Entering A Complaint Free World

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In an ironic sign of perfect timing, I caught an old article by Tim Ferris over at The Four Hour Work Week Blog on January 1, 2010. The article entitled Real Mind Control: The 21 day No Complaint Experiment. Now, I am not one of the types that sets themselves up for failure by signing up for 20 New Years Resolutions only to fail at 95% of them by February 1st. I like to set new goals all the time so I can keep myself upbeat and focus on moving forward continuously instead of once annually. But, there are always exceptions to the rule. And this was that case.

Without thinking twice, which wasn’t a great way to start off my new fiscal year but I digress, I purchased 10 bracelets from A Complaint Free World. I did not just do this because T. Ferriss did and I love his work and lifestyle (though that didn’t hurt the cause). The following are the reasons I decided to take on this 21 Day Challenge…

Why I did it…

  • I can be very negative at times despite my usual positive outlook on everything.
  • It will better my relationships
  • I will build stronger, more positive connections
  • I strive to be as positive thinking as people like Pete Carroll
  • It couldn’t hurt to be more positive
  • What does complaining ever accomplish

So, after about 5 seconds of deep thought, I jumped at the opportunity to make a positive change in the new year and purchased the bracelets. I doubt that the $10 I spent on them will ever come back to haunt me and this type of lifestyle change will be worth more than the money.

What I will be doing?

I will be switching over the bracelet from one wrist to the other anytime I complain, gossip, and/or criticize anyone or thing until I accomplish this feat for 21 days straight. I have a strong feeling I will be switching it over frequently. Hopefully, I can eventually accomplish this goal and maintain such mental thinking that I do not complain EVER AGAIN. Fingers crossed.

Why Did I Have to Buy Bracelets?

Great question! For all of us, there are things that will get us going on our goal paths. For some, joining a gym is necessary to get in shape. For others, it is using cash instead of plastic to budget their finances better. Well, for me, this was a way that I could physically remember and implement a change in my life that was easily traceable.

I will be following Ferriss’ approach rather than the one that Will Bowen, the author of A Complaint Free World, describes. So what was Tim’s method you ask. Here are the words directly from the horses mouth (no offense Tim)…

I decided to go with Tim’s path to improvement because I think it allows me to constructively criticize and improve the situation for all. The other way around would be tougher for someone like me because there is not a solution being implemented for a problem. I love solving problems so, for me, this way is kind of like, “You can go outside and play after you finish your Calculus 2 homework.” Sure, it is still tough, but I get to do what I also love, improving things, still.

All in all…

I am excited to challenge this part of my brain. It is very difficult for me to not criticize so this will be one of my toughest challenges in 2010. I will keep you updated on my progress throughout.

Wanna Take the Challenge?

Do you want one of these spiffy bracelets that may just turn your negative thinking around FOREVER? Here’s the deal.

I am going to keep 4 of these as they tend to break for flipping wrist to wrist a lot (which may happen for me). I have already promised one to a faithful follower about a week ago. I am also giving one away through The Minimalist Path. I want to keep one as back up just in case I promised it to someone and forgot so that will leave me with 3 to give away.

Here are the steps you can take to get one of the three…

  1. Donate any amount over $1 or more through the safe and secure PayPal button below to LifeExcursion so that I can purchase this and start providing awesome video blogs.
  2. Include in the PayPal message “I heart LifeEx” (or email me the line after you donate).
  3. The 1st, 5th, and 10th people to donate and include that message (in the PayPal payment or by email afterward) will receive the bracelets.
  4. I will ship the bracelet to you anywhere in the world.
  5. You will start being complaint free and more positive, hopefully, instantly.

The reason, as stated in #1, is so that I can bolster LifeExcursion’s presence with all of you. I want to start providing incredible video blogs that will help improve your life. I promise, none of this money is going into my pocket. I am not trying to steal money away from you guys. I am just trying to support the blog through things you support and would like to see. If the demand for a better LifeExcursion is there as demonstrated by donations of even $1 to get to the $155 goal, then I am excited to supply such an incredible new feature for you all. Any and all money donated above and beyond the $155 will go directly towards one of your favorite charities which will be voted on by YOU if such is necessary.

Currently, we sit at $35 donated after 1 day. Only $120 to go. Thanks to everyone who has contributed so far!!!

David Damron

5 Responses to Entering A Complaint Free World

  1. Good points. Negative complaining is usually unconstructive. These days whenever I think I’m about to complain about something, I try to decide if it is really worth it or beneficial? Most of the time, it is not worth it and hardly beneficial. Lately I’ve tried to always think it over by myself before saying nonsense complaints or negative criticisms and getting others involved.
    Great challenge Damron, hook up the 21 Days!

  2. Can’t wait to receive it Dave!

  3. Natalie Ross says:

    Wow! This couldn’t have come at a better time for me personally. This is something I constantly struggle with. Just the other day, a co-worker told me she heard a speech made by the CEO of a local bank. He suggested only complaining “up” in the workplace. Don’t complain “sideways” or “down”. If you have a complaint, take it to someone who can actually make a difference, vs. a co-worker or subordinate. I loved this idea, but your challenge takes it to a whole new level. I can’t wait to begin this exercise in self-control!

  4. This is awesome–I’m also going to do this post-recovery. I’ve got quite the list of stuff now :) . Also, I read an article or it may have been a TED talk that discussed effective habit breaking. The gist of it was that it’s counterproductive to mentally punish yourself for accidentally complaining (in this case) because it’s actually conditioning you not to notice that you’re complaining, rather than conditioning you to not complain. The resource suggests to take note of your mistake and actually appreciate that you caught yourself doing it.

    They then broke it down into three phases of habit breaking during which you should follow the above behavior: first, you catch yourself after you complain; second, you catch yourself as the words are coming out of your mouth; third, you catch yourself right before you complain; and pretty soon the habit goes away. I’ve done this with getting rid of some nervous fall-back words/sounds with respect to public speaking.

    This process also fits very well within the method Tim talks about and I think would make it much more effective–I haven’t tested it with this particular experiment, but I’m definitely going to..

  5. Such a good idea Dave. I try and do this myself because there’s nothing useful about plain ol’ complaining. And it’s hard to listen to!!

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