Do you ever feel like you’re in a rut – having a bad China day, or just being negative all the time? I’ve kind of been that way lately, and in talking to friends I find I’m not alone. It’s exhausting to have a perpetual bad mood trickle down to your kids, or affect interactions you have with anyone. And how boring! Venting is one thing; being a downer is altogether another.
In recognizing my constant blah mood, I remembered something I learned about several years ago. I read a magazine article about Will Bowen and his A Complaint Free World initiative, using bright purple rubber bracelets. I ordered some, shared them with friends, and just the other day mine almost popped out of a drawer reminding me what it was all about.
In July 2006, Rev. Will Bowen challenged people to stop complaining. Knowing that a habit – and complaining is a habit – takes 21 days to form, he suggested that people wear these purple bracelets, taking them off only to switch wrists whenever they complained. This idea exploded around the world and to date over nine million purple Complaint Free bracelets have been sent to people in more than 106 countries. Bowen has been interviewed in countless magazines and television shows, and his idea has culminated in published books, a website with a tremendous following, and a message that everyone could benefit from learning.
A Complaint Free World, Inc. is a non-profit, non-religious organization that helps people affect positive change in their lives by becoming complaint free. The website, www.acomplaintfreeworld.org, showcases how people and groups have benefitted from the simple idea. Dr. Maya Angelou, a beacon for positivity, was the logical recipient of the 6 millionth bracelet on September 10, 2009. One particular quote from Angelou serves as a motto for the organization: “If you don’t like something, change it; if you can’t change it, change your attitude – don’t complain.”
Freeing yourself of complaining might seem like an impossible task. I assume I’ll still have my bad China days and I can’t imagine not complaining some. I have and will break many bracelets before I’m not switching it from right to left and left to right over and over again. But it sure can’t hurt to give it a try. Maybe it’ll serve as a reminder to shift my perspective and priorities a bit. Controlling your attitude improves your health and relationships, among other things, so it’s well worth the effort.
Who’s with me?