The fact that you’ve probably never enjoyed listening to anyone else complain is a pretty solid sign that no one enjoys listening to you do it either.
Help stamp out rampant complaining.
Always focus on solutions and what is within your power to change.
Even just changing your message from, “This is a problem!” to “This is a problem and I want to fix it.” changes your tone, implies there is a real purpose for your message and invites a discussion for solutions.
Anyone who ever attempts to achieve a lofty goal in life will nearly always have to deal with people who try to deter them from achieving their goals.
Whether one encounters true haters or simply well-meaning people offering what they consider to be reasonable play-it-safe advice, it may be helpful to know that the most vocal doubters and detractors of others’ dreams are often those who don’t have the confidence, attitude, or tenacity necessary to achieve their own.
“Don’t let someone who gave up on their dreams talk you out of yours.”
It’s not achievers who spend their time trying to steal other people’s dreams, it’s those who gave up on achieving their own — or worse, never tried.
It is the people who repeatedly set and struggle to achieve lofty goals in life that are often the most vocal cheerleaders for others who wish to do the same.
Because anyone who has ever struggled to achieve anything great knows that the journey to accomplish worthy goals is often fraught with hardship. Achievers know from experience that great tasks often appear improbable — or even impossible — before done.
So don’t waste your time worrying about the doubters who don’t believe in what you’re working to achieve.
Disregard those who find it necessary to point out your mistakes or failures without offering solutions.
Refuse to engage with people who seek to scare you from your chosen path by pointing out all of the things that could go wrong along the way.
And resist the urge to repeatedly explain your goals to those who refuse to understand them.
You don’t need the permission, approval, or understanding of others to achieve great things.
When you receive advice or criticism, be sure to consider its source. Those who know what it means to set lofty goals and struggle to achieve them will offer far more sage advice than those who don’t.
The more I browse social media, the more I see the increasing popularity of the belief that not giving a f*ck is the answer to all of life’s problems…
That the answer to caring too much about what people think is to not care
That the answer to caring too much about the world’s problems is to not care
That the answer to relieving stress in your life is to simply not give a f*ck about anything
And it simply isn’t true. This mode of handling things is just another dysfunctional extreme — the same as caring too much tends to be.
All that “not-giving-a-damn” does is fill the world with more of the types of people no one wants to run into — and as a byproduct, makes the world an even colder and more unfeeling place to be. This, in turn, creates a world of people who don’t care because it’s full of a world of people don’t care — ad infinitum.
The physical equivalent of not giving a damn about anything is putting a blindfold on and sticking your fingers in your ears. It doesn’t make problems go away, it perpetuates them by fooling you into thinking they don’t exist. And it creates a false sense of security and confidence.
The world doesn’t need any more people who don’t care about their fellow human beings (or anything else we share the planet universe with). The world needs more people who know how to effectively channel their energy into strategies that work. Refusing to listen to feedback or care about things is not an effective strategy.
“But I’ve been told not to care what others think or say about me!”, you say.
There is a big difference between not letting what others say about you have control over your sense of self-worth, and simply not caring what people say at all.
“Listen, smile, agree, and then do whatever the fuck you were gonna do anyway.” – Robert Downey Jr.
Listening to and being receptive to feedback is an important life skill and vital to being an effective communicator. (But so is knowing your environment and your audience — ie. youtube, Reddit, Xbox live…)
For example, if all you get is negative feedback about your attitude or behavior, then this may be a sign that there may be room for improvement in some aspect of how you handle things. If you keep finding yourself in similar negative situations with different people, employers, or relationships, then this may be a sign that the problem is not an external one.
This is sometimes evidenced by people who declare that they hate drama — and yet they are responsible for being attracted to or inviting into their lives the drama that they say they hate so much.
Another example, just because you don’t mean to hurt people’s feelings, but you inexplicably find yourself doing it over and over doesn’t mean it’s not your problem. It may be a sign that you are unaware of something you are doing and that you could easily improve upon if you chose to acknowledge it.
