I recently came across the following blog post by Tim Ferris (http://bit.ly/1wsw3tc), where he talks about the book, A Complaint Free World, by Will Bowen. The purpose of which is to train people to stop complaining in 21 days. For real!
Ok, in all honesty, it takes more than 21 days. That number is the number of days, in a row, to make it without complaining. As Ferris explains, the rules are simple:
“…switch wrists whenever you gossip, criticize, or complain…[and] to switch wrists if you inform someone else they are complaining.”
Ferris changed the rules a bit and says that if you offer constructive criticism, it doesn’t count as a complaint, which is a rule that my group followed.
Sounds simple enough, right? The difficulty, is that each time your bracelet switches wrists, your time resets. In other words, if you’ve made it 19 days without complaining, and on day 20 you complain, you have to start over at day 1.
I decided to buy some bracelets about a week ago and got 10 friends and family members to participate. What an eye-opening experiment it has been!
For starters, the first few days are really spent learning what you define as a complaint. A definition that was surprisingly personal. Then there was the constant awareness of when you were being negative. Was stating that you don’t like Swiss cheese a complaint or just a statement? As it turned out, the answer wasn’t black and white; it really depended on how you defined complaining.
I haven’t completely stopped complaining yet, but will continue trying. On the up side, I am much more mindful of what comes out of my mouth, which is really something we can all learn to do more of.
What do you think? Will you take the challenge?