PERSPECTIVES: DON’T GRUMBLE

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 “Grumbling is the death of love” Marlene Dietrich

 

For those who do not know what grumbling is, allow me a short non-scientific definition: It is to make constant complaining and annoying remarks or noises under your breath about one or many things which others may take in their stride as “part of life”.

Grumbling wastes time – your ever-diminishing, irreplaceable, finite resource. Time lost grumbling is time wasted, or more precisely – Life wasted. It eats away at your emotional energy and diminishes you in the eyes of other people.

  • In short, it affects you physical, social, emotional, mental, intellectual and spiritual currency – personally and with other people.

If what you are grumbling about is really an issue, then the time is better spent resolving the issue. If you cannot resolve it, recall part of the Serenity Prayer by Reinhold Niebuhr, which reads:

“God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference”, and the full version of which has been adopted by Alcoholics Anonymous, including “Living one day at a time; Enjoying one moment at a time..”

 

Physical

Grumbling does nothing good for you. I recall having a hang-over grumble early one morning on a ferry-ride from Greece mainland to the island of Crete and my brother suggested I jump overboard if I was not happy and at least make the sharks happy! He was fairly direct in speaking his mind – which is what I needed to cure me of my grumbling. The sharks needed to look for food elsewhere.

 

Social

Grumbling cements you in the view of other people as a negative person, someone who cannot sort out or face the pressures of life – which is not the image you would like to project of yourself. Small wonder that most people try to avoid grumblers.

The question is “Once a grumbler, always a grumbler?” The answer is “No”. It is possible to learn to be patient as well as to see matters in perspective and how to deal with pressure – internal and external – as is evident with the Serenity Prayer, which might as well be renamed the Grumbler’s Prayer.

 

Mental

Grumbling wears you down mentally and it becomes a challenge to get out of the rut you are in. With every repetition of your grumble, you convince yourself further that what you are grumbling about is true, for example “it is hot” becomes “it is very hot” and eventually becomes “I cannot stand this heat!”.

Get out of the rut. Go for a walk, come back and consider the wisdom of your three options: either approve of the situation, or fix it, or sigh and succumb to it.

 

Emotional

Constant grumbling drip-erodes your emotional energy as well as wear the people around you thin with patience. For fear of repeating myself: See above three options.

 

Intellectual

Intellectualize both the item you grumble about as well as the effect of your grumbling and you may be on the path to recovery by convincing yourself of the futility of its grumble-worthiness. There is no “Grumbler of the Year” Award.

 

Spiritual

There are those who consider challenges to be an opportunity to grow and to self-discover, a test of faith, and possibly even a visitation by a Higher Order – all of which are designed to make us stronger human beings on all fronts. We are often tempered and purified by challenges and crises out of which can be born resilience. We often do not know our inner strength until we need it. It is my belief that we are “given only the mountains that we are able – and willing – to climb”.

 

KEY PRINCIPLES

  • Grumblers are Life’s losers – in terms of most aspects.
  • People avoid grumblers.
  • Grumbling lands you in a rut.
  • Grumbling steals you emotional energy.
  • The path to recover from your grumbling is to convince yourself of its futility.
  • Challenges are opportunities to grow. We are “given only the mountains that we are able – and willing – to climb”

 

ACTION STEPS

  • Choose to not grumble.
  • Change the subject to a positive one – look at what you can be thankful for.
  • Get out of the rut. Either approve of the situation, act on it, or accept it.
  • Guard against losing friends due to your grumbling.
  • Think about your grumbling, its futility, and what you can do best with that energy.
  • Self-discover and grow. Seek your Inner Strength.

 

(“PERSPECTIVES” are excerpts from my forthcoming book of the same name, to be published by Partridge Publications in early 2015.

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