It is easy to justify our complaining as simply venting. Or in more deluded minds, it might even be seen as a healthy way to motivate people to make needed changes. But complaining for any length of time only keeps us from moving forward, and prevents us from ever being truly happy.
Here is why you should stop complaining so it doesn’t ruin your life.
1) Stop complaining because keeps us stuck in the past.
Abraham Lincoln failed multiple times. In 1832, he was defeated in his quest to get into the Illinois state legislature. That was just the beginning of his failures. He failed at business, at becoming the speaker of the house, and for the senate twice before he finally succeeded in being elected president.
We know that he struggled with depression, so these failures could have easily deterred him from having any level of success. No one would have blamed him for sitting around after a long day of splitting rails, complaining about all of the things he would have done, or could have.
However, if that had been his attitude, he never would have become president. All leadership has momentary setbacks and failures. We must not allow those things to define us. Accept the setback, learn from it, and then press on as quickly as you possibly can.
Stop complaining! It’s not going to push you past mistakes or other difficulties. Failure follows complaints.
2) Complaining keeps us stuck in judgment.
While we are busy pointing our fingers at others, the real world changers are out making a difference. Whether it is an election or a business failure, if we are looking at everyone else as being at fault, nothing is being done.
Why? To be honest, we cannot change anyone. Our control is really limited to ourselves. If you want to make your own life better, it is up to you to make changes. The easiest change is to simply transform your attitude. We must get past what others have said or done.
Stop complaining! Dismiss old mistakes and drive on to succeed in the future. Getting unstuck starts us toward the goal.
3) It keeps us from being whimsical in the present.
Former Navy Seal, David Rutherford, refers that overwhelming feeling of hopelessness that so often haunts us, the negative insurgency. It seems to sneak up on us and tear us down in a heartbeat. When we don’t stop complaining, we feed the insurgency and it gets stronger.
When we choose to become whimsical, we feed the forces of good. We get encouraged and motivated to move forward toward a better life. Find the humor in those negative situations.
Five years in a row, my family went camping at the same spot. Regardless of what the latest weather app said, we knew that it was going to rain simply because we were camping.
Five years in a row, our prediction proved true. By the third year, we came prepared with umbrella hats and warned the other campers that it was sure to rain. We hoped they were prepared. We made it fun. Sure, most people hate camping in the rain. But the rain has made a great story for our family that will be passed on for many generations.
Why complain? Seek out the humor in a situation. Embrace the suck. The truth is that the worse the situation, the better the story will be when all is said and done. While we would have had fun with perfect weather, we would not be talking about it still ten years later. The pain makes it better, somehow.
4) Complaints keep us from looking into the future.
Complaining makes your world very small.
Negativity puts all of your life into a tiny past shaped box that keeps you from dreaming and loving the future. One of the greatest happiness that I consistently experience is daydreaming of what tomorrow will look like.
When things seem to be spiraling in the wrong direction, I envision what life will be like when I experience success as a speaker, when my house is paid off, and I own my new Jeep with the Captain America Logo on the doors. But if I get stuck, I cannot see any solution.
The walls are simply too close. Depression is waiting for me. Energy is sapped when I am unable to envision the future. Complaining brings in too much fog. No longer can I find my way toward those dreams that used to help me get out of bed in the morning.
5) Stop complaining because it keeps us from having allies.
In this world, we really need other people if we are going to multiply our success. Let us find others who can help us achieve great things and enjoy life.
I once knew a guy that was able to find the negative in any situation. If his team won the game, he would list the multiple mistakes they had made. He had the uncanny ability to notice the flaw in a painting from across the room. This man was the human version of Eeyore. Nothing and nobody was ever good enough.
Even though I was privileged to call this man a friend, I knew that he would only be noticing the flaws in my life. This kept us from being close. If I was getting ready to go into battle, I would not want this man by my side. Those who stop complaining will keep people at arm’s length consistently.
Today is a new day. Choose today to evaluate your mistakes and move on.
Stop complaining and strive for victory in your life. Thinking back to my childhood, I remember my great grandmother in the waiting room of the hospital. We were taking turns visiting my great grandfather who was in the last hours of his life. While we were all moaning and groaning, she looked us all in the eyes and said in a thick German accent, “You must be optimistic.”
That has become a rallying cry in my soul that keeps me from getting trapped by the negative insurgency that wants to take me out. Today, I will refuse to complain. Instead I will be optimistic and work to make our world better.