People love to complain. It’s just in our nature. Complaining gives us something common to converse about. The weather, whether it hot, cold, rain or shine. The boss, workload or office mate. The person in front, behind or next to you. The list is endless. Facebook probably wouldn’t exist without it (Note: I happen to love Facebook!).
The moments we feel satisfied are way upstaged by our propensity to focus on the negative. Why don't we appreciate the good while we've got it?
A couple of weeks ago I had a terrible cold, which I unsuccessfully tried to ignore. Ultimately I succumbed. Nothing like totally clogged nasal passages to make one appreciate clear airways. Ah the little things!
Ever had your back go out, or in my husband’s case a planters fasciitis flare up? Getting to the bathroom pain-free might as well be an excursion to Mount Everest, forget going for a refreshing stroll in the park! Times like those remind us of the small, carefree moments we often take for granted. With my crazy cold, for example, I honestly never thought I would get a sense of smell back! (I did, thank you.)
So this edition of Tuesdays with MOJO is dedicated to “complouraging.” Whenever you catch yourself about to be sour, lose site of your blessings or complain, encourage instead. I challenge you to do it 10 time over the next 24 hours.
To illustrate “complouraging” I’ll cite some examples.
Example 1: I had the glorious experiencing of walking on the beach this morning. The sun shining, ocean roaring, breeze fresh and clean. And there it was, a washed up Mylar balloon twisted and tangled in its string. One could:
- curse out all those gosh-darn people and their silly balloons. Don’t they know what goes up, must come down and those balloons end up in the ocean suffocating our wild life? And what about all the people who walked by the Mylar balloon ahead of me, just leaving it there to pollute our ocean? People suck! Balloons suck! This walk sucks!
Alternatively, one could:
- acknowledge that some kid likely got joy out of the balloon. Pick it up and hold onto it the rest of your walk, feeling good that it will not make its way back into the sea. Proceed enjoying the beautiful blue sky, sound of the roaring waves and scent of clean fresh air. Aaaah.
Example 2: You and a colleague walk into the common kitchen to grab one of the snacks or beverages the company provides daily. Your co-worker "tsk tsks" the available tea flavors, calls them “terrible” and crosses his arms in a huff. One could:
- join in the gripe session, saying “Yeah and the free fresh fruit and gourmet coffee is horrible also. Why don’t they just buy us breakfast from that expensive place around the corner and lunch too? I mean, c’mon, this place is owes us.”
Alternatively, one could:
- respond saying, “What kind of tea do you like? We could put in a request for the next order. They’re always sending us surveys asking what we want. Isn’t it great that we don’t have to go out to buy this stuff – the savings really adds up. For now, let’s try this kind instead.”
Starting to get the idea here? By responding through a positive filter, and not perpetuating the negativity, we move from complaint to encouragement painlessly. Try it today, tomorrow and maybe even for a week and notice how it alters your attitude. Soon it will start to feel natural, and your ability to transition to “complouraging” seamless.
Go ahead, what are you complouraging about?
Marjorie, Chief MOJO Maker™