I realize this is very preach-y, but still needs to be said periodically. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find the two quotes above together in one…so my quote for this post is: “Don’t complain about things you’re not willing to help change…and then stop complaining and go help change those things you can and are willing to change…and THEN watch how your life changes.” Ok, so that’s a bit more of a mouthful and doesn’t fit easily onto a tile for Pinterest or other social media. However, it is the truth.
It is far too easy for everyone to complain about any number of things. I fight this every day. I’ve been around the block a couple of time (aka: I’m old) and have seen “the good”, “the bad” and “the ugly”. So on any given day, I can be way too judgmental about anything: how someone creates (or doesn’t) a process…how someone designs a database…how someone codes an app…how the UX works or doesn’t. It’s a dangerous thing to get into a habit of complaining about every flaw that you see…’cause there’s plenty of them!
I will say that every once in a while it is cathartic to vent about something…especially if you’ve been dealing with that something for a long time or is causing you specific pain. But that should be held for just every once in a while…then you should be done with it.
Alternatively, I try to focus my mind on if and/or how I can personally use my experience to change something for the better. If I can and want to invest the time, I will. If I can’t, then I try to stifle my complaints. For example, there’s nothing that you can do about the long lines and bad service you get at a certain mega-discount store. So why complain about it…it won’t do any good. The old saying about worrying is the same in this case, “…it’s like a rocking chair – you expend energy but you never get anywhere…”. So it may be difficult, but you have to train your mind to avoiding simply complaining when you can’t do anything about the situation. That goes for your work too.
The second part of the saying is the benefit that you WILL receive for doing this. When you stop complaining and help out, your life will be better for it. Now, in the short-term, it will take your time and energy (and may be frustrating). However, you will see rewards beyond what you expect. Try it and see what happens. I think you’ll be surprised…both in your attitude and in what comes back to you! Stop complaining and DO something!