Life Question: Why Do We Complain So Much?

Why do we complain so much? Are we really that unhappy or void of positivity? Or is life really that bad?

Ah, this question really takes the cake. As one who has a moderate level of the secret complainers gene, I should probably have a more introspective answer to this question. I do not openly complain when I am in a situation where I feel that people will not be able to relate to my frustrations, but in my mind is another story. I mean really, who wants to come off like a negative person? Not me; society hates that. Nonetheless, I mostly find myself complaining about work and my frustrations with it, and since work consumes so much of my time (part of what I complain about) I find myself constantly trying to kick myself in the brain. “I am so sick of…” Wait, at least you have a job. “They are so incompetent.” Wait, be nice. “I am just always tired and I never have enough time [or money] to…” Stop it. Go to bed earlier and hush because someone has it far worse.This all happens in my mind, and occasionally (or very often, sorry love) to my darling who I know will listen to my non-sense. Truthfully, I do not have much to complain about; I have a happy life with great friends and loved ones to spend it with.

But what is it that makes our minds drift away to negativity land when we are often surrounded by more pros than cons? I don’t know, but I have some clues about the factors that might play a role. Here are some questions to consider if you are a complainer:

Are you unhappy with yourself and where you are in life but are too afraid to change it?

Do you just want attention?

Are you just complaining because it’s your way of fitting in?

Are you subconsciously reaching out for help and advice?

Do you feel you have to complain because “some things are just too good to be true?”

Do you complain because you don’t want people to dislike you and say/think things like “you are always happy”, “your life is so perfect,” or “you think are better than me” (which is nothing more than projection of their issues onto you)?

Are you scapegoating? Are you the problem but are too weak to admit it and instead complain about everyone else?

Or finally, is it really that bad and it is time for you to change the situation?

As I write this post I am thinking, “uggghh, I really don’t want to go to work tomorrow because…” So you see, I am a work in progress too.

Most of us complain at some point or another, but I have noticed a major difference between those that complain and those that rarely ever do– locus of control. Locus of control deals with the degree to which a person feels they have control over the events in their life. A person with an internal locus of control believes that they are the greatest controlling factor over their life’s results and a person with an external locus of control believes that outside forces are responsible for the outcomes of their life. Those who complain more have an external locus of control and take less responsibility for the power and control they have to change the situation. Which one are you? Usually for me, I find that I complain more when I am allowing fear, doubt, or the security of familiarity and comfort zones to dominate my better judgement and my faith. In those instances, it is easier to complain about the situation and people than to do the hard work or make the difficult decision to change what I am complaining about. It might be a relationship, job, politics, social norm, or the weather, but how much you complain reveals whether you are taking control of your own happiness.

Try to start minimizing how much you intentionally or unintentionally complain. It may take small steps, but it is time to conquer the beast. Oh, and complaining about the weather counts; so stop it.

What do you think? Why do we complain so much?

 

Be a what?

#random So often I hear people say “be a man” or “be a woman?” I thought about it again and I am questioning what that really means. Aren’t they already a man or woman by gender? So what exactly are we telling them to be? What does being a man or woman even look like, if there is such a look or action(s)?

It is starting to sound like a redundant expectation of living up to something that you already are. Are we really trying to tell people to be more powerful, confident, more _________ (fill in the blank), etc? Then why don’t we just say that? We tell people to be a noun (man/woman) instead of guiding their behavior toward an adjective like an “admirable” man or an “ambitious” woman, etc. I don’t know about you but I don’t know how to aspire to be what I already am – a woman.

Maybe so many people are walking around the world lost because they are continually given the vague advice of “be a man” or “be a woman.” When I hear someone say that again, I will ask them for specifics.

What do you think? Comment below.

I Have a Mental Handicap.

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I think I have been living with a slight handicap. Though positive, sensible, and intelligent, my mind likes to drift toward over-thinking. I start out thinking about the great possibilities and outcomes, and then my handicap kicks in. What about the negative? What if this happens? What if that does not work? There is simply too much “what if it doesn’t” and not enough “what if it does.” In my world, everything negative “could” happen to me, but the reality is that it “doesn’t” happen to me. Yet, when it is time to take the next risk, my silly mind disregards the reality that I am more success-prone than failure-prone. If anyone else has figured out this phenomenon, comment below and explain this brain complexity to me.

