Complaining is the language of failure!

I do not say that to demean or defame but there is a mountain of evidence that shows that negative people are 17 times more likely to lead a negative life and a life of failure than a positive person is. There is actually a psychological term for negative people. So according to psychology, negativity is a mental illness. What makes it even worse is it also affects the people around you. We all have those toxic people in our lives. You know the ones. You go on Facebook to see what your friends are doing and post after post is garbage about politics and religion and fake news and these people feed off it and occasionally you are sucked in. You have to be aware of it and stay away, even unfollow these people, as they will bring you down with them.

I do not call these people out to pick on them; the post is not about them. Most of them will never change, they have conditioned by their experiences. This is for those of you that know the benefits of being positive. Those of you who want more from life. And trust me; you can achieve anything you set your mind to. That thing between your ears is the most amazing piece of machinery ever created if you know how to use it. I remember when my dad first told me of the story of Norman cousins: Dr. Norman Cousins, author of “Norman Cousins Anatomy Of An Illness” was a longtime editor of the Saturday Review, global peacemaker, receiver of hundreds of awards including the UN Peace Medal and nearly 50 honorary doctorate degrees.

In 1964 following a very stressful trip to Russia, he was diagnosed with ankylosing spondylitis (a degenerative disease causing the breakdown of collagen), which left him in almost constant pain and motivated his doctor to say he would die within a few months. He disagreed and reasoned that if stress had somehow contributed to his illness (he was not sick before the trip to Russia), then positive emotions should help him feel better. With his doctors’ consent, he checked himself out of the hospital and into a hotel across the street and began taking extremely high doses of vitamin C while exposing himself to a continuous stream of humorous films and similar “laughing matter”. He later claimed that 10 minutes of belly rippling laughter would give him two hours of pain-free sleep, when nothing else, not even morphine could help him.

His condition steadily improved and he slowly regained the use of his limbs. Within six months, he was back on his feet, and within two years, he was able to return to his full-time job at the Saturday Review. His story baffled the scientific community and inspired a number of research projects.

When did certain segments of our society start demeaning successful people? Sure, there are some real assholes that have gained success through not so classy ways but many successful people sacrificed and worked hard. My dad used to always tell me if you want to build the tallest building, work hard, be kind and build the tallest building. Do not build a mediocre building and then try to tear down all the buildings that are taller than yours are until your building is the tallest, which is not winning. If someone tells you a funny joke and you almost fall over with laughter, it makes you feel better. If they tell you the same joke 5 minutes later, it will not be as funny. You may still laugh but it does not have the same effect. If they tell you the joke again a few minutes later, you probably will just look at them. You cannot laugh at the same joke again and again. So, why do you keep crying and complaining about the same problems over and over again. Worrying and complaining will not solve your problems. It will just waste your time and energy, take some action and make a change. Learn to live in the present and appreciate the life you have. Neuro-scientist have proven that it is impossible to be grateful and angry at the same time.

So what causes people to complain in the first place? To answer this question is not easy in that there are multiple root causes. However, for the sake of singular clarity, let us look at one antecedent to this question.

Part of the complainant’s psychic makeup is the need to be seen as someone of worth. This may at first appear as non-sensical but think about it. If you are frustrated with aspects of your life, if you feel that you are being ignored, if you feel that other people are getting attention and you are not, if you never seem to stand out compared to your colleagues at work or in your own particular social group one way to establish a presence, to get noticed, is to ramp up dialogue that draws attention to you. A complaint that goes counter to what everyone else believes or is in agreement with, sets you apart as significantly out of step with other people. It is this setting apart from the norm that guarantees attention.

Success is stretching yourself to learn something new and developing yourself further every day. Failure means you are not fulfilling your potential, which you can reach through effort. Effort, actually, is what makes you smart or talented.

I will leave you with a short story that will put everything in perspective.

Homer and Emmy Lou were spending some time together on the front porch swing. Now Homer was very much in love with his beautiful Emmy Lou. However, he was shy and often had difficulty mustering up the courage to express his love in a physical way. Aware if his inability he spent a lot of time talking to her about it, expressing his affection with flowery words:

“Emmy Lou, if I had a thousand eyes, they would all be gazing at you.”
“Emmy Lou, if I had a thousand arms, they would all be hugging you”.
“Emmy Lou, if I had a thousand lips, they would all be kissing you!” 

One day Emmy Lou, having had enough and on the verge of losing her patience, looked at Homer and replied, “Homer, stop complaining about what you don’t have and start using what you do have!”