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Stop Complaining, Right Now

You too, Lebron. Knock it off.

You’re a busy person. You probably work full time (which ends up being more than 40 hours/week), go to school and have kids or pets (same thing). You stay active by working out, walking, hiking. You have people in your life that depend on you for certain things, whether at the office or at home. So basically, like 90% of people in North America, you live a busy life. Being busy is good, so please, pretty please, with sugar on top, STOP complaining about it.

As an ex-habitual complainer, I’m allowed to be critical about this (just like I can give my sister shit for smoking cigarettes because I too used to be a smoker, three years clean babaaay). My biggest pet peeve is when I say to someone or hear someone say to someone else,

“Hey pal! How’s it going??” and receive a response of, “I’m SO busy right now, I can’t even tell you how busy, I barely have a free minute anymore.”

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Now we’ve all done/do this, myself included, some more than others. Part of being an effective communicator is having the ability to be self-aware, and in an exercise that I did where I really paid attention to the things that came out of my mouth for a week, I noticed a good amount of complaining (which pissed me off so I went and complained to someone about it).

I decided to make some changes on how I view things and how I handle myself. I became better at not complaining as much (it’s a work in progress). But with this new found levity, I started to be hyper-sensitive to the complaining bug. I had never noticed it before, but now I see and hear it everywhere.

I can’t believe how busy I am. I don’t have a moment to myself anymore. Work is taking over my life. I wanted to go see my family this weekend but I’m just too busy, I can’t.

Seriously, and pardon my French on this one, but shut the fuck up. First of all, I’m willing to bet that you’re not that busy. If you break down your day to the minute, I’m sure you’ll find time to meditate, do yoga, or whatever it is that keeps you sane. And guess what, everyone is slammed and it’s not going to change any time soon. Complaining about your busy schedule shouldn’t be looked upon as a status symbol. Work hard and keep your yapper shut.

I’ve known my brother-in-law for over thirteen years. His name is Jonathan and he works at R/GA, a full service interactive, digital advertising and marketing agency. He’s been a mentor to me in many ways, and I’m happy and proud to call him my brother. Jonathan is the poster child of what a hard working and humble Gen Xer is. He wakes up on any given morning around 4am, rides his bike 30-50 miles, gets back home in time to send his three kids off to school, then he takes an hour train ride into NYC (keep in mind, this is all before most normal humans even wake up). Then after a ten hour work day, he’ll hop on the packed train again for the journey back home, in time to tuck his kids into bed. He’s also been known to take two red-eyes within twenty-four hours of each other.

In the thirteen years that I’ve known him, I’ve never ONCE heard him complain. Seriously, not one single time.

And I think we all can take something away from this approach to handling life. There’s no need to complain about being busy. If anyone on the planet has the right to complain about it, it‘s this guy, and yet he doesn’t. Complaining isn’t in his DNA.

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Here’s a thought, let’s focus on being happyLet’s realize the reason that we’re so busy is because we’re working towards something bigger. Something better. Whether it’s a personal goal or the pursuit of making a better life for your family, we’re working towards something great. And that’s a good thing, not something to complain about. I’m a staunch believer in what you put out to the Universe, you get back, so try putting some positive vibes out there and see what happens. When you’re asked the, “How ya doing?” question, try being positive and avoid the negative.

So I challenge you to listen, and I mean really listen, to what you and the people around you are saying this week. You might be surprised with the results.

This has been fun, but unfortunately I have to go for now. I’ve got a shit load of work to do today…

 

Title Photo Credit: Flickr

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Written by Geoff Gates

Tweets @GeoffGates Webs http://geoffgates.com Creating Content <@VaynerMedia Based in San Francisco, Roots in New York.

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