The interesting thing about yesterday’s challenge is that it said that I needed to plan a tea or smoothie date with a friend. So I planned it. In my mind. With a friend. Now I just need to focus on implementing that plan.
Somehow, given our social lives that are so often anchored in social media, I wonder how many others may have found it surprisingly difficult to pull this off on short notice? Is life too hectic to take time out for this challenge without planning well in advance, or are the friends that you would want to go on a smoothie date with living too far away?
In my defense, I was hoping to take my daughters out for this date, but doing this in the middle of their final term’s exams is not exactly a good idea. So I have a legit reason to defer it to another day. That’s my story.
Day 16: Go the entire day without complaining
Whiners beware! Your ability to suck the joy out of the lives of others is severely challenged today, should you accept this challenge. I suspect chronic whiners will find it difficult to commit to something like this. The need to express their dissatisfaction to the world about the world somehow defines them.
Are you a chronic whiner? Or do you take time to appreciate the good things that you have in your life? Occasional complaining is normal, if you subscribe to normality as a notion given how unique we all want to be (just like everyone else). But I have a trick that always subdues the complaints when things seem to get heavy, or weighty, or annoying. I remind myself that it can always be worse.
Consider it an exercise in gratitude. Struggling to pay a bill? You have access to something that requires payment, so it must be a thing of value in your life. Unable to afford that car that you need? You have some place to be, which means you have purpose and something to offer, so getting there is just a small hurdle. Life is tougher without a loved one? There are many who are still searching for the love or comfort that you may have been able to experience while that loved one was with you. And so on…
Thinking Good Things
It is easy to find comfort in collective whining. A pity party for one or more is easy to sustain as well. Blaming the world for its harshness means that you are not using that time to counter that harshness with your actions. For every moment that we stop to complain, we lose a moment to stop and appreciate some virtue or blessing that we have in our lives. Gratitude is not only about what you have, it is also about what you don’t have. Consider all the problems that you don’t have but could have had when considering all the problems that you do have. (Read that again if you must. It’s important :))
Remember that story about everyone throwing their problems into a pile, and after seeing everyone else’s problems, they all reached in to take their own problems back? Well, that’s what life is about. Everyone has challenges or something that they may have good reason to complain about. But good reason does not mean that you have to do it. It just means that it is understandable if you feel a little overwhelmed by it. Stopping to complain about it may make you feel better for that moment assuming that there is someone there to listen. But after the complaining is done, the problem is still the problem, and your attitude towards it will still need to change before it can stop being a problem.
Annoy someone with your positivity today so that they have a problem worth complaining about!