Complaint-Free Me?

Yesterday was one of those days when I would say I was not in a “good mood”. 🙂 Not that there was anything to complain about – but I just chose to find things to complain about.

At the end of the work day, came home and started browsing the web. One of my friends mentioned the site http://www.fourhourworkweek.com/blog as a blog site with interesting articles on experimenting with lifestyle changes. What better time to opt for a lifestyle change than when you are complaining about nothing/everything?!

One of the first articles that caught my eye on the blog was “Real Mind Control: The 21-Day No-Complaint Experiment”. It was like it had been written for me – especially for the frame of mind I was in. I read the article and was really enthused to try out the experiment. A Complaint Free World – wow! What an amazing concept? Is it possible? What better way to find out than starting with a “Complaint-Free Me”.

There is no better time than NOW! So decided to use the “Live Strong” bracelet that I already had instead of waiting to get “A Complaint Free World” purple bracelet and kicked off the “No-Complaint” experiment.

The Experiment

Rev. Will Bowen started this experiment to teach his congregation the attitude of gratiitude, by trying to go by going 21 days without complaining. Each member in the congregation received a purple bracelet which they wear on their wrist. Every time you catch yourself complaining, you have to switch the bracelet to the other wrist. FAQ page on acomplaintfreeworld.org has the rules listed in detail.

What is a complaint?

I decided to go with Tim Ferris’s definition of  a complaint as – “describing an event or person negatively without indicating next steps to fix the problem. I later added the usual 4-letter words and other common profanity as complaint qualifiers, which forced me to reword, thus forcing awareness and more precise thinking.”

This seemed to be more forgiving than Will Bowen’s definition of a complaint as “to express pain, grief, or discontent”.

Why 21 days?

Scientifically and spiritually it is said that it takes 21 days of practicing a new behavior to establish it as a habit. If you only think about it or talk about it, then the behavior does not become a habit, only an unfulfilled goal. So if you can go 21 days without switching the bracelet, then you have started developing the habit of being “Complaint-Free”.

Observations so far…

Number of days of practicing being “complaint-free”: 1

Number of times I have switched the bracelet: 10 😦

Just being conscious of “noting” my complaints, I have caught myself complaining for the most mundane matters.

I called customer service for my Satellite TV connection and the customer service agent is unable to give me the information I was looking for. I was getting upset with him for no reason, instead of just asking him to forward the call to somebody who could help.

I was getting stuck with some of my tasks at work that I needed to complete today as most people are starting their long weekend early. I was getting railed at them (no way to show as they are unavailable, rather than finding a workaround or re-prioritizing.

The list goes on and on – am loving the experiment as I am “learning” to watch my thoughts/words/actions… A small step in the long journey of reaching the state depicted by the Zen symbol – Enso

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