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3 Good Reasons Why You Should Stop Complaining

3 Good Reasons Why You Should Stop Complaining

When living out our daily lives, it’s often easy to look around and blame the world for our problems. Common complaints include:

  • The poor economy is making me unable to live comfortably.
  • My relationship with my spouse is putting a strain on my work performance.
  • I’m constantly treated poorly by friends and family.

While it’s true that there are things in the outside world we can’t control, the biggest difference between two people is simply their reaction towards it. Having understood this for a while, I’ve often asked the question, “How?”

How is it possible to change your reaction to a particular event or situation?

While I always searched for tips to figure out how to make my life easier, what I observed in my own character was that things became far easier once I understood why we should stop complaining and change our reaction towards things. Because once I truly understood the benefits of this, my motivation to change increased.

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So why should you stop complaining? Here are three reasons that I believe—if you truly understand them—will help you move forward and live a less stressful life:

1. The world owes you nothing

It really is true! The world really does have nothing to do with you or anyone else on this planet. There are no rules beyond societal expectations, and it’s up to you to make something of the chaos that is the natural order. The planet will continue to exist without you on it, which—as depressing as it sounds—should also provide you with excitement and a first glimpse of the reality of what your life should truly be about.

Through this, questions start to emerge such as: “If the world is irrelevant, who’s in charge of my life?” And, “What happens to my life from this point forward?”

You suddenly start to realize that while we were nurtured and looked after as kids, this really isn’t the case once we’re an adult. The world doesn’t provide us with the same blanket of comfort as our carers once did, which only means one thing: It’s up to us to provide that blanket for ourselves and no one else. Which brings me on to the second reason…

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2. You are in charge of your own life

If you look back at your own life, you’ll begin to realize that everything you have ever done up to the present moment was all a result of the decisions you’ve made. Sure there may have been people around you who have convinced you to do some of the things you may have done. But it all ultimately depends on your decisions and no one elses: So who’s really to blame?

You really do have the control. Suddenly, there is no one else to blame but yourself.

You begin to see that amongst everything that’s happening around you, what you have is a blank canvas. Suddenly, your hopes and dreams aren’t dreams at all but are within the realm of possibility.

What are your dreams? What are your hopes and goals for the future? Do you have a plan? Start to think about what it might be and remind yourself daily that it’s all up to you to make things happen.

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3. You can’t be a leader if you behave like a victim

Would you rather live a life with rules, or lead a life that is governed by you? I’m certain the answer is simple.

It’s really easy to put blame on things that are external to you, as it avoids personal responsibility and allows you to refuse the possibility that you may have things that can be changed. So what can you change?

Being a leader in your life takes courage and requires the willingness to face your fears, experience failure, and take complete personal responsibility of everything that happens to you. It will break away your ego yet build a new one: one of strength of character, humility, and humbleness.

I challenge you to turn the mirror on yourself and to ask yourself the following question:

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“How and what can I now do to turn my life around?”

You have no one else but you to make it happen.

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The Gentle Art of Saying No

The Gentle Art of Saying No

No!

It’s a simple fact that you can never be productive if you take on too many commitments — you simply spread yourself too thin and will not be able to get anything done, at least not well or on time.

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But requests for your time are coming in all the time — through phone, email, IM or in person. To stay productive, and minimize stress, you have to learn the Gentle Art of Saying No — an art that many people have problems with.

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What’s so hard about saying no? Well, to start with, it can hurt, anger or disappoint the person you’re saying “no” to, and that’s not usually a fun task. Second, if you hope to work with that person in the future, you’ll want to continue to have a good relationship with that person, and saying “no” in the wrong way can jeopardize that.

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But it doesn’t have to be difficult or hard on your relationship. Here are the Top 10 tips for learning the Gentle Art of Saying No:

  1. Value your time. Know your commitments, and how valuable your precious time is. Then, when someone asks you to dedicate some of your time to a new commitment, you’ll know that you simply cannot do it. And tell them that: “I just can’t right now … my plate is overloaded as it is.”
  2. Know your priorities. Even if you do have some extra time (which for many of us is rare), is this new commitment really the way you want to spend that time? For myself, I know that more commitments means less time with my wife and kids, who are more important to me than anything.
  3. Practice saying no. Practice makes perfect. Saying “no” as often as you can is a great way to get better at it and more comfortable with saying the word. And sometimes, repeating the word is the only way to get a message through to extremely persistent people. When they keep insisting, just keep saying no. Eventually, they’ll get the message.
  4. Don’t apologize. A common way to start out is “I’m sorry but …” as people think that it sounds more polite. While politeness is important, apologizing just makes it sound weaker. You need to be firm, and unapologetic about guarding your time.
  5. Stop being nice. Again, it’s important to be polite, but being nice by saying yes all the time only hurts you. When you make it easy for people to grab your time (or money), they will continue to do it. But if you erect a wall, they will look for easier targets. Show them that your time is well guarded by being firm and turning down as many requests (that are not on your top priority list) as possible.
  6. Say no to your boss. Sometimes we feel that we have to say yes to our boss — they’re our boss, right? And if we say “no” then we look like we can’t handle the work — at least, that’s the common reasoning. But in fact, it’s the opposite — explain to your boss that by taking on too many commitments, you are weakening your productivity and jeopardizing your existing commitments. If your boss insists that you take on the project, go over your project or task list and ask him/her to re-prioritize, explaining that there’s only so much you can take on at one time.
  7. Pre-empting. It’s often much easier to pre-empt requests than to say “no” to them after the request has been made. If you know that requests are likely to be made, perhaps in a meeting, just say to everyone as soon as you come into the meeting, “Look guys, just to let you know, my week is booked full with some urgent projects and I won’t be able to take on any new requests.”
  8. Get back to you. Instead of providing an answer then and there, it’s often better to tell the person you’ll give their request some thought and get back to them. This will allow you to give it some consideration, and check your commitments and priorities. Then, if you can’t take on the request, simply tell them: “After giving this some thought, and checking my commitments, I won’t be able to accommodate the request at this time.” At least you gave it some consideration.
  9. Maybe later. If this is an option that you’d like to keep open, instead of just shutting the door on the person, it’s often better to just say, “This sounds like an interesting opportunity, but I just don’t have the time at the moment. Perhaps you could check back with me in [give a time frame].” Next time, when they check back with you, you might have some free time on your hands.
  10. It’s not you, it’s me. This classic dating rejection can work in other situations. Don’t be insincere about it, though. Often the person or project is a good one, but it’s just not right for you, at least not at this time. Simply say so — you can compliment the idea, the project, the person, the organization … but say that it’s not the right fit, or it’s not what you’re looking for at this time. Only say this if it’s true — people can sense insincerity.

Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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