Imagine the productivity enhancements a company of positive problem solvers could achieve, nobody criticising their customers or colleagues instead offering constructive and helpful feedback all the time! imagine an enhanced relationship with your friends and family full of supportive encouragement not bitching behind each others backs or immediately leaping to what’s wrong with their idea or suggestion.
I firmly believe everyone can do anything they set their minds to through creating the right environment, focus and perseverance so why not do something that will positively enhance your life?
My team will be rolling their eyes about now. Some will be plotting my demise with this challenge already. To some extent it’s understandable with months of me and monthly challenges under their belts. Others just plain old enjoy complaining, not something I can really understand and something I am sensing creeping into our culture slowly on occasion vs the positive, collaborative and supportive company we aspire to be. When Geoff proposed this for our OptimalHQ monthly challenge in October as a counterpoint to our month of no sugar, meat, coffee etc he didn’t find many takers, hopefully when they experience the change they will consider it for themselves too.
So what’s this complaint free life all about you ask? The 21 day complaint free world was created by an american pastor Will Bowen who, using purple bracelets as a reminder to keep track of days you are complaint free, convinced his congregation to be complaint free for 21 days. Oprah‘s inclusion in her show made it a mainstream event and now it’s a global challenge with people from over 80 countries ordering the bracelets to keep track of how many days they have been complaint free. Yes there is a book, and merchandise and there religious aspect but I’m trucking along ignoring those aspects of the challenge.
Where the challenge (ignore the pun) will lie is in the fine line of “constructive criticism” and the “rules” we apply to what constitutes a complaint. Will Bowen’s description of a complaint is “to express pain, grief, or discontent.” His advice is to “Talk about what you DO want and not what you DON’T want.” It seems we complain 15-30 times a day without realising it, and since I have been mentally preparing for this challenge I must concur. To reach a state of being complain free for 21 consecutive days takes most people around 7 months!
In researching the 21 days complaint free challenge I found this description of a complaint that I think will be my rulebook, “describing an event or person negatively without indicating next steps to fix the problem” a link to that blog along with others who have successfully achieved the goal can be found below.
So, unless I am setting myself up for failure, away I go into a new complaint free life! will keep you posted. Vic.
Links to complaint free articles and blogs:
http://www.outstand.org/index.php/2014/01/2653/ (complaint free workplace, awesome)