“The essence of all beautiful art, all great art, is gratitude.”
– Friedrich Nietzsche
So I’m not really going to write about the art of being a whiner, in the sense that I really think it’s an art—and to be appreciated or revered like the Mona Lisa.
Rather, I want to whine about the whiners.
And if you don’t know what the official definition of a whiner is, see below and thank you to the almighty Merriam Webster—
- a person who makes frequent complaints usually about little things
I think we could expand that definition to include big things as well. There are plenty of people who make a habit out of whining about the big things—taxes, politics, environmental and social issues, etc.
But the MAJOR difference I see between whining and constructively bringing awareness to “big” topics —is that whining generally doesn’t involve any sort of solution and it tends to be a repetitive pattern–sort of like a broken record.
I mean, most of us don’t LOVE taxes, but is whining about it 24/7 really doing anything? No it isn’t.
Yes, we can bring awareness to important topics, but in order to fix a perceived problem—we have to quickly switch our predominant focus (vibration) to solution based thinking.
The truth is—we’ve become a society of chronic whiners. And why is that? We have more “stuff,” more supposed freedom and more choices than ever before—yet we whine, we whine and we whine a little more.
We complain about little things like our iPhone reception, the horrible wifi connection, the traffic, how much we don’t like our ______our_______and our________. And we complain about the larger, much more pressing issues—but it seems few actually get out in the trenches and do something about it.
We like to complain A LOT for a society that supposedly has A LOT. So . . . .maybe it’s not the stuff that makes us happy (big hint).
Or maybe it’s that the complaining is actually a pretty big clue that our lives are—
- out of balance
- not appreciated enough
- or a big combination of both
The point is—if you care anything about living a life that is energetically awesome, joy filled and full of things you love—whining won’t be instrumental in getting (or keeping) you there.
Whining ruins things. Whining makes you feel icky. It is an insidious little jerk that winds up sucking the sparkle and light from your soul.
So, what this article is really about isn’t the art of whining—it’s about the art of appreciating.
Because appreciating is really the opposite energy of whining. And appreciation is what gets you happy, healthy, abundant and just basically like a puppy frolicking in a spring meadow full of flowers (I know, it’s dorky, but isn’t it a cute visual?)
Here are 4 simple tips to turn a bad case of the whines into a better case of appreciation and gratitude (because this is what gets you the goods)—
- Pay attention. Most people are super detached from who they really are and how they are showing up in life. Choose to pay attention to the overall vibes you are putting out into the universe. Committing to becoming more aware of what you are offering is critical.
- Notice patterns and major “themes” that you tend to repeat. Do you manage to feel a great deal of gratitude in certain situation or at certain times? And in other situations, notice it heads south into the deep, dark abyss of whiner-land? Note those times that you feel deep gratitude and appreciation and—DO THAT MORE. And note those times you head towards the dark side and—DO THAT LESS.
- Appreciation journal. Create an appreciation journal and before you go to bed every night and write down what you appreciate in your life. If you’re too tired or lazy to do this—go back to step one and start over. The more you find to appreciate, the more to appreciate will find you.
- Practice, commit and repeat. Turn these simple few steps into a new habit. It only takes about 30 days to change a behavior and the same amount of time to create a better habit.
You can’t fix a problem by putting the majority of your energy and focus on what’s wrong. You fix a problem, big or small (world hunger or a hangnail)—by focusing on the solution and then bringing action and appreciation into the mix.
Is it idealistic (or nearly impossible) to try to find something to appreciate in the face of something painful or horrible? Yes, it can be. But it’s the key to being able to change it. Plus, it just feels way better than staying stuck in feeling bad, powerless, frustrated, angry or resentful.
Let’s choose to create habits and ways of being that support living beautiful lives—lives that we find more to appreciate and be grateful for than we do to complain about.
Lives that our dear grandmas would be proud of.
Here’s to you! I know you will choose wisely.