In a world where we are surrounded by negative news, rare cases, and the need to report it all on local and national news sources, it is easy to believe that “bad” things are more likely to happen to us than the “good.” It is easy to fear that we are just one poor decision away from the “negative” knocking on our door.

I am starting to believe that there is some negative we can prevent and some that we cannot. If we reject the idea that perfection is attainable for humanity then we must also accept that the universe will not deal our life a “perfect” hand. The end result may look perfect but the process never is. As a child, if even one child was reported to have drowned on the news, my parents likely didn’t want us to go swimming that summer. Well, I should note that one of my siblings actually drowned before (but survived), so that might have contributed to their fear. The funny thing is that in my case I was actually on a swim team in 3rd and 4th grade so I knew how to swim. I was no Olympian in the making, but I could swim across the pool and back. Despite my training, my mind always considered the possibility that I might drown if I was not careful. So, instead of learning how to become a better swimmer, I learned to always keep the edge of the pool in sight. To make it worse, I heard of one man on TV drowning from a leg cramp, so I was quite sure that if I wandered into the deep end for too long my leg muscles would rebel against me too. I was letting the negative outweigh the positive possibilities. I assessed the risk and decided to be cautiously complacent.

There is nothing wrong with considering the risk in any situation, especially when it comes to goal setting and trying new things. My problem has been in balancing the pros with the cons. For every negative outcome there is also the possibility for a positive outcome. Yes, it may not work, but what if it does? Yes, you may get hurt, but then again you might not. Yes, your life may be altered, but maybe it might change for the better. All you need is one more pro than con for the entire scale to weigh in as positive. If there was any negative at all, I considered it a loss or potential failure. However, I don’t think life works that way — the positive just needs to outweigh the negative.

So what have I been doing to overcome my handicap you ask? For every negative fearful thought, I try thinking of the corresponding positive outcome. Then, I try working toward the outcome which will bring me the most happiness or success in life – usually that outcome is on the “pros” side of the list.

How do you balance your thoughts?

Happiness Quote

Most people think happiness is about gaining something, but it’s not. It’s all about getting rid of the darkness you’ve accumulated. – Jo Oz @ozlifeadvice

Validation

Validation: To make legal. To confirm. To give approval to. To recognize or affirm the worth of.

Life deals us a hand of cards at birth and we begin to live and respond to the cards we’ve been dealt. Circumstances, background, family, disappointments are all used as explanations for the deficiencies, nuances, and quirks that we develop along the journey. I grew up somewhat naive about many of the things people do to cope with this thing called life (ie. drugs, sex, YOLO (“you only life once”) moments, “turn up” extravaganzas, and street life survival techniques (aka fights)). Although I didn’t participate in much of anything considered “fun” when I was younger, I had more than my fair share of the same emotions that prompted those activities in other people: pain, hurt, happiness, sadness, confusion, desire, love, emptiness, joy, and desperation. On the long list of reasons we provide for people’s behaviors and choices, “validation” is often left out.

We often say people are looking for love, success, peace, happiness, answers, and even adventure in life. However, I don’t often hear people give the same weight to the idea that validation plays a big role in the decisions people make in their life. In some cases, we might seek a certain level of success to validate our belief that we are indeed intelligent, competent, and valuable. People sometimes join groups to validate their worth and to gain acceptance. Sometimes we care about our image solely because compliments reassure us that we are beautiful/handsome. Often people find themselves accepting a strange kind of love in relationships because, whether wonderful or painful, that love oddly validates the idea that they are lovable. Everybody wants to be validated and reassured that this world wants his or her existence. Think about it. Who wants to feel like the world could care less if they were ever created?

The reason we seek validation is the same reason we are drawn toward believing that we have a greater purpose in this life. The problem begins when people seek external validation more than internal confidence. I would be lying to you if I said that we don’t need validation from people from time to time. However, people can only validate you to the extent that they believe in your worth. People waver; and if they do, that might also mean your confidence will waver too. In order to develop a true unwavering sense of internal validation, you need to find the inner conviction that you are valuable and have something meaningful (great or small) to offer the people in your world. Internal validation is not something that develops overnight; you might need to have multiple sources, places, and routines to keep your validation scale tipped in the internal versus external direction, but that struggle is just a part of life.

