As we begin our Wisdom Note for today, I think that we would all agree that life can be very challenging and difficult at times. It is like taking a hike or trek on a rough trail where there are rocks, trees, loose dirt, and other obstacles in our way.
Under the adverse conditions of life, it is very easy for each of us to start grumbling and complaining. We are all tempted to do so. We have to ask ourselves, “Is this grumbling and complaining going to help us along our trek today?”
This reminds me of a time about 37 years ago when Paula and I would pick up an elderly lady Mrs. Borne every Sunday and take her to church. She was significantly crippled with arthritis, and it was difficult for her to walk and even get in the car. But, she faithfully came each week. We would ask her how she was doing each time we picked her up, and she would go on about how difficult it was to get around and talk about her husband who had died many years before. But, she would always end her story with, “I’m not complaining, mind ya.” Paula and I still jokingly use that phrase when we catch ourselves grumbling or complaining about something. As with most complaining, it is usually over something quite trivial.
Certainly complaining and grumbling is as old as mankind itself. One of the greatest leaders of all time, Moses, had to deal with a nation of complainers as they trekked through the wilderness for over 40 years because of their lack of belief that God would take care of them. This was the case with the children of Israel as indicated in Exodus 16:6-8 when they were complaining to Moses about his leadership and the lack of food and water, “So Moses and Aaron said to all the people of Israel, ‘By evening you will realize it was the Lord who brought you out of the land of Egypt. In the morning you will see the glory of the Lord, because he has heard your complaints, which are against him, not against us. What have we done that you should complain about us?’ Then Moses added, ‘The Lord will give you meat to eat in the evening and bread to satisfy you in the morning, for he has heard all your complaints against him. What have we done? Yes, your complaints are against the Lord, not against us.’”
If we are really honest with ourselves when we find ourselves complaining, we are no different than the Hebrew nation. We are actually complaining against God because we feel that our lot in life is unfair, which also shows a lack of faith on our part.
As we continue on our rough trail today, let’s look at 10 attitude adjustments that we can make in our thinking.
When you choose to change your attitude, you switch your thinking from a defeatist mentality to one of achievement. Achievers have a “can-do” attitude that sets them apart from complainers. Achievers are sold out to accomplishment and success — no matter the obstacles — and are willing to put forth the effort and pay the price for success.
Here are 10 milestones you can reach on your trek today that will allow you to turn an attitude of complaining into an attitude of accomplishment or “can-do.”
1. Overcome helplessness with solutions.
Can-do people aggressively pursue solutions, and, in the process, uncover creative solutions others never even try to find. Rather than wallowing in helplessness, can-do leaders search diligently to overcome the obstacles in front of them.
2. Take responsibility and then take action.
Can-do people are fearless. They go straight to the source of their problem. Their very effort commands attention as they wrestle a problem to the ground with expediency. They don’t wait; they initiate.
3. Live in the “No Complaining Zone.”
Can-do people abstain from complaining. They recognize its futility and guard their minds and mouths against indulging in this time-wasting activity.
4. Look through the eyes of others.
Can-do people empathize with others. They attempt to see any predicament from the other person’s perspective in order to make the best decisions.
5. Embrace and grow your passion.
Can-do people are immune to burnout. They love what they do because they’ve learned how to fuel the fire that keeps them moving. The prize is not given to the person who is the smartest, nor to the person with the advantages in resources and position, but to the person with passion and persistence.
6. Hike the second mile.
Can-do people exceed expectations. While others settle for an acceptable solution, can-do people aren’t satisfied until they have achieved the unimagined. They set expectations for themselves higher than what is dictated by the people or situations around them.
7. Remove the shackles and take action.
Can-do people take action. While others are crippled by worry, fear, and anxiety, they have the fortitude to press forward. The perfect moment when all is safe and assured may never arrive, so why wait for it?
8. Continually pivot.
Can-do people can adjust to change. They don’t get caught complaining about an unexpected curve on the trail. They accept transition with an optimistic outlook.
9. Don’t quit until it is finished.
Can-do people not only initiate, they finish. They are self-starters and self-finishers. They stick with the process and have the capacity to close the deal.
10. Expect results based on commitment.
If you make an all-out commitment with a can-do attitude, expect a return. Passionate commitment is contagious, and resources follow resolve. Committed individuals will reap rewards and find open doors as others are drawn to the excitement and energy emanating from them.
On our trek of life, we need to put away our excuses and complaining. When we complain it shows a lack of faith in our life. A faith without works is a dead faith. Instead of being a complainer or a “can’t-do’ person, be a “can-do” person of accomplishment.
Take to heart the exhortation the Apostle Paul wrote in his letter to the church in Philippi in Chapter 2 verses 13-15, “For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him.Do everything without complaining and arguing, so that no one can criticize you. Live clean, innocent lives as children of God, shining like bright lights in a world full of crooked and perverse people.”