I live in Singapore. Other than Singlish and our food, do you know what we are famous for?
We are notorious for this. Every little thing that happens to us is an opportunity to hem and haw about how hard life is and how bad things are for us.
Complaining does serve some purpose, and it is always better to let off steam rather than keep our grievances bottled up inside. But when we do it too often, it becomes a habit. It becomes chronic.
It becomes a way of life. And trust me, this is not the kind of life you want for yourself or anyone else.
Let me say this before I go any further: I myself am the King of Complainers. Anyone who knows me well knows that I can go on and on about anything that ticks me off in the slightest. So this article is as much for myself as it is for you, my readers.
What happens when we complain about something? A few things.
First, we blame something external as the source of the problem. It can be a person, an event, a situation, an unforeseen circumstance, or anything really. Just as long as it’s not us.
Second, we mentally register that we are unhappy due to this problem.
These two combined form what I call a lethal combination. Not literally lethal of course, but lethal to our wellbeing.
Why do I say this? This is because by complaining, we are giving up two very precious things:
First, the opportunity to improve ourselves. When we blame something external, we are also washing our hands of the matter. We are saying that there isn’t anything better we can do about the situation, because the problem lies with that external thing we’ve blamed, and therefore it is solely responsible for making things right.
But that’s almost never true, is it? There is always something that is under our control that can be done to make things better. And one of those things we can always do is to not complain and be unhappy.
Which brings me to the second thing we have given up: our happiness.
We can put a price tag on our house. We can do a valuation on the worth of our car. But have we ever assessed what is the worth of our happiness?
For every minute you are angry, you lose sixty seconds of happiness.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson
Too often, we don’t treat our happiness as having any value. That is why we are so quick to give it up and become upset and unhappy about things.
Instead of thinking about why life is so unkind towards us, we should be thinking, “Am I going to give up my precious happiness for this? Is this a good deal?”
Chances are, it probably isn’t.
The importance of being happy or content cannot be overstated. Being happy lowers stress levels, is good for health, and also leads to higher performance in all areas of our life, whether it be work or play. And of course, the main benefit of being happy is….. being happy!
I can give an example of how being happy leads to success if it helps. If you were going to make a sales pitch to someone, do you think you would have a better chance of success if you were happy and enthusiastic, or jaded and bitter? I think it’s a no-brainer, right?
So the next time you find something to complain about, let it go. Focus on how you have the power to improve the situation and retain your precious happiness. Do this, and you’ll always be moving forward. You’ll always be improving, getting better while others stop dead in their tracks because they’ve decided that the problems they face are a good enough reason to stop and start wallowing in their misery. Don’t be like that. Life is too precious to waste being unhappy.
Hope you enjoyed reading this article! I know I’ve been gone a long while but I’m back now! Just waiting for the next bout of inspiration to hit. Any suggestions are highly encouraged! If you want to support me, please like and share this article with your friends and loved ones!