Why Complaints Are Superficial
There was a story that was once told to me, or maybe I read it somewhere, who cares. Anyway, I think it’s the wisest tale I was ever told. The story is about an old dog and two elderly men. I know what you’re thinking, another corny story, but pay close attention, we’ll get to the moral of it later. Here it is: One day a lonely miserable old man walked to one of his oldest friend’s house. His friend was sitting in an old chair on his porch reading a newspaper with his dog laying beside him. As the old man walked onto the porch to greet his friend, he heard the dog groaning as if he was in insurmountable pain. So he asks his old friend angrily, “What the hell is wrong with your dog?” the old friend replies, “He’s laying on a nail.” The old man pondered in incomprehensible silence and yells at his friend, “Then why doesn’t he get the hell up!”.
Stop smiling or laughing at the poor dog above. It isn’t funny. What’s funny is how much our generation, speaking of millennials, complain. We complain about almost every sickening, absurd, ridiculous thing. Example, “My iPhone just cracked and the camera is broken! OMG! What am I going to do Jenny?! This means no more selfies for Instagram!” It’s a sad truth, but allow me to be a bit more serious.
Some of our complaints seem to be fitting after a dramatic and life changing event, but most are superficial. You worked your ass off to buy that new car and it broke down, you studied your ass off for an exam and you failed it and the course, you were kissing your boss’ ass your entire tenure at the firm to get a promotion and he fired you, you were in love with your girlfriend/boyfriend and saw a future of marriage and kids with this person and they broke up with you a week after Valentine’s day, your parents kicked you out, you got expelled from school, et-fucking-cetera. All of these situations are acknowledged by your emotions and validated by your feelings after a turn of an event, but a complaint follows afterward, as well as excuses and most of us give up. But why?
It’s the fear of failure, perhaps. But that’s just my humble opinion. Sitting on your complaints and compiling excuses to why you won’t overcome your prior defeat, will provide you no development, no progression, nor success.
I know the idea of overcoming depression is not a feasible task as some make it out be when offering advice like “Just get over it Jenny, you can buy a new phone”, but it takes time to heal. It even takes Jenny some time. But many of us sit on our complaints for way too long and do nothing about them. We just stay in our bag (meaning stay in our feelings for those who lack in urban lingo literacy) and fail to move on with our lives. Believe it or not, the world continues to spin in its most glorious significant way, but you allow YOUR world to stop spinning. Life doesn’t end after a break-up, a divorce, after being laid off, failing a test or getting expelled from school. We complain about these things because we haven’t experienced them before, and if we have, we never found a solution for them.
Mistakes have to be one of the most honorable gifts of all. Without them, we never learn how to overcome what our mind perceives as a drastic event. Have you ever met a person who carries the presence of not “giving a fuck” about anything? These are people who have been through some SHIT.
Not Giving A F*ck
Not “giving a fuck” has its pros and cons. In this blog I’ll only consider the pros because the cons should be self-explanatory, if it isn’t you might want to consider opening up a new tab in your web browser and google “I need to see a therapists”. Not “giving a fuck” sounds really deceiving, but it’s a metaphor. The concept is to be accepting of any harm, negativity, or pressures. This type of mindset allows you to be in control of your thoughts about a specific circumstance or event that may take place in your life. Acceptance, is the key to moving on.
Here are some examples of not giving a fuck:
- “Damn, I can’t believe I have to walk around with this mustard stain on my shirt all day. Oh well fuck it”
- Person 1: “Yo, you saw the game last night? it was LIT!” Person 2: “I had to study, why am I watching people who already claimed success and I haven’t, I don’t give a fuck about the game.”
- Person 1: “Why does she put on so much make up?” Person 2: “Maybe she likes it like that, you need to stop giving a fuck about what the next person is doing and worry about you.”
Your stages of grief and depression, offers you an improvement in your mental state, yet it also disallows you to do so as well. If you read that sentence in realized “Oh shit, I have a choice?”, congratulations — you have just hit a pivotal, essential transition in your life. You have a choice ladies and gentleman. You can decide whether to be happy or upset, cheerful or depressed, lit or vexed (excited or mad — another definition for the urban lingo illiterates).
Thoughts > Feelings > Emotions > Actions > Results
This formula is so imperfectly perfect. Thoughts lead to feelings, feelings lead to emotions, emotions lead to actions, and actions lead to results. We shape our world by how we think and as cliche as it sounds, you must think positive at all times. You ever noticed the reasons behind why you had such a bad day? Here’s the thing, there’s no such thing as a bad day. A bad day only exist in our interpretation of reality and the way our brain works, well, that’s another blog.
Simply put, our brain tries to capture any obscure or abstract representations of ideas that seem complex. This allows us to connect the represented ideas (the obscure and abstract) with other ideas, without having to keep every detailing symbol of a complex idea at the forefront. Maybe that wasn’t simple, but basically our brains love the idea of simplification, like this sentence.
So what happens when our brain uses the idea of simplification for the wrong represented complexity? We conclude that we are having a bad day. We don’t stop to think and analyze what went wrong or why it happened, we simply conclude. It’s the easy way out and its convenient, which is why most of us jump to this narrow minded conclusion. We blame our calamity on factors that are outside our own control, but reflecting on why it happened will bring us a solution.
Currently I’m reading “Thinking, Fast & Slow” by Daniel Kahneman. Page after page I find myself fully immersed — it’s that much of a great read. Here’s a quote: “Our comforting conviction that the world makes sense rests on a secure foundation: our almost unlimited ability to ignore our ignorance.” This impactful sentence tells us that believing the world makes sense, is an ignorant belief. Sorry folks but the world will never make sense, unless you get a new drug stuffed in you that allows you to access more than the average percentage of brain usage, sort of like Scarlett Johansson in the movie “Lucy”. We may never understand why we do the things we do or why we complain about superficial things. We can only begin to try and worry about the the things we can control, not of the things that we can’t.
So try to live out your complaints by reflecting on what went wrong, analyze them, rationalize and find a solution. Don’t be the dog laying on a nail.