Tuesday, March 29, 2011

An Assignment About Complaining

1. I have a mom who is willing to do Psychological tests for me (she's taking the NEO-PI for me right now).
2. Remembered I had downloaded Castlevania on my Xbox and played it a bit. (We're talking old school Super Nintendo Castlevania.  Good times.)
3. I'm getting meat delivered to my house and it's a little chilly for this time of year, so I don't have to be too worried about the meat going bad on our porch.

I mentioned yesterday that the not complaining challenge had been going well and Maundering Mutterer asked that I give updates.  I also have to write an update for my class this morning, so I'll kill two birds with one stone here.

In my Positive Psych class, we learned about a preacher who was sick of this congregation complaining all of the time, and about everything.  So, he gave them all a challenge to try and not complain for 21 days straight.  The put bracelets on, and switched them every time they complained.  Pretty soon, they realized how much they were doing it and eventually made the twenty one days.  Word spread about the challenge and soon, people all over the world were strapping on their bracelets and switching wrists when they fell short, starting their 21 days over again and pushing forward.  In the preachers congregation the challenge made a huge difference.  People were happier, and more grateful all around.  It's hard to say how much of an impact it had worldwide, but I do think it's interesting that years later, and states over, my Positive Psych class is still hearing about it and trying it out.

To say the least, this assignment has been difficult.  I knew I was a complainer, but am amazed at how much and how often I catch myself doing it.  I've noticed that I don't often ruminate on what I'm complaining about, but I do have a habit of one word complaints.  For example, yesterday, after Yoga, I rolled up my Yoga mat, and as I turned away from it to clean up the block and strap, my mat unrolled itself.  When I saw it I reacted to it by saying "Awesome."  I've done this a number of times since the challenge started a week ago.  I have several words such as: Goodness, Great, Nice, Wonderful, and oh, for crying out loud.  I've used each of these over the past week to complain about something that has happened.

I have a few weak areas that quickly came up.  I have issues complaining during video games.  NHL 11 is particularly troublesome because it has a random shot placement generator and the puck goes off the post in some games more than others.  Goodness.  I also have issue with action games where I think my button push should have been fast enough to beat the bad guy's attach.  For cryin' out loud.  And I've noticed that some of Orem's streets are made in particularly stupid ways.  I don't complain about them often, but when my wife brings up certain areas, it's hard for me not to chyme in.  Wonderful.

When I first got the assignment I thought it would stress me out not to complain, but it's actually been nice.  I've noticed that I have a more positive outlook on things, and that I look for solutions more that I look for faults (because I can state solutions and not consider it complaining).  It's been good for me and I firmly believe that I will eventually make it for 21 days... or die trying. :)

Anyway, if any of you out in the blogosphere want to join in, go ahead and buy yourself some kind of bracelet that can easily be moved from one wrist to the other.  My teacher gave us hair  things.  They work fine.  It's been good for me, and since I believe everyone is just like me, it'll probably work good for you too.

Have a nice day.


  1. Old school Castlevania just made my mouth water. No really it did.

  2. This assignment of not complaining sounds like a really interesting challenge. Good luck!

  3. I wouldn't make it thru one hour Paul without some type of complaint let alone 21 days! Good on ya my friend!

  4. My Hubby wouldn't last five minutes.

  5. @OT
    I freakin love Castlevania, so when I had some extra Microsoft points, and saw old school Castle on Xbox live, I knew where those points needed to go.

    It's been rough, but good. I've found that I'm happier.

    Oh, I didn't think I could either, but it turned out to be much more possible than I thought. I've mostly learned to just not say what I'm thinking.

    Oh, you'd be surprised. :)

  6. LOL! I would be VERY surprised if he did..

  7. @Sprite
    Haha, I hope he tries it.

    GREAT! The more the merrier!