an exercise in frustration. You have to get yourself ready, the kids need to be prodded to wake up and get dressed for school, everyone needs breakfast, and you’re on a tight timeline. Wouldn’t this be a typical opportunity to get off on the wrong foot by yelling at everyone from one task to the next, so that by the time you’re out the door, your mood is already in the ditch, and you’re not even in the car yet?
Instead, perhaps get yourself up a little earlier (15 minutes can make a huge difference), and greet each person with a smile and reminder that everyone needs to be dressed and ready to go in an hour. Have clothes laid out the night before and bags packed with completed homework. Have breakfast prepared along with lunches packed to go. Depending on their ages, make your kids responsible for themselves and have the older ones help the younger siblings dress.
The upside: no one starts their day with screams in their head. You’re not stressing on your drive to work. It’s a better start, certainly. No complaints rattling around in your head, just a family going about their day with a smile to start it off.
Traffic – Bumper to bumper traffic is a nightmare, no doubt about it. Is there anything you can do about it? Probably not. Does blowing your horn incessantly help the situation? Absolutely not. And certainly you don’t want to be part of a road rage situation; so, keep your hands off the horn.
What to do? First, take a deep breath. If you have an appointment, call ahead and let them know you’ll be there as soon as possible; there’s a traffic jam that you’re stuck in. If nothing is moving, use that time to catch-up on emails (as long as you’re not inching along). If you are moving slowly, then listen to your favorite music or audiobook to pass the time. Remember, it’s better to be late than not get there at all.
Hurt Feelings – With all the social media options, anyone can take exception to any random comment and blow it all out of proportion. Don’t you sometimes wonder how we got so thin-skinned? Everyone has an opinion; however, it’s not necessary to always share it with the social media world.
Rather than having your very own pity party (which no one wants to go to anyway), realize that an opinion is just that. It’s what someone else thinks that may be polar-opposite to your point of view, but it’s their opinion.
Rather than venting to the world at large, take a moment to realize that each one is within their rights to have an opinion. Our differences make us each unique in our own right. The ‘I’m right and you’re not’ mentality needs replacing.
Are you game for trying this seven-day challenge? You don’t have to aspire to rose-colored glasses or channel Pollyanna, but merely avoiding negativity and seeing the blessings around you can give you a more positive frame of mind. And, really, don’t you enjoy being around upbeat, positive people?
Have a blessed day!