I’ve joked around about complaining, but other than that, I don’t bring it up too often. The reason is simple. I don’t surround myself by people who complain, thus, I don’t feel obligated to find something to complain about. Nor do I end up complaining that so many people complain. There’s just no point in complaining. Let me share a quick story of why.
I was chatting with some colleagues yesterday when one of them recalled me tweeting about the novel I was wrapping up edits on. I proceeded to tell her about National Novel Writing Month and how I wrote all 50,000 words in one month to produce my first novel. I broke it down to her and the other colleagues now listening that it comes out to roughly 1,700 words a day. A different colleague then asked me how I did that. I said to him, “It was hell.” (It really was.) He shook his head. He didn’t believe me.
The fact that I had written 50,000 words in one month seemed like a miracle to them. But when I stated that I went through hell to do it. All the sudden they didn’t believe it. They couldn’t. All they saw was a completed novel. All 50,000 words. (How could it be hell if you did it? I’m sure they thought.)
There are two lessons I really want you to take from this. The first is the majority of people who complain while they are working, don’t finish. In a sense, they complain themselves out of the goal they originally had. They complain themselves into quitting. They complain until everyone they complain to doesn’t care about what they are doing and so why continue doing it?
The second is no one is going to believe you when you tell them all that you could have complained about before you met your goal, shipped your novel, painted your masterpiece, booked that NYC gig. They will gladly accept words of inspiration and encouragement. But complaints? Forget about it.
If you’re afraid to go through hell, by all means, go through it afraid. But don’t by into the idea of once you’re in hell, you’re stuck. There are people all around you everyday coming out the other side (whether you hear them complain about it or not).
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