The No Complaining Rule

I just finished reading “The No Complaining Rule” by Jon Gordon.
I think I’ve been fortunate to work with, and socialize with generally *positive* people, but the book resonates strongly with me. I often find myself being adversely affected by negativity in work and social settings.

My top 5 things noted from the book:

1. There are 2 reasons why people complain:
– They are fearful and helpless
– Complaining has become habit

2. 80% of people you complain to don’t give a da#$mn, and 20% are happy that you are complaining.

3. “Venting” as people like to call it …. is bull shi#$t.
– I think people justify their complaining by saying that it’s therapeutic in some way. Somehow by “getting things off their chests”, they’ll feel better. I simply don’t believe this. Therapists used to get their clients to knock out a punching bag until they found out that the temporary satisfaction did not outweigh the long term anger and violence it generated. Complaining tends to cultivate negativity and adversely affect both the complainer AND the person being complained to.

4. There is a time and a place for complaining.
– The world isn’t perfect, and one shouldn’t just accept everything in an effort to avoid complaining. Don’t mindlessly complain; but rather complain in an attempt to find a solution to the issue you are complaining about. Use the moment as a signal that there is a problem that needs a solution … not a problem that needs to be ranted about.

5. Allow the grass to grow instead of spraying the weeds.
– Instead of killing off all of the negative energy, foster a positive environment where positive thoughts suffocate the negative ones.

6. Focus on the positive and be grateful
– Pause to think of all of the things that you’re grateful. Recognize that no matter how bad you have it, somebody has it much worse. You can’t be both negative and grateful at the same time, so focus on the positive.

7. It’s YOUR CHOICE
– When dealt with any situation; it’s YOUR CHOICE to focus on the negative of the situation; or else to take the positive path.

I suppose more than anything, I was reminded that happiness is determined 10% by facts, and 90% by presentation and selection of these facts. We all exist in a world that we could either paint to be evil, malicious, and negative … or else one that is happy, and positive. The choice is ours.

One thought on “The No Complaining Rule

  1. I stumbled upon your blog while searching for a pharmacology textbook (oddly enough), but stayed to read for awhile. You have a good blog and I enjoyed this post and the one on self criticism. Well done. Thanks for the reminder 🙂

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