I’m not suggesting you should change for others or try to please everyone. I’m suggesting that if you are consistently causing issues that you don’t intend to, then that may be something worth taking a look at if you truly are open to improving things about yourself.
No one is perfect. We are all works-in-progress. And there is always room for improvement.
Sometimes we are so blind to our own behaviors — because we judge ourselves based on our intentions, not our actions — that we don’t realize when we suck. That’s when we actually need feedback from people to alert us to the things we are unaware of.
Most of the people who inconvenience others in the world don’t walk around thinking, “Yeah, I’m a sucky person.” On the contrary, they likely don’t realize that they are exactly the type of person they don’t want to be because they’ve learned to not give a damn about anything by ignoring negative feedback and giving positive feedback too much weight.
They’ve also never taken a good long look at themselves or what kind of affect — or inconvenience — they have on those around them. They might disregard feedback they’ve gotten with, “Well, I don’t care if people don’t like me.”
While you should, by no means, try to be liked by everyone, being likable matters in life:
Being likable, connecting with others, and forming relationships — whether it’s with an individual or an audience — is an integral part of being successful in life.
And being liked can have a direct impact on your health, your wealth, your general level of happiness, and how effective you are at achieving goals. (from Likability. Being liked and unliked)
And caring about things matters in life, too. The desire to make the world a better place doesn’t come from apathy. It often comes from discontent and a desire to fill a void or solve a problem.
“Restlessness is discontent and discontent is the first necessity of progress.” — Thomas Edison
It’s not people who don’t care that change the world. It’s people who do. And they care so much about something that their intense focus on whatever is within their power to change results in the whole world being affected.
The answer isn’t to stop giving a damn about everything.
By all means, care about things, but learn to let go of those things you have no control of (or no desire to).
Did someone cut you off, cut in line in front of you, fail to hold a door for you? By all means, care about these things, but learn an effective way to deal with them and to let go of those that don’t have any solution. Complaining? That’s not a solution.
Allowing yourself to be open is a sign of confidence, and it’s a strength that will get you much further in life, and provide you with the ability to weather more storms, than simply pretending that storms don’t exist.
In the same way that the hardest lessons we learn in life are often the most valuable, so, too, are the difficult people we meet along the way.
Even the unfriendliest and most challenging person we cross paths with has something of value to teach us about ourselves.
Sometimes we need to learn patience. Sometimes it’s self-discipline. Sometimes it’s to not let other people have so much control over our thoughts, feelings, and emotions.
Whatever it may be, the people we find particularly challenging are valuable because they can instantly highlight weaknesses in our self-control. They can trigger us to think, act, or behave in such a way that isn’t congruent with the type of person we want to be.
But every experience we have in life — whether we choose to label it as “good” or “bad” — is an opportunity for growth. And every encounter we have with difficult people provides us with an opportunity to identify the things we need to work on in order to close the gaps between the person we are and the person we want to be.
“Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.” — Victor Frankl
A key to surviving experiences with difficult people — without being brought to the brink of behaving badly — is to remember that we may not always know what to do, but we can always choose the type of person we want to be.
And, with practice, we can choose to refuse to let others cause us to act in a way that is in direct conflict with the person we picture ourselves as.
And we can create the frame of mind necessary to do this by choosing to see the value in the negative people we encounter in life by actively using our experiences with them in such a way that we become not bitter, but better.
Bit by bit we create fictitious relationships with people when how we act isn’t congruent with who we truly are. And then if we rely on or grow fond of those relationships, we become conditioned to elicit behaviors that aren’t a reflection of our true selves.
This poses a number of problems. Not least of which is the fact that the bigger the gap becomes between how we act and who we truly are, the more friction we feel. Even if we don’t feel uneasy at the time, living in an incongruent fashion eventually catches up with us and manifests itself as any number of relationship-related issues.
Always strive to act as authentically as possible. By aligning how you act with who you truly are, you will not only form far more meaningful and rewarding relationships, you will naturally attract many more of the types of people you actually want in your life.
It’s not that we should wish to eliminate all challenges from our lives, but instead focus on developing the strength, discipline, and attitude necessary to effectively deal with each & every one that we encounter.