“We must overcome challenges, not be overcome by them.” —Buddhist saying
It’s easy to complain. To spiral away in a rant. And to some, the world is an endless source of Complaining Inspiration—after all, nothing is perfect.
The thing is, people who complain (and particularly those who delight in complaining) put themselves in a victimizing, lazy posture. Not only are they suffering, they are proving that they would rather spend their time moaning than solving.
There’s a word that can change everything here: “but.”
Try ending your next complaint with a “but” and see how that shifts your problem and your sense of empowerment:
“I have fleas in my house, but I can call an exterminator.”
Try listening to others’ criticisms of your work with a “but” in mind:
“My boss said my design is confusing, but I now know where I can improve.”
Try countering even the biggest challenges with a “but”:
I had a teacher who had breast cancer that rapidly became bone cancer. When I visited her, she once said to me, “The doctors say I don’t have much time. But this means I get a chance to tell everyone I love how much they’ve meant to me.”