We all complain. It’s part of our system — though I wish to stop it, or if not, minimize at least. I’m still practicing, trying my best, trying to understand.
There were days when I don’t complain amid an annoying situation. Instead, I respond not react. And it feels good, it feels liberating.
Then again, it happens when I see the house messy or when the Internet is down or when my wife or a friend didn’t follow the plan. I know it destroys my inner peace and ripples negativity. But I couldn’t resist. I’m sorry. I’ve been trying.
Recently, I wrote about stop complaining, which is a reminder to myself. But as days passed, I was becoming more and more intrigued whether it’s really possible to stop complaining.
I wonder how Buddhist monks or other Zen practitioners do it — I heard stories they never complain. Is it true? Maybe I could meet them someday and they will teach and train me. Maybe that’s the ultimate panacea. Maybe.
But I’m tired of dreaming. I’m tired of waiting for solutions.
One day, a friend told me about a brilliant designer named Tobias Van Schneider. After checking his website, I followed him on Twitter. And here’s what I saw:
Right then, my perspective shifted. I knew it. If we can’t stop complaining, we can change the way we complain. We can use our frustrations or our anger as a source of motivation to solve the problem, or create something that would, at least, better the situation.
I understand it doesn’t apply to all kinds of problems (like very serious problems). But I believe that this mentality can serve as a starting point to catapult ourselves into finding solutions, especially in our work or business.
For example: If you don’t like your company’s marketing approach, make a marketing plan and present it to them. If you don’t like your coworkers’ articles, write a new article and let them notice the elements they didn’t consider. If you hate the website they developed, build a website and let them realize how dull their work is, that they need to redo it and make it better.
The point is, complaining doesn’t get you anywhere — it doesn’t. Instead of complaining about something you hate, create something and let them show that there’s a better way, a better option, a better result. We always have a choice.
And that includes creating.