That sounds a but more soppy than I intended, but truth - I want to get in the habit of complaining a bit less and being generally more positive a lot more. Also, truth - it turns out that talking about how grateful I am for toast is a bit of a cop out, isn't it? It's not like I'm a negative person, but I've found that there's a lot of complaining going on - annoyances make a better story, get better reactions, better commiserations. When I realised this and tried to cut back - I realised just how much complaining I was doing (too much!) and just how many of the conversations I was having were often complaint based. Easily 30-40%. I starting noting when other people kicked off a conversation with a complaint or criticism and it was something like every third or first conversation. Womp.
So, two things. I'm going to try talk about five things I'm grateful for, and I'm trying the Tim Ferris/Will Bowen anti-complaining experiment.
There's a theory that the more you talk about something, the more that influences what you think about something, which guides how you feel about it. If I'm constantly complaining, then my mindset for how I think or how I feel is automatically on the negative. That sucks, right?
This anti-complaining experiment is pretty simple. The aim is to go 21 days without complaining. I have a bracelet and every time I complain I move the bracelet across to the other wrist and start from 0. Sounds doable, right??
Essentially it's metacognitive awareness training - the more aware you are of doing something the more likely you are to change that behaviour. It's the same reason why taking photos of what you eat and weighing yourself regularly is super conducive to weight loss. I'm using Tim Ferris's definition: "describing an event or person negatively without indicating next steps to fix the problem" and so far, two days in it's been hard. It's getting easier though - I definitely have increased awareness of what I'm saying (although, haven't get made it through a day!)
We'll see. I'll let you know how it goes.
The other part, practicing gratefulness. Three things I'm grateful for right now:
One: Zee is away this week, and is currently on a completely different continent. I'm grateful for the opportunity to miss him. There's something in a brief absence that cuts through all the ordinary bs. I miss him, and it's nice to be reminded how much I do care. The missing part is shit but I enjoy the reminder + slight perspective change.
Two: I'm in a time in my life where I can stretch my legs and really pursue whatever it is I want to. There is literally nothing stopping me from doing what I want to. I earn a pretty penny, I don't have children or a mortgage or any kind of restraint or responsibility that would hold me back. My problem right now is that I don't know what direction to go in (I feel like a bit like a headless chicken) and so I am trying half a dozen things. I'm grateful that I have this freedom, many people don't.
Three: It's almost summer! London has thrown off the grey skies temporarily and I'm amazed at the rich expanse of blue overhead. It's not quite warm enough for bare arms (I'm still rocking several layers + a jacket) but with the greenery finally growing and the sun out - it feels like a completely different place. I love London in the spring - it's glorious!