I have found that the greatest validation I have ever experienced in my life has been the sense that I have been created ON purpose and FOR many purposes. When I feel connected with the universe and God, it reminds me that I am valid and have been legitimately placed on earth.

What is your source(s) of validation?

Want Happiness? Get Discipline.

When I think about happiness in areas of love, career, relationships, finances, health, and just life in general, I find that discipline is an essential factor to finding and maintaining that “happy place” we so desperately strive for. If I am honest with myself, the times in my life when I have been the most “happy” have been the times when I have felt productive, organized, goal-oriented, and disciplined with my time and resources. You know those times when you have a goal in mind – and you know the necessary steps to achieve it – but the steps require significant focus, sacrifice, and discipline? Yeah, that’s exactly what I am saying. It seems that it is very easy to dream and set goals, but it takes a disciplined person to achieve them.

From a young age, we teach our children that hard work pays off, and the truth is it usually does. But, hard work is not always the golden ticket to success because one can work hard but not work “disciplined.” Sometimes we end up working so hard, because we were not as disciplined as we should have been to begin with. Or, maybe that’s just me.

I have found that success in any area takes unwavering discipline in ones thoughts, behaviors, associations, beliefs, and emotions. It is not always an easy task but it is a key to success. So, if you are lacking happiness or struggling to find success in a particular area, check your level of discipline in your thoughts, behavior, associations with other people, belief system, and/or your emotions. I know that if I am honest with myself, I can use a little more discipline, or maybe even a lot more.

15 Ways to Not Let a Breakup Break You

We have all had our fair share of breakups. Right? Well, I can vividly remember those times in my life when I called various friends hysterically crying, barely able to form a tear-free sentence, all while gasping for air on account of a break up. In some cases, it felt like the end – like life would never be the same without that person. Despite friends telling me “you will get over this,” in those moments it was very hard to envision the future. Well, truth be told, I always “got over it,” and they were right when they told me someone better suited eventually comes along.

The key factor that always helped me move on was not allowing one unfavorable moment in my life to overshadow the rest of my life. I always moved on, learned, grew, and allowed the next wonderful person to come into my life… and boy am I glad I did. In one case, the “next wonderful person” was the same wonderful person from before, but we needed time apart to figure out that we really wanted “the one” to be each other. Sometimes relationships don’t work out simply because it is not the right timing, or in other words each person is not on the proverbial “same page.”

In my daily work, I see people – both young and old – living life paralyzed and emotionally bruised because of a breakup. Sometimes they recover and other times it emotionally stunts them from having new fulfilling relationships. In other cases, I observe people never breaking up with a person – that for various reasons they should not be with – simply because they are scared of what life might be like without that person or because they are just scared of being alone. I know many of us can relate to those two scenarios as well. Whatever the case, a breakup may bend you in all sorts of shapes, but it does not have to break you.

Here are some ideas and tips to get over a breakup without losing your mind:

1. Have confidence in yourself. If you are a beautiful person inside, in due time you will not have trouble finding someone else.

2. Understand and accept that loving someone does not mean you are supposed to be in or stay in a relationship with that person.

3. Instead of spending all your time focused on “getting over” that person, focus on accepting that it probably would not have worked out anyway if you stay with that person. Better now than later.

4. Surrender and trust in time. Either it might work out some day if in time both parties grow and mature, or “time” will help you move on (if you allow it to, of course). Time may not heal all wounds, but it sure gives them new perspective. All you have to do is get there. You may not understand everything about the breakup, but in time it will not hurt as much. So go to sleep (figuratively) and know that eventually one morning you will be at peace with it.

5. Accept that having “chemistry” does not mean that person is “the one.”

6. Allow yourself to feel the “hurt,” but don’t let it consume or paralyze you.

7. Don’t obsess about finding a reason why it didn’t work out.

8. Learn the lessons. Identify those things you ignored or put up with that you should not have and learn from it. All relationships reveal something about you too.

