Do you know any chronic complainers? People that every time you ask how they are give you a long list of all the things wrong in their lives. They tell you how awful their job is, how their spouse doesn’t understand them or do what they want, how this didn’t work out, how that didn’t work out, and on and on…?
Sure, we’ve all met people like that. People that can’t seem to find the good in anything and are always looking for someone or something to blame for their misfortune. The tragedy is of course, that they don’t realize they have created these circumstances through their thoughts, words and deeds. They are so focused on their misery that they in turn create more misery. It gets to the point where they complain so much that people start to avoid their company. This of course gives them something else to complain about. “She never calls me.” “He never wants to do anything together.” and so on. What these people never stop to realize is that they have brought all this on themselves with their negative attitude and constant complaining.
The truth be told, No one likes a whiner! Sure we all have challenges from time to time, and when we face these challenges we need the comfort and support of our friends. But when we obsess or focus on our problems and that is all we ever share with people, they will eventually get tired of the negative energy and go on to find more inspiring, positive people to spend their time with.
Remember Eeyore in the Tales of Christopher Robin and Winnie the Pooh? No matter how great things might be in his life; great friendships, a nice house, etc. Eeyore always found the doom and gloom in everything, keeping himself (and the other people around him) in a state of perpetual misery. The fact is, Eeyore always saw his glass as half empty instead of half full. He never stopped to realize that changing his life was as easy as changing his perspective.
There is an old story that I love which illustrates this point beautifully. This is the story of identical twin brothers whose mother had died when they were babies. Left with two infants whom he had no idea how to care for, their father turned to alcohol and became a very violent and abusive drunk. The boys suffered many terrible beatings and great poverty growing up as their father’s alcoholism spirled out of control. When they were in their late teens, the father died and the boys went their seperate ways to fend for themselves.
Several years later a journalist who had grown up with the boys wanted to find out what had become of them. He eventually tracked them down and found they were living two very different lives in two very different parts of the same town.
The first brother he found was homeless. He sat on a grimy curbside sipping cheap whiskey from a bottle covered with a tattered paper bag. When the old friend introduced himself the man turned two bleary blood-shot eyes and looked up at his old acquaintance. They began to have a conversation about what had happened in the years since they had last see each other. More than anything, the journalist wanted to know how this brother ended up the way he did. The brother cursed and spat then said, “That’s simple. With a father like mine, what did you expect?”
The journalist then went across town to meet with the other brother. This brother lived in a beautiful suburb with green lawns and spacious homes. The journalist knocked on the door and was greeted by a lovely woman with two small children shyly standing behind her. She invited the man in and called for her husband telling him that someone had come to see him.
Impressed with the beauty and happiness around him, the journalist friend felt compelled to ask this man the same question he had asked his brother, “How did you end up like this?” he asked. The brother gave a warm smile and said, “That’s simple. With a father like mine, what did you expect?”
Life is what we make it. Our experiences are simply experiences. It is the way we choose to see them that creates our perception of our lives. The next time you hear yourself begin to complain about something (the glass half empty), try following it up with a “glass half full” statement. For example:
I really had a hard day at work today, but at least I have a job.
My husband never does things when I ask him to, but he is generous and kind.
My kids are driving me crazy, but they are healthy and happy.
Money is really tight right now, but I saved fifteen dollars at a great sale.
With an attitude like yours…what did you expect?
Copyright 2010 Cathleen McCandless www.sandiegofengshui.com All Rights Reserved