"If you don't like something, change it.
If you can't change it, change your attitude.
— Maya Angelou
In your hands you hold the secret to transforming your life. Big words? Yes, but I've seen it work for many, many people. I've read their e-mails and letters and taken their phone calls. People have used the simple concept of putting a purple silicone bracelet on their wrist and then switching it from wrist to wrist until they have managed to go 21 consecutive days without complaining, criticizing, or gossiping. In so doing, they have formed a new habit. By becoming conscious of and thereby, changing their words, they have changed their thoughts and begun to create their lives by design. People just like you have shared stories with me of chronic pain relieved, relationships healed, careers improved, and having become an overall happier person.
One man I know suffered from chronic headaches. Every night he would arrive home from work and tell his wife how much his head had hurt that day. Realizing that telling his wife about his headaches did nothing to lessen their occurrence or severity, he decided to stop talking about them as a part of becoming complaint free.
The man's name is Tom Alyea. He no longer has these headaches and he's now the senior coordinator of our Complaint Free World program, one of several dozens of volunteers who make this all happen.
Less pain, better health, satisfying relationships, a better job, being more serene and joyous . . . Sound good? It's not only possible, it's probable. Consciously striving to reformat your mental hard drive is not easy, but you can start now and in a short period of time — time that will pass anyway — you can have the life you've always dreamed of having.
You can order a purple, Complaint Free bracelet by visiting our Web site: www.AComplaintFreeWorld.org. We send the bracelets out free (the program is supported entirely by donations and you can donate if you choose). Here is how to use the bracelet:
• Begin to wear the bracelet, on either wrist.
• When you catch yourself complaining, gossiping, or criticizing, move the bracelet to the other arm and begin again.
• If you hear someone else wearing a bracelet complain, it's OK to point out their need to switch the bracelet to the other arm; BUT if you're going to do this, you must move your bracelet first! Because you're complaining about their complaining.
• Stay with it. It may take many months to reach 21 consecutive days. The average is 4 to 8 months.
And relax. We're only talking about complaints, criticism, and gossip that is spoken. If it comes out of your mouth, it counts, so start over. If you think it, it's free. But you'll find out that even complaining thoughts will disappear as you move through this process.
Start right now. You don't have to wait for your purple bracelet to arrive to get started. Slip a rubber band on your wrist; put a coin or small stone in your pocket; move a paperweight to one side of your desk or find your own distinctive way of self-monitoring now. Do it now. Then, when you catch yourself complaining, criticizing, or gossiping, move the item. Move the rubber band to the other wrist, switch the coin to another pocket, or move the paperweight to the other side of the desk. It's important that you move the item. It's that act of moving it that plows furrows deeply into your consciousness, making you aware of your behavior. You must move it, every time.
Did you catch the very important word in the last paragraph? I said WHEN you catch yourself complaining, not IF. Complaining is epidemic in our world, so don't be surprised when you find out that you, too, gripe a lot more than you thought.— Will Bowen in A Complaint Free World: How to Stop Complaining and Start Enjoying the Life You Always Wanted