July 15, 2013

Break Free From Frustration


Life isn't going to be perfect and there'll always be a good reason to feel disappointed. So what do we do? We sometimes complain. Now, this may seem appropriate, but in fact it's not. To complain leads to disaster and I'll explain why.

Most of our complaining is senseless,
and has a disastrous effect: it fuels our frustration. 

Aristotle said that “Anyone can become angry – that is easy. But to be angry with the right person at the right time, and for the right purpose and in the right way – that is not within everyone's power and that is not easy.” The same goes for complaining:

To complain to the right person at the right time for the right purpose in the right way is not easy! The opposite is easy: to my friends I'll complain about my partner, to my partner about my boss, to my boss about my colleagues, to my colleagues about the government and the weather…

Every time we express our discontent – including when we silently complain to ourselves – we're telling the mind that something is wrong. This feeds our frustration. Then, there's really not much we can do to stop the Hulk in us from coming out.

In other words, complaining leads to frustration, and frustration to anger and grumpiness – a recipe for disaster. To avoid complaining, even to myself, I follow two guidelines in both my personal and professional life:

1) Do not allow yourself to complain about things you cannot or are unwilling to change - it’s a waste of time. Change the subject.

2) Do not allow yourself to complain without suggesting a better realistic alternative. Until you think of something better, keep quiet. 

By breaking free from the habit of complaining, we increase our tolerance to frustration. I'm not going to begin to tell you how rewarding and refreshing that is. Instead, I'll challenge you to try it for just one week. Then, please tell me how you feel!

Remember: There's always going to be a good reason to complain. Be nice, and let someone else use it. :)