There is something that we all do every day, yet we usually don’t notice that we are doing it. Nor do we notice the effect that it has on ourselves or on others.
This ‘something’ that we do every day has become so ingrained in us that if we stopped to analyse why we are doing it, I really don’t think we’d have an answer.
The thing that we all do is complain. Complain, complain, complain.
It’s a cloudless day and the sun is shining its warmest embrace. You have the day off work, so you put your feet up to relax on the balcony while reading the paper. It is pure paradise as the birds sing in the background. The only thing wrong is… all the mosquitoes!
Or maybe this is somewhat familiar: You’ve waited so long for your new car to arrive at the dealership and once you get the call that your shiny new model has arrived, you race down to pick it up and drive away. And then, the traffic light turns red and you start cursing to yourself with utter impatience while you wait for the light to turn green.
Never will we find a perfect situation wherein a person would stop complaining. Even when we finally find a place that is perfect paradise, there’d be mosquitoes.
We have everyday experiences that impact on our reality and on us. It is up to us to determine how these experiences impact us. Shall we get annoyed and complain to anyone who will listen to us? Or should we look for the opportunity within the challenge; should we take it as a lesson learned and move on as a better and improved person? It is a case of one person seeing the glass half empty, while the other sees it as half full.
If it is raining and you get wet, don’t complain that you’re getting wet. Of course you are getting wet! You went into the rain, didn’t you? So, it’s your fault. Just go get an umbrella.
With all the complaining, it seems that everyone is doing the wrong thing, more or less, as we have complaints for everything and everyone…except for ourselves. You see, ‘Complain’ has a cousin. To be able to complain, you have to be able to blame someone or something. So, ‘Blame’ is the cousin of Complain.
As soon as you start blaming others, then it becomes an indefinite belief habit that the problem is ‘them’ or ‘it’, but never ‘me’. Then, as you blame the things and events around you, you start to see the world as the problem. The thought process that follows is that you think you need to change people, things and the world, so that you will not have to complain about them. This leads to the need to control and dominate. You never see it as your fault, and at this stage, you start imposing your beliefs, your rights and your opinions on other people to change them. You try to change people without ever looking inwards towards yourself as the subject that needs changing.
Anyone who has been to a hospital would have expected to see sick people there. Why? Because a hospital is for sick people and they go to the hospital to get better, so we expect to see sick people at a hospital, right? Well, similarly, the world is like a big hospital filled with imperfect people, including yourself and myself, who are all here to get better and to improve and develop ourselves. That’s what life is basically all about — to improve ourselves and cure ourselves of our envy, our greed, our anger. All these sicknesses we have as people, you can cure them by seeing the disease of others. Because the diseases you see, should be reflected upon yourself. You must realise that you too, are not perfect. This is the beginning of making an actual positive change as a person: recognising you are at fault.
Let’s try, even for just one week, to stop complaining. Every morning when you wake up, make a promise to yourself that you won’t complain. You won’t blame. You will look to within for the change that you feel needs to be made in order to stop complaining. Good luck.
Group Managing Director, QI Ltd