Have you ever noticed that when you ask some people how they are doing they reply, ‘I can’t complain.’
Notice the double negative – ‘can’t’ and ‘complain’.
Sometimes when we are making conversation, we introduce a complaint about our current situation as though that will be a good thing to discuss.
I have to keep that aspect of my nature in check. Too easily I can focus on what’s wrong with my life rather than what is right.
Once when I was complaining about life, a friend of mine cut right across my negativity with a powerful question – ‘What would a good week look like?’
At first I didn’t understand his question so he explained more.
‘We could stand here all day while you talk about what’s wrong with life and achieve nothing. But if you can define what a good day or a good week looks like, then you can begin to change things and work towards something positive.’
The question blew my victim mentality out of the water. And, put on the spot, I couldn’t really tell my friend what a good day would look like. But the question never left me.
These days, if I start to feel a bit negative about my week, I ask myself that powerful question – ‘What would a good week look like?’
I still don’t always have the answer but it forces that negative whining voice in my head to shut up. If you can’t describe what a good week would look like, then you are not allowed to whine about a bad one, I tell myself.
Today, a good week includes coffee or lunch with a friend or two, a family get together, a walk in the countryside, quality time with my spouse, space and solitude to be creative, and overcoming at least one current obstacle in my work. If there is a road trip with a friend, even better.
For you, a good week may look different but let me give you a challenge – jot down the ingredients required for you to feel like it is a good week. Then work those things into your diary and arrange for them to happen. The more we do this, the more our good days will turn into good weeks and, before we know it, we will have created a good year for ourselves.
You are the author of the story of your life.
You are the author of the story of your life. Though enemies and tragedy may strike us from time to time, we get to write the next chapter of our life. We can’t change the past but we can plan a better future.
So what would a good week look like for you?
‘Do everything without complaining…’