I live in The Netherlands and for Dutch people it is common to complain about almost anything: the government and taxes, the weather, our spouse or our boss. You name it, we complain about it. If we don’t have anything to complain about we will find something. Complaining is part of being Dutch. We complain so much what we sometimes don’t see how great it is, and how thankful we should be, to live in this part of the world.
In my article stop blaming others and take control over your life I wrote that one of the biggest personal development steps you can take is to stop being a victim. If you stop blaming others for all the bad things that are happening to you, and the ones you love, you are regaining the responsibility over your own happiness and your life. So what’s next? I think it’s about appreciating the things you have.
When you stop blaming others you are in a much better position to be thankful. Stop for a moment and think about all the things in your life that are worth being thankful for: the lessons learned from the past, your successes, all the good memories, the friends and family you have and life in general (personally, I think being alive is a good thing to appreciate). There are many things to appreciate and be thankful for, you only have to be open enough to see them.
Where’s your focus and energy?
In another article use the power of positive thinking to change your life I said that if you start to focus more on the positive things in your life, you are programming your sub-conscious mind towards a more positive attitude. As a result more positive things will happen to you simply because that’s where your focus is. It is the same for appreciating things. Once you start appreciating all the things you have, or the things you do not have, you will see and experience more things to be thankful for.
Some people complain all the time about the things that are not working in their lives. Guess what will happen, where do you think their focus is? How will they view the world? What’s their perspective on the things and people they see around them?
My experience is that you are literally wasting your energy when you complain. I’ve done it for a while and I can tell you it doesn’t work, nothing will change. Why don’t you start using your energy for some positive action? If you don’t like a situation in your life, change it to something better.
And another thing: If your focus is only on the future, hoping your situation will improve later on without taking the necessary steps, you are not living now but in a dream world. If you always look forward to the next vacation, the next paycheck, the next job, or when the children will leave the house, maybe your retirement, you are missing a lot of what is happening right now. Before you know it you live is over without ever being satisfied. Now, how much fun is that?
Being thankful is easy. Be conscious how you view the world around you. Stop being a victim. Catch yourself when you complain about something. Ask yourself: why do I complain about this? Am I wasting energy on this and can I do something about the situation? You will see things work out better if you take action with a positive attitude. Find something you can appreciate, and start building from there.
Thank you Patrick for this wonderful article. I’ve been depressed for over 3 months on a relationship break-up. The main reason why we ended up separately because of my attitude towards him about blaming for everything and complaining. This has open my eyes.