I’ve found a useful article, titled “Why Complain?” by Andrew Gilbert, which explains how to substitute the easy and somewhat automatic reaction most of us have, with gratitude and personal responsibility.
We may forget that we are the players in every game we take part in, yet we automatically assume – as evident through our reactions – that others carry the fault of things that we do or allow to happen, as opposed to contemplating the roles we played in that fault. Both perspectives are valid, but the questions is: How productive is this line of thinking?
Compare for yourself:
- I’m a victim, therefore, I am constantly forced to deal with problems that are forced upon me. Life is so tough. I don’t know if I have the solution to all these troubles.
- Man! I hate that this is happening to me, but I gotta think of what I may have done that caused it, or things that I can do to solve it. I’m hopeful that if i find the right move, I’ll own the solution to this problem. I’m grateful that things stopped at this, and did not get worse. I’m grateful that I and my loved ones are still alive and well.
Notice your energy level as you read each of these lines.
If you tell your brain that you are enslaved to others and matters, then it is going to act that way. Interpretations of this may include whining, complaining, repressive self-sabotaging rebellious behaviors, acts of violence, unwise responses, low energy, sickness, lack of sleep, and the list goes on. Your vision may be darkened by these negative thoughts, and you may even lose interest in seeking other options to dealing with your problems.
If you tell your brain that meanwhile you are subjected to a certain situation, you may as well study the possible solutions you can take, and carry responsibility for your choices of action. This way, you’ll shut the door of judgement, and open up your mind to seeking several ways that may lead you to salvation eventually. If a door closes, another opens, and your vision will be clear enough to see that. This perspective is more productive than the previous one because it entices you to lead more action and not surrender to your auto-pilot mode.
You’re the captain of your own ship, and if you sail on auto-pilot most of the time, then you are not making the choices in your own journey. Alternatively, you are just going by default, and if you face any challenges, you may then see that as destiny conspiring against you.
Eventually, if we couple productive/ positive thinking with gratitude, you’ll have a wonderful combination, as this can fill you with energy to seek solutions, even if you don’t know how. Things get solved consequently when you start making action, and the achievement of overcoming a hardship leave a positive trace on your psyche and level of self-confidence.
Develop a habit every day of cultivating at least two opposite perspectives on matters that are important to you. Motivate yourself to choose the positive one, the one that encourages you to take responsibility for your actions vs. throwing blame on others and complaining. Once you improve your role in every matter, notice how things feel better afterwards, and life makes more sense.
Why don’t you have a look at Gilbert’s beautiful article Why Complain?
You are the choice-maker of your own life roles. Choose wisely!