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Tuesday, November 29, 2011

No Complaints

The number of things I find seriously irritating number in the bajillions - I realize this makes me sound like a negative person, but what it really means is that I just enjoy a good rant. I will rant about anything for any length of time, and I've been told that it is hilarious. I'm glad my rage amuses people. My list of pet peeves includes but is not limited to:
- People who walk too slow
- Kim Kardashian, and really anyone who makes serious $$ while contributing nothing to the world other than their ability to exist on the earth
- Bike commuters who refuse to follow traffic laws
- Edible Arrangements
- Arguments that are not backed by logic
- Politics
- Celery (unless raw and topped with PB and raisins...ants on a log FTW)

Cyber Monday is not on my list, but it is for sure on my yoga teacher's list, and yesterday her extreme irritation with Cyber Monday pushed her to the breaking point. She was then inspired to... give up complaining for two weeks. Not to fling her computer across the room in a blind fit of rage, cursing Banana Republic, Target and their OMGAMAZEBALLZZZ deals. She gave up complaining. For two weeks. Yoga, works.

To keep herself honest, she announced this in class, set her intention to check in with us next Monday, and invited us to join in the fun. I mentally added this to my list - no complaining for a week at least.

The real challenge in giving up complaining isn't so much the external ranting as it is the internal negativity - the downer thoughts that float in and linger when we aren't paying attention. Despite my tendency towards ranting, I consider myself a pretty positive person - but once I started paying attention to my "inner complaints," I was shocked. This isn't to say I've discovered I'm a horrible grinchy person - just that in general, our negative to positive thought ratio is probably much higher than we think it is.

I'd had at least 10 negative thoughts before I even got out of bed in the morning. Most of them were along the lines of "it is toooooo freaking early" and "cat, if you stealth pounce me one more time I will destroy your face." Just normal morning thoughts.

But guess what happens when I force myself not to be negative - I am approximately 85,000 times more productive. I had a bit of a rough morning at work...mentally anyways. It's a long story, and I don't talk about work on the blog, but on a normal day I would have really let it get to me. Today, I chose not to. I'm not saying it was easy, or that it happened right away, but the second I made myself stop thinking things along the line of "this succckkkkkss.....," I immediately started building a solution, and channeled my rage into work. Lots and lots of work. Powerpoint slides and excel spreadsheets galore. It was glorious.

Again, I'm not saying I am normally a negative, mopey person (I'm not). Or that the goal of your life should be to create brilliant excel spreadsheets (it shouldn't). However, I will say that the first lesson I've learned of my week sans complaining is that negativity is a black hole of productivity. Once you've reached the event horizon of bitching and whining, there's no way out, although some have been known to escape using chocolate or pictures of fuzzy kittens. OK so maybe it's not exactly like a black hole.

Giving up complaining. Try it, friends - you might be amazed.

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