Every time we complain about something we can’t change or whine about something we refuse to take responsibility for changing, we show our age…our emotional age.
I don’t know about you, but I spent far too much of my short life playing the victim or listening to others play the victim. I’m ready now to woman-up.
I’ll take responsibility for…
- my blind spots and misconceptions
- being a contributor to the pain in the world
- being the person I want others to be
- leaving things better than I found them
- leaving people better than I found them
- accepting the imperfection that is simply part of being human
Nobody wants to live in the present when it is unpleasant. Here are some incentives:
1. We can become our own hero – the movies that inspire us are about people who endure suffering and rise above it, right? That’s you at this moment. You are the star. Shine!
2. We need the training – otherwise, we will be wimps.
3. This moment has hidden treasures – and we must be present to win, to find them, to see them. Trading the moment in for the next is always a bad move. Bird in hand better than two in bush. Really. Our time is limited…a millisecond in eternity.
4. Present people are sexy – and refreshing, and rare, and like meditation music.
Make Thoreau proud…and all of creation. Take the advice…find your eternity in each moment.
or, maybe a little better said…
Or, we can just complain about it and flaunt our mediocrity.
When we refuse to complain about the weather or something else we can’t change, we stop global boring with those who take what life gives and make it work!
Earlier in life, I had this terrible habit of freaking out as soon as I was pressed beyond my limits:
- A boss had the nerve to add an “extra” task to my already long list
- Circumstances did not go as I planned
- A family member or friend “spoiled things” by being human or noncompliant
My entitled behavior ignored my need for stretching and growth. I must have believed I had already arrived when I said, “I don’t need this right now!”
I had no idea life was working to reveal my untapped potential, new possibilities, a bigger life, and…a purpose beyond my wildest dreams.
There are good people in my life who will gently tell me I’m whining, and then ask me to woman-up. I am indebted to them for this. I often do not recognize my poor-little-ole-me behaviors on my own.
Replacing my deeply-ingrained whiner/complainer behaviors with solution-oriented/action behaviors has been a decade-long, serious undertaking for me. In earlier decades, family, teachers, friends, bosses, and co-workers tried and failed to get my attention. They were pushing a boulder uphill (that frequently rolled back over them).
Books and authors (including C.S. Lewis, Dickens, Dostoevsky, Frankl, Lincoln, Hugo, and countless others) relentlessly urged me out of pettiness and into noble living.
Nothing was wasted.
Finally, I anticipate my fears and my whimpering, have a battle plan, and surround myself with victors.
Courage, dear heart!
Man without smiling face should not open shop. -Chinese Proverb
I think of this proverb every morning as I start my work.
It’s more than a reminder to be friendly. It’s a reminder to find personal tranquility before I waste my time going through the motions.
If you could find happiness in 80 seconds, would you be interested?
Once an hour, for eight hours straight, randomly identify two people and secretly wish for each of them to be happy. After ten seconds of doing that, go back to whatever you were doing.
This is Google engineer, Chade-Meng Tan’s exercise, recommended by The 4-Hour Workweek author, Tim Ferris, in Tools of Titans. Tim said it had a profound effect on him after just 3-4 days!
Whether we believe Tim and Tan or not, let’s say we tried it for three days, investing a whopping four minutes. It would be no big loss if it didn’t work.
Major whoop if it did (including, some random people getting a few good wishes).
We don’t let people drive a dump-truck into our home and unload stinking rubbish onto our living room floor, do we? Yet, we tend to do just that to each other with our virtual dump trucks of discontent, complaints and negativity.
What if life charged us for what we dumped on other people just as a junk yard charges for disposing trash and useless items, or the EPA charges for polluting the airspace?
Would we curtail our verbal indulgences if we had to pay for the pollution by the word?
Is it possible that penalties are already being assessed?
The kindest people I have ever met are people who have suffered, who have been close to death, and/or who have lived without.
These experiences can either breed bitterness or they can breed humble gratitude. I cringe at the times I chose the disease instead of the cure.
It’s a strange place we inhabit.
Who’s to say what joy may come out of pain? What life may come out of death? What light out of darkness?
But, we all can say (from experience) that despairing in pain, in darkness, or in death only made matters worse.
Ain’t no one got time for that!
So, who’s to say that we cannot challenge the darkness…and win?
Our heroes have.