9. Prepare for Second-Guessing. One moment you might feel like you’ve moved on and then… BOOM you start questioning everything again. Once you start wavering too much, all it takes is a sweet word, hot body, or random text to get you right back in a relationship that you probably should not be in. If time has passed and you feel that the reasons you broke it off were minor – and they have been resolved within yourself or the other person – than it is up to you to decide if you want to resume/restart the relationship. But, if the reasons were MAJOR, keep it moving forward, not backwards. Remember, loving someone does not mean you have to be in a relationship with them. Also, blaming yourself for playing a major role in the breakup does not mean you have to go back and “make it right” or give it another chance. You live and you learn.

10. Whatever you neglected while you were with that person, go focus on that. Don’t just sit around. An idle mind will find something to occupy it. Therefore, it will usually be filled with thoughts of the other person. If you want to “get over” them, sitting around is one of the worst things you can do.

11. Depression is a real thing. Some of the “pain” or broken-heartedness you feel might be depression which is natural and induced by chemicals in your body. Don’t go killing yourself because you “can’t get over it.” Talk to someone you trust or go see a therapist.

12. Sometimes the hardest thing is imagining the other person being with someone else. Truth is, you may not even want to be with that person anymore but the thought of them being with someone else still makes you feel strange. So instead, think about YOU being with someone else and envision all the lovely memories and experiences you will have someday with someone new and amazing.

13. Don’t be so quick to give away your forever. Sometimes people are in ill-fitted relationships that repeatedly end in breakups because they are too eager to date, settle down, and get married. I understand that no one wants to be alone, but the rest of your life is a long time (hopefully). Take your time. Grow. Let your life unfold in the timing meant for your life.

14. Forgive them. Then, forgive yourself.

15. Create new memories to replace the old ones. Go to new places; do new things with the people you love and in due time you will see that your life doesn’t end when you go through a breakup. More importantly, you will start to see that your purpose in life is much more than one relationship with one person.

If you need advice or just someone to talk to, comment below!

Quiet.

Lately, I have been oddly quiet, well at least that’s what I would call it.

The “quiet” started with a series of mixed emotions leading up to my 30th birthday. I always told myself that “age is nothing but a number,” so I am not sure why I ingested the panic juice around turning “the big 3-0.” I became anxious to the fact that I (1) could not control time and (2) to the fact that my life clock was (and is) ticking whether I use it meaningfully or not. Although I found myself quiet and pensive, my mind was wide awake juggling both intense reflection and hopeful visioning. I was emotionally spiraling down a road that looked like nothing more than a dead end and needed to snap back to reality quickly.

I am sometimes guilty of thinking more about life’s big questions than listening for the answers to the questions I have already asked of life. It is in those times that I decided that I must listen quietly, without limitations or interference. So listen I did, but this time to what my life speaks to me, more than to what society and people speak into my life. 

I want to live a life in which I worry more about living a life of purpose and growth than about age and timelines. In some strange way, age is a hindrance to growth. In our early years, we think that we have more time to live. Then as we get older, we use age as a measuring tool of how successful and fulfilling our life has been. It is not until someone young dies that we remember that life should be measured less by age and more by value and purpose. We all die, but can we all say that we were “alive” while we were living, or is it more a case of living like the walking dead?

We should live life like Nemo and “just keep swimming…just keep swimming” letting every stroke build upon the last to move us in the right direction and a little bit “forward” every day. And forward is where we want to go, right? Well, forward is the direction we all have to go whether we like it or not. Either we will move forward living and learning, or we will become stuck… in which case life will still move forward without us. See, I was more worried about what I had not accomplished by 30 and how I was now one day closer to death. Then life hit me. I thought about all the people who have died in their youth and it reminded me of the fact that it is not about what age you are, but more about how much you have lived. Dreams are not accomplished overnight, but they will never be realized if we don’t travel/live through each day and each year.

Everything written above is what I tried to tell myself, but naturally I fell into the trap of allowing myself to listen too much to the opinions and voices of “people” and society. I listened to everyone else around me as they asked me questions about “what is next,” what was I doing for the big day, and to their suggestions on what and how I should move forward. So to clear out the influences of “people,” I took what I now see as an unintentional, but necessary, mental cleanse, in which I let my mind breath, wander, question, resolve, reorganize, and recharge. I think the silence is over. What I have to say, I do not yet know.