Several years ago I received an e-mail with the following quote from Henry Ford: “Never Complain, Never Explain.” Below the quote it recommended that we print the quote on a piece of paper and hang it on a wall where we would see it every day. We were only allowed to take it down when an entire day went by without complaining.
I thought to myself, “Game on. This is going to be easy.” But then reality began to sink in. Day after day I went to work promising myself that this was going to be the last day I would ever complain about anything—and time after time I failed. The harder I tried, the more I realized how hard this seemingly simple task was to achieve. I even said to myself at one point, “Come on, Edward. You’re a motivational speaker who travels the globe teaching this stuff. Why can’t you rid yourself of this nasty habit?”
Then it dawned on me. It’s in our makeup to complain. It’s part of our nature to make excuses, because doing so gets us off the hook. How many times have you caught yourself saying:
I’m pissed and it’s your fault.
I’m depressed and it’s your fault.
I am divorced because of you. It’s all your fault.
I lost all my money and it’s all your fault.
I’m fat and it’s all your fault.
And the list goes on and on.
The good thing that came out of playing this game is that I now realize how much I complain and judge others. Being aware of a certain behavior is always a good place to start.
What happened afterward was nothing short of miraculous. I decided to walk my talk and practice what I preach. I decided that no matter what happened in my life, I WAS GOING TO TAKE 100 PERCENT RESPONSIBILITY FOR MY LIFE AND MY RESULTS. I also realized that blaming and complaining never produces any results and never will. Complaining puts all the power out there, which leaves the complainer feeling powerless and acting like a victim. You can bring the power back in when you stop blaming and start taking responsibility for everything that happens in your life—AND I DO MEAN EVERYTHING.
If you lose your job, take responsibility for it.
If your loved one leaves you, take responsibility for it.
If one of your tenants stops paying you their rent, take responsibility for it.
If __________________ ( you fill in the blank), take responsibility for it.
In my final words I am inviting you to stop being a Drama Mama or an Excuse King. Life is for living, laughing and enjoying.
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