Before you make another complaint to a boss, coworker, spouse or friend I encourage you to pick up a copy of Jon Gordon’s “The No Complaining Rule”. It’s been awhile since I’ve completed a book that has left me so challenged to evaluate the negativity that can float around in my own thoughts and then fly right out of my mouth without being conscious of it. Is it safe to say that we’ve all been guilty of that a time or two? Complaining can sometimes seem like such an effective solution at times, but Gordon states that people complain “(1) because they were fearful and helpless and (2) because it had become a habit” (39)
Complaining can sneak up on us whether at home, at work or even at church. Gordon encourages specifically in his introduction, “one of the most important things we can do in business and life is to stay positive with strategies that turn negative energy into positive solutions” (xvii) and he shows us just how to by composing these truths into a story creating a very identifiable setting for the readers.
The story begins with Hope, a recently divorced mother of two, who is Vice President of Human Resources at EZ-Tech. Hope, already worn down with the complaining she faces day after day from fellow employees walks in early one morning to discover that her company is in severe jeopardy. The computer batteries that EZ-Tech produces have been catching on fire and the media has picked up on blogs created by EZ-Tech employees complaining of management. The company is now in a fight for it’s life to regain the credibility that is slipping away. As Hope not only struggles with the fear of an arising health issue she must also put together a plan to save the company at the request of the CEO. At a doctor’s appointment Hope is then introduced to her nurse who in turn inspires Hope with a radiant plan to save the company and renew Hope’s look on life, The No Complaining Rule.
Even before addressing ways in which we can go about fixing the negativity in our lives, Gordon reminds us of the damage that it can cause such as,
1. “Ninety percent of doctor visits are stress related, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention” (28).
2. “Negativity affects the morale, performance, and productivity of our teams” (29).
3. “Negative emotions are associated with the following:
* Decreased life span and longevity
* Increased risk of heart attack
* Increased risk of stroke
* Greater stress
* Less energy
* More pain
* Fewer friends
* Less success” (29)
It’s obvious from these stunning facts that to survive a change is in order. What I think can be most be learned from this book is that there is hope and with some determination “you can get off the negative road and hop on the positive road right now” (44). Gordon provides some excellent ideas to jumpstart your positive thinking including a guideline to a No Complaining week that refocuses your attention with activities such as creating gratitude lists and beginning your day with a little exercise focused on the things you are most grateful for in life. In the book Gordon provides the “Three No Complaining Tools” (49) which you can also find and print out on his website at www.nocomplainingrule.com. This is a wonderful resource that even I have printed out to encourage my family during the day.
Gordon’s tips are endless and the best part is that they are not just compatible to the workplace or to adults only. These guidelines can do some wonderful things within the home environment and are unbelievably good habits to instill in young children.
Megan York is a small business owner and writer residing Texas. You can read more at her blog, A Boy, A Girl and A Pug.
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