“Implementing Extreme Ownership requires checking your ego and operating with a high degree of humility. Admitting mistakes, taking ownership, and developing a plan to overcome challenges are integral to any successful team.”
Leaders must own everything in their world. There is no one else to blame.”
― Jocko Willink, Extreme Ownership: How U.S. Navy SEALs Lead and Win
I never really thought of how much I complained a day until I saw how much it had been recently creeping into my life.
I had gradually allowed it become part of me that I was focusing on 1000 reasons why things would not work out, how this person or the other was messing up, why you couldn’t blame me for such problems.
I was stuck. Everybody around was now knowing much of my personal problems that I was becoming uncomfortable.
That’s when it started hitting me; I didn’t want to be such person. I remembered I had learned about taking more responsibility some time back and had decided to take more ownership in life.
It all starts with taking 100% Responsibility.
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I stumbled across Jack Canfield book “Success Principles” on my journey to self-development. One of the first principles he wrote about was how to be 100% responsible for your life and to completely desist from complaining. It struck me to try it out and the benefits I experienced were enormous.
But lately, I had forgotten all this, I was sharing my problems indiscriminately mostly to people who could do nothing about it.
That’s when I decided to meditate more on this - how does complaining affects your willpower? What power do you really have over problems rather than merely complaining and I put down my thoughts below:
To every problem that disturbs us, we basically have 4 options; you could:
1) Ignore it
2) Try to Suppress it
3) Accept it;
4) Change it
The first option may work for little things we care barely about but in reality may not work for most of the problems we face.
Suppressing it – is mostly counterproductive. It may work temporarily but resurfaces after a while and we’re back to the same problem or even worse.
Accepting it is mostly one of the hardest options as we mostly use this option as our last resort. It’s hardest because we don’t want to feel cheated or weak in front of others.
Changing it is actually how to solve problems. Most problems won’t go away unless we act on them.
This is also where most people fall into the “Complaining trap” as there’s a huge difference between talking about something and doing anything about it.
To be honest, it is also when we talk about problems that we can actually gain advise from others; so talking about problems isn’t entirely bad.
What’s stupid and counterproductive is just talking for “talking sake.” Listening to advise upon advise but doing nothing about it.
It’s what differentiates Successful people and unsuccessful people: “doing” rather than merely talking.
Not just anything but taking the right steps towards their problems.
Key steps to weed out Complaining out of your life:
1. Become more self-aware; make it a practice that you could think more before you talk, pause each time you caught yourself complaining and consciously decide to eradicate this habit.
2. Meditation/Journaling: Write out your thoughts – journal to see the full picture. You’d be amazed by the clarity in your thinking.
Meditation will help you focus on the few things that actually matter.
3. Differentiate between seeking for advise and complaining – one leads to taking action; the other is a vicious cycle of seeking sympathy
4. Say no to things you’d rather not do: The most overwhelmed people are the people who can’t say no.
The most overwhelmed people are the people who can’t say no - no to their desires, no to external influence, no to other people’s requests, no to change even when it becomes obviously necessary.
It’s possible to focus on the most valuable use of your time and to discipline yourself to continually work on those few activities that contribute the greatest value to your work and to your business. That’s the art of doing less, but better and ultimately complains less.
5. Focus on taking more action and finding solution; this is by far one of the most important.
Action requires courage. What you do today determines tomorrow's result. “Mastery doesn’t come from an infographic … it’s not what you know, it’s what you do consistently.” – Tony Robbins
6. Do hard shit – are you complaining more because you’re underestimating how much effort you need to put it to execute or you’re basically trying to pass time while you skip doing work you know you should be doing?
If you’re not doing any hard shit, you’re going to get bored. When you do; it’s easy to end up in all forms of binges – from complaining a lot, to porn, crap food, victim mentality etc.
How to solve that? Build. Set weekly goals and review.
Do the difficult things you keep postponing.
7. Surround yourself with people who are a couple of steps ahead of you.
Associate yourself with people who are likely to improve you – not complain further with you.
Finally, we all need to get comfortable with focusing on the things we can change and accepting things we cannot. This way you realize there’s no point whining or wasting time on such.