I’ve been beating myself up the past few weeks. I’m behind on the upcoming relaunch of Live Your Verb, behind on the corresponding ebook and not making my way through client work as quickly as I’d like. Not to mention that I haven’t seen the inside of my gym in over three weeks (I drove past twice and looked at it longingly). My failure to check everything off my to-do list has led me to some personal mental flogging and some very verbal complaining.
But it occurred to me today that all the things I’ve been beating myself up about are, in fact, the direct results of the positive changes I’ve made in my life. I’m not meeting certain goals because I’m finally achieving others. I’m behind in certain areas because I’m getting ahead in others. My body isn’t my ideal bikini shape because I’ve been getting my career and my bank accounts into top-notch shape.
In other words, it’s a trade-off.
And, in some other (more important) words, none of this is reason for me to beat myself up or complain. These are good things, things I’ve wanted for a very long time. And now I’m achieving them at a breakneck pace. Doesn’t really seem like a problem at all, does it? Nope.
These are not problems. These are pieces of my life coming together and falling into place.
I just haven’t managed to keep up with all the goodness well enough to find a balance yet. I’m off-kilter. From all the goodness. Oh darn. (Let’s all roll our eyes at this complaint, shall we?)
So this is the moment that I stop complaining about having to adjust my schedule to accommodate all the blessings in my life. I’ve realized that my recent complaining has been out of habit, not because I have a valid reason to complain.
This is something we often do in life: complain about something that’s good for us, while completely overlooking what we really need to improve upon. The next time you complain, ask yourself: is this thing I’m complaining about a blessing, a challenge, an adversity or truly a tragedy? Figure out if it’s really something to complain about, or just one of life’s hurdles that is better leapt over by focusing past it and, in Live Your Verb spirit, by continuing to move forward.
Someone once told me the best way to keep your mouth shut and avoid provoking an argument is to ask yourself if that annoying habit, that snarky comeback, that bout of deadline-crushing forgetfulness will matter to you in five days, five months or five years. Chances are, it usually won’t. This doesn’t mean we should let others – or life – run us over. It just means we should pause to check in with ourselves and assess the long-term importance of a word, a lousy day or a fender bender before we set a complaint in motion.
Try this and you’ll find that, yes, it will help you pick your battles. But, more importantly, it helps you gain a more realistic perception of where you are, where you need to go and how to best invest your time and energy to get there. Complaining usually isn’t on that list.
So I’ll close by sharing my gratitude with you (because being grateful is the direct opposite of complaining). I’m grateful for all the opportunities I’ve been met with, and all the success I’ve found. I’m grateful to have so many blessings that they render me overwhelmed and disorganized. I’m grateful for the people who lead me to these little moments of clarity (thanks for this one, Raquel) – and for you, dear readers, who I can share them with.
May my gratitude be contagious. May we all learn to count our blessings first, for then we would be too busy counting to ever complain.
What are you grateful for today? What can you stop complaining about?
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