Audio for Day 24
Welcome to Day 24
Today is all about avoiding or at least minimizing the BJC’s, some of the behaviors that contribute to our own negativity. What are they? Blaming, justifying and complaining. Let’s take them one at a time.
Blaming: When we blame, we’re looking to label a situation and lay it in someone else’s lap. This is not about them being at fault. They very well might be. The problem (or challenge) is that when you’re focused on blame, your mind is not in a positive place. You’re probably in deep story mode, telling that person and everyone else who will listen how you were wronged and how they caused you grief. We all do it. The difference now is that you know what happens to your mind and body when you focus for a long time on negativity. Instead of focusing on the blame, how about asking your brain what is this situation supposed to teach you? The power of questions kicks in and at least you get a lesson out of whatever caused you to blame in the first place.
Justifying is another activity that can lead to negative consequences. If you’re justifying, you’re usually trying to come up with an excuse for something you said or did. Again, you’re deep into negative territory because your focus is on something that is not going well. Obviously the ideal solution is to not engage in things that need to be justified, or to avoid people who want you to justify your actions on a regular basis. Not easy to do but the lesson here is to be aware of where your thoughts are going. If you find yourself justifying yourself quite a bit, perhaps you’re venturing into areas that need a second look.
The biggest one is complaining. We are a society that loves to complain about everything – our families, our jobs, the weather, politics, even ourselves. Talk about negative focus! We even complain about our president. I read recently that other countries are horrified about our terrible treatment of our president, that we don’t show respect for the office but instead just complain about things we don’t like despite the fact that they’d be thrilled to have someone like him. Whatever your thoughts about this president, our behavior towards that office is symptomatic of our love for complaining. We’re lucky that anyone even bothers to run at all. If a president gave $10,000 to every citizen, there would be people complaining that it wasn’t $20,000, right?
I love this quote by T Harv Eker. “Are you complaining because your life is bad or is your life bad because you’re complaining all the time?” Great question! When you’re complaining, you’re focused on everything that you think is wrong or could go wrong. What a lousy way to use your beautiful brain! Takes no special skill. We laid those myelin pathways long ago and they’re reinforced daily by the media and the people around us.
If we want a better life, we’ve got to get a handle on complaining. Just changing this one behavior could have a profound difference in your level of positivity and therefore your physical and mental health. An organization called A Complaint Free World offers a bracelet for $1 to help you make this change although you could use any bracelet you wanted. Here’s how it works. Every time you complain, switch the wrist that the bracelet is on. Your goal which will be your mission for this short but important lesson is to keep the bracelet on one wrist for a month! Can you do it? Or will you continue to let complaining steal the joy that is yours to keep? Only you can decide.
Let me add one more piece to this since it’s in the same vein. Dr. Wayne Dyer says, “Don’t go looking for reasons to be offended.” Here’s another great example of using our brains poorly. If we’re offended easily, then we’re allowing others to direct our mood, our joy, our hormones. Recently a relative was highly offended when someone asked her if her bag was a Vera Bradley bag. What?? She said, “How dare they ask??” I said, “What else could it mean? Maybe this person wanted one like it.” But this relative was determined to make this a negative, invasive problem.
I used to work at a wine store my brother managed on Saturdays. Some of the cashiers were offended by everything – what the customers wore (or didn’t wear), how the change was arranged in the drawers, that they weren’t allowed to text or eat big meals at the register. The list went on and on. That was all about thinking they were they center of the universe.
Why would the world revolve around any one of us? If we think the world and everyone in it should do what we want, we’re going to be stressed a good amount of the time. It’s not about us…we’re one of many…and actually all in this together. Of course, that’s how I choose to see it. I choose not to be offended easily by almost anyone – the person who cuts me off driving, the clerk who got my order wrong, anything. It’s my life…my body…my mind…and I choose to put the meaning that people are doing the best they can at the moment and are not out to get me…
Ah…no blame, no justifying, no complaining…and not offended. Peace.
P.S. Now you can choose to continue to the next day or wait until tomorrow. Either way, here's a link to the next chapter.