Friday, November 9, 2007

Today's "37days Complaint-free" report

Okay...even though I am starting this post right before bed on Thursday night (AKA Day One), I'm declaring it a clean day as far as the no-complaining challenge goes. At this point, I am literally sitting on my bed, and when I stop typing, I will be turning out the light. Seems like a safe time to declare it the end of Day One, and to begin the preparation for Day Two on Friday.


Happily, I was right. Not once while I slept last night did I violate the terms of the challenge.

Onward with Day Two, redux. This is the second time I have made it to Day Two, and today has been surprisingly easy. There is no doubt in my mind that the valiant intent is winning out. By doing my level best to avoid what Rebecca calls "GWCCs" (Gossiping, Whining, Criticizing or Complaining), I am rewiring the verbal center of my brain! It is becoming easier, day by day, to feel the internal filter getting better at catching those (again, from Rebecca) "sort of burps" which are the automatic response we may give to someone else who is complaining at work, for example. We complain or criticize as much in a show of solidarity as anything.

It turns out, though, that it is possible to respond sympathetically without responding in kind. As I noted in a comment on Rebecca's blog, it doesn't require major personality surgery, either. It is still me, no one in my office has even noticed what I am attempting to do, and I have no plans to change that.

The company I work for has a big all-company meeting this afternoon, so my tests will likely be few. That's easy day and easy passage to Day Three tomorrow is part of the challenge. You never know whether the day will push one to the limit, or will be easy peezy lemon squeezy (I would credit where that came from, but I'm afraid I don't recall--if it is YOU I failed to credit, please email me and let me know).

And, the challenge is to ring up 37 consecutive days of GWCC-free actions and words. Catching some slack along that road is okay with me! The road is long and full of adventures I cannot even begin to anticipate. What could be greater than that?


rebecca said...

Hi Rick,

First, thanks again for all your help in trying to get the talisman/badge on my page yesterday. I'm glad I was finally able to get it on there thanks to you.

Second, thank you for the mention! I believe my acronym of GWCC will definitely catch on!

Third, I agree that the longer we stay committed to this challenge and make a concious effort in selecting our words, the easier it becomes. As with all else, our GWCCing is nothing more than an accumulation of bad habits. We have grown accustomed to following the herd, so to speak, when instead we should be listening and following our own inner voices that tell us to be kind, understanding and patient. I guess the GWCCing is nothing more than our daily frustrations taking verbal form. What we need to do is simply find another way. And this is the challenge. And in facing that challenge daily and consciously working on it is how we will slowly bring new language into our internal "drive".

You didn't violate the terms of the challenge last night while you it! Loved that sentence!

Olivia said...

Congratulations on your progress Rick! I am reading about your journey with great interest. I love Rebecca's GWCC (gossiping, whining, complaining, criticizing)--great way of encompassing what we're doing! Keep on truckin'! XXOO, O

Kikipotamus said...

I definitely find it's becoming easier. Respond with facts not charged with emotion instead of conditioned reactions. Find solutions or accept what is. I like it.

Julie said...

I SO admire your attitude about this. I keep just trying to get to a starting point, actually. My biggest fear might be that without complaining I may not even have a personality!

Rick Hamrick said...

Julie, just dive in. The water is ridiculously cold, but you get used to it.

Seriously, your personality won't change any more than it does because you have a good workout and sweat like crazy.

I know this, because I had that concern, at least a little, myself. My dread was that the people at work would think I was trying to become someone I am not.

What I am learning, to my relief, is that I am *more* me now, with less of that negative, auto-reaction crap serving to barricade me away from a human interaction.

Join us, Julie! We're a fun crowd.

Claire said...

consider me a cheerleader on this marathon, rick, if not a fellow traveller - for the moment :o)