I have made an effort to stop complaining in the past year. I never liked to complain in public, but I would complain to those closest to me. It is a terrible thing to do to anyone. Complaining drives people away and only serves to solidify the thing you are complaining about in your life.
Complaining is a disease. I’ve heard it said that what you think about on a daily basis is what you become. Dwelling on something bad only causes it to become a bigger part of your life. It gives power to the negative instead of to the positive.
The gym is where I interact with a diverse group of people. I can look back over the years, and thanks to social media, I can see where most of the people I have trained with at different points in my life have ended up.
For the most part, the guys who never spent time complaining at the gym, they just showed up, trained hard and even took extra time to practice after the rest of the team had finished, have gone on to accomplish big things in life. One such person that comes to mind is a lawyer in Orange County.
I remember the day he first walked into the gym I was at. At that point he was overweight. I was paired up with him during practice, and to be truthful, my inner dialogue of complaints started in my head. He is not in shape…. he is not going to stick with this… why am I stuck working with him? He proved me wrong, and I am ashamed of the way I judged him. He lost weight, he got in shape and he became a friend. The last I heard he was still training Jiu Jitsu, moved up to a purple belt and became very successful in his law office.
I can think of many others over the years who have come across my path for periods of time and moved on to accomplish big things. Why were these people able to overcome obstacles that to others, like me, appeared to block their path in life?
Combat sports teach those who participate that it is up to the individual to do what it takes to achieve goals. If you want to succeed, quitting is not an option. If you give it your all and fall short, you must come back again and keep working hard.
I have other friends I have known for years and years who I cannot speak to for more than a couple of minutes before they start in with the complaints about life and its unfairness. It is hard for me to speak to them for long because of their bad attitudes. They have never understood that their problems stem from within. They do not want to hear it and they just keep on blaming everything else – circumstances, people, bad luck, the weather – anything at all except themselves.
They do not realize that they have to go straight to the source and tackle that problem head on. The solution is within you.
When I feel myself start to voice a complaint I stop myself both vocally and mentally because I know it is a waste of valuable time that I could instead use to solve my problem.
I can see why people fall into the trap, and when I watch it happen I wish I could help them. Most are so caught up in their own perceived misery that they cannot accept any solution. They never realize they alone hold the key to their happiness.
I enjoy doing many things in my life that most people would consider work. I go to bed early so that I can wake up early so I can enjoy walking my dogs each morning. I like to eat the right foods so I feel good and get the most out of what I put in my body. That, in turn, makes me want to push myself in the gym because that also makes me feel better. Being in shape and strong makes boxing, kickboxing, and Jiu Jitsu fun.
Life is hard. A big part of it is adjusting to changes, challenging ourselves, finishing what we start and knowing that in the end, hard diligent work pays off. Complaining will only work against each of those tasks.
I am reading a book at the moment in which the author points out that we all have access to the greatest mentors from history, and we can sit down with them on a daily basis. He is referring to the Bible, and that is the truth. Each time I spend time reading in the Bible I find a new lesson to apply to my daily life, and the lesson to stop complaining came directly from there.
Do all things without grumbling or complaining.
Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.