What would life be like if you had nothing to complain about? Pretty amazing, right?
Most of us have problems that cause some grief, and life can throw some interesting challenges our way. Complaining about them is an indication that we are looking for someone or something to rescue us. But! What if we can eliminate them by ourselves?
What if all it takes is …. not complaining???
A few years ago, a client of mine introduced me to a book with a great message and a great program: A Complaint Free World, by Will Bowen. Bowen’s point is that our thoughts create our experiences, and our words reflect our thinking. This wasn’t news to me, and it probably isn’t news to you. Yet, what he does with it is life-changing.
The Complaint Free program is this: 21 days without complaining. When you complain, you start over at Day 1. You keep going, keep starting over, until you complete 21 days in a row. It takes most people an average of 4 to 6 months to accomplish this feat.
I can see why. It took me seven tries to get past Day 1 the first time around. Not that I complain a lot, but it only takes one. Complaint free means complaint free. It is an enlightening journey to see how quickly complaints show up and exit the mouth before we even see them coming. Amazing to notice how automatic they are and how many forms they take!
If the challenge seems daunting, consider this: we are enslaved by our negativity. Being complaint free is a way out of this self-made prison.
- Complaints stem from feeling powerless. Every time we complain, we reinforce powerlessness and ineffectiveness. Is that what you want for yourself?
- Complaints are past-based. They are a result of our conditioned mind. When you’re stuck in a dead past, you can’t have a great future!
- Irritation and gratitude cannot coexist, and … you get what you focus on. Complain, and you get more to complain about. Express gratitude, and you get more to feel grateful for. That’s the law of attraction in action.
- Complaining is a selfish act. When we are being selfish, we are not expressing or receiving love. And we wonder why we feel so lonely.
The book defines complaining as:
- Any expression of grief, pain or discontent
- An energetic statement that focuses on the problem rather than the resolution
- Gossip, criticism, sarcasm
- Pointing out someone else’s complaint
Managing this can be tricky, as complaining shows up in many forms. Here are a few:
- Whining, griping, snide remarks
- Grouchiness, irritability, anger, upset, disappointment, make-wrong
- Honking the horn (letting the car do the talking)
- Huffing, grunting, eye rolling (letting your body do the talking)
- Making excuses, being defensive
- Making others wrong, whether directly to them or about them to someone else
As I work with myself, clients and class participants on the Complaint Free journey, I am more and more appreciative of this program, because in order to be successful, you must become aware, mindful, and very, very strong. Training to be complaint free results in the development of some very powerful spiritual qualities: leadership, courage, balance, flexibility, discipline, perseverance, and endurance, to name a few. And, the most important: DETACHMENT. (For more on detachment: click here)
Here’s the “Yeah, but…” The world is pretty crazy these days. If you want to complain, there are plenty of reasons to choose from. However, does it help? No. And, complaint free does not mean you “sit and take it.” It means you have a clearer mind for right action.
After years of practicing the program himself and watching others become complaint free, Bowen discovered some consistent and common results:
- Greater peace of mind and enjoyment of life
- Fewer things to complain about!
- Better health
- Better relationships
That is the beauty of this program: its side effects are only positive, and some of the best on the planet. It is a potent tool for training oneself to live powerfully.
Stay tuned! My next article gives you a tool for getting out of the complaint cycle. Meanwhile, if you want to explore ways to become detached and complaint free, join me for my next Serenity, Power, and Freedom class