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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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Last Updated on August 6, 2020

6 Reasons Why You Should Think Before You Speak

6 Reasons Why You Should Think Before You Speak

We’ve all done it. That moment when a series of words slithers from your mouth and the instant regret manifests through blushing and profuse apologies. If you could just think before you speak! It doesn’t have to be like this, and with a bit of practice, it’s actually quite easy to prevent.

“Think twice before you speak, because your words and influence will plant the seed of either success or failure in the mind of another.” – Napolean Hill

Are we speaking the same language?

My mum recently left me a note thanking me for looking after her dog. She’d signed it with “LOL.” In my world, this means “laugh out loud,” and in her world it means “lots of love.” My kids tell me things are “sick” when they’re good, and ”manck” when they’re bad (when I say “bad,” I don’t mean good!). It’s amazing that we manage to communicate at all.

When speaking, we tend to color our language with words and phrases that have become personal to us, things we’ve picked up from our friends, families and even memes from the internet. These colloquialisms become normal, and we expect the listener (or reader) to understand “what we mean.” If you really want the listener to understand your meaning, try to use words and phrases that they might use.

Am I being lazy?

When you’ve been in a relationship for a while, a strange metamorphosis takes place. People tend to become lazier in the way that they communicate with each other, with less thought for the feelings of their partner. There’s no malice intended; we just reach a “comfort zone” and know that our partners “know what we mean.”

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Here’s an exchange from Psychology Today to demonstrate what I mean:

Early in the relationship:

“Honey, I don’t want you to take this wrong, but I’m noticing that your hair is getting a little thin on top. I know guys are sensitive about losing their hair, but I don’t want someone else to embarrass you without your expecting it.”

When the relationship is established:

“Did you know that you’re losing a lot of hair on the back of your head? You’re combing it funny and it doesn’t help. Wear a baseball cap or something if you feel weird about it. Lots of guys get thin on top. It’s no big deal.”

It’s pretty clear which of these statements is more empathetic and more likely to be received well. Recognizing when we do this can be tricky, but with a little practice it becomes easy.

Have I actually got anything to say?

When I was a kid, my gran used to say to me that if I didn’t have anything good to say, I shouldn’t say anything at all. My gran couldn’t stand gossip, so this makes total sense, but you can take this statement a little further and modify it: “If you don’t have anything to say, then don’t say anything at all.”

A lot of the time, people speak to fill “uncomfortable silences,” or because they believe that saying something, anything, is better than staying quiet. It can even be a cause of anxiety for some people.

When somebody else is speaking, listen. Don’t wait to speak. Listen. Actually hear what that person is saying, think about it, and respond if necessary.

Am I painting an accurate picture?

One of the most common forms of miscommunication is the lack of a “referential index,” a type of generalization that fails to refer to specific nouns. As an example, look at these two simple phrases: “Can you pass me that?” and “Pass me that thing over there!”. How often have you said something similar?

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How is the listener supposed to know what you mean? The person that you’re talking to will start to fill in the gaps with something that may very well be completely different to what you mean. You’re thinking “pass me the salt,” but you get passed the pepper. This can be infuriating for the listener, and more importantly, can create a lack of understanding and ultimately produce conflict.

Before you speak, try to label people, places and objects in a way that it is easy for any listeners to understand.

What words am I using?

It’s well known that our use of nouns and verbs (or lack of them) gives an insight into where we grew up, our education, our thoughts and our feelings.

Less well known is that the use of pronouns offers a critical insight into how we emotionally code our sentences. James Pennebaker’s research in the 1990’s concluded that function words are important keys to someone’s psychological state and reveal much more than content words do.

Starting a sentence with “I think…” demonstrates self-focus rather than empathy with the speaker, whereas asking the speaker to elaborate or quantify what they’re saying clearly shows that you’re listening and have respect even if you disagree.

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Is the map really the territory?

Before speaking, we sometimes construct a scenario that makes us act in a way that isn’t necessarily reflective of the actual situation.

A while ago, John promised to help me out in a big way with a project that I was working on. After an initial meeting and some big promises, we put together a plan and set off on its execution. A week or so went by, and I tried to get a hold of John to see how things were going. After voice mails and emails with no reply and general silence, I tried again a week later and still got no response.

I was frustrated and started to get more than a bit vexed. The project obviously meant more to me than it did to him, and I started to construct all manner of crazy scenarios. I finally got through to John and immediately started a mild rant about making promises you can’t keep. He stopped me in my tracks with the news that his brother had died. If I’d have just thought before I spoke…

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