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Stop complaining, start sorting.

I got asked recently what’s my favourite Marcus Aurelius quote.

Marcus Aurelius was the last of the great Roman Emperors, his book Meditations is a compilation of all of his thoughts, feelings and philosophies he had journaled privately during his lifetime, most likely just as self reflection and never intended for others to be read.

But within that book, the wisdom from the most powerful man in the world at the time seeps from the pages.

The stoic principles and philosophies he obviously aims to live his life by are there to see on every page.

I say this because I really can’t find a favourite.

I feel many of his quotes provide me with differing thoughts and opinions at different times.

Seemingly and unsurprisingly, the Emperors thoughts can drag out of me new emotion and a deeper understanding, not only of his writings, but of myself and my own, current situations.

But this is to be expected, as Heraclitus once said

“No man ever steps n the same river twice, for it’s not the same river and he’s not the same man.’

My understandings of his knowledge change as time goes on, as I live to experience more and ultimately, learn more, my thoughts that get triggered by his words differ.

But I digress, ultimately my point of the last few paragraphs has been that I ultimately cannot choose a favourite. Each one resonates differently at different times, but one I embody lots, in my personal life, family life, work life and especially in my coaching role is

“Never be overheard complaining, not even to yourself.”

What use does complaining provide?

It just disempowers us and weakens us.

It doesn’t provide us with more. Doesn’t remove issues.

It just highlights negative feelings within us and in others.

Lets look at what he says

Firstly, never be over heard complaining.

In any place, a gym, jiu jitsu school, fight team, business, workplace near be overheard complaining. If ever you want to see disillusion spread throughout your workforce, team members or athletes put a complainer in there with them. Their self doubt and victimhood spreading throughout the unit as each complaint about something spreads.

The insidiousness of the complainer is that they want everyone else to feel as bad as they let themselves feel. They want others to be weakened and feel uncertain as they do.

For athletes I have seen first hand the damage a complainer can do to a team.

I have seen it in business too, everything is so unjust and they come across like adult Kevin and Perrys, the teenage boys played by Harry Enfield and Paul Merton in the 90’s tv show,  who hit puberty and suddenly everything is so unfair as they walk in a huff with their shoulders drooped as well as their smiles.

Never be overheard complaining is a calling to remind us of the importance of our self control and to aim to achieve a consistently positive attitude.

Complaining may appear to be a way to vent our frustration or just to seek the sympathy of others but what it actually does is disempower us, create a negative mindset and spread those negative feelings to others around us.

Complaining can be contagious and it most certainly is damaging to all involved.

In sports teams or work environments, there’s not much more damaging to a culture than a constant complainer. Watch morale drop to an all time low if you allow a complainer to vent to all around.

The constant complaining also prevents us from seeing the good we have, the amazing things prevalent in our lives right now.  It allows us only to see the negative aspects blinding us from the positive possibilities or solutions.

This then leads to more complaints. Complaining begets complaining, it becomes a habit.

Now, you don’t just complain sometimes,  you’ve become a complainer, a moaner, a whiner.

I don’t think many people like to choose to be around that negativity often.

Then you have more things to complain about.

Instead lets look to focus on developing positive habits for our mental health. Like embracing gratitude and aiming for a more positive outlook.

Lets look at taking charge of our thoughts and understanding we can have the power to choose what we think about and also help regulate our emotions.

If there is something bothering you, don’t sit, disempowered, complaining to all who will listen, instead, search, find and discuss solutions to the issue with those involved.

This will empower you, your team and also help you to create a stronger, more resilient mindset to meet any more issues head on and develop much better personal and business relationships.

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