Tuesday, September 1, 2015

No complaining, please!

Today is September 1st and summer has officially come to an end. A new season brings a great opportunity to take a refreshed look at things. So, in the spirit of self-revising, I will set myself a challenge, or will conduct an experiment rather. Over the next 30 days, there will be no complaining.

Let me elaborate. Over the next 30 days I will make every effort not to vocalize negative sentiments that will not lead to actual action. So, no complaining, no negative comments, no "policing", no whining, no arguing, no debating etc. You get the picture.

Why am I doing this? If you ask people who know me, I don't think they would describe me as a negative person or a pessimist. In my own self-assessment, I'm pretty easy going and generally happy. So this is not an intervention or an "attitude-detox". However, I've noticed how often negative comments creep into conversations, almost like fillers we don't really think about. I'm curious to know how much I do it myself.

I'm also hoping to discover in what ways it will affect my conversations when I become more aware of how I participate in them. This will make me much more mindful of the words I speak. And how will this affect my thoughts? Will I internalize and turn my mind into a cynical whiner, because I lack other outlets? Or will I let things go faster because I can't seek reinforcements?

Since this experiment came about out of curiosity, rather than needing a life-overhaul, and in keeping with a positive attitude, I will not be penalized if I slip, there will be no "swear-jar". I will allow myself to answer questions honestly and I will always have the option to say no, or to walk away. This is a "no-negativity" challenge, not a "always-positive" challenge. Also, I realize the subjective nature of defining "negative", but when in doubt, at least I will have to make a conscious decision.

If you and I have a conversation over the next 30 days, please help me and call me out if I slip. Please be patient if it takes me longer to respond than usual. In the best of worlds, these 30 days will not be much different from all other days. In the worst of worlds, these 30 days will be very quite days. But then again, maybe quite isn't always such a bad thing.

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