Do you think you could go 21 days without complaining, whining, criticising or gossiping? I am working up to it; may start this Sunday. 

If you are curious, consider visiting A Complaint Free World,  or purchase this short but meaningful book at a locally owned bookstore  or reserve  it at our wonderful library. The Sonoma County Library  website lists 7 copies of the original book, published in 2007, and one copy of the brand new Complaint Free Relationships. It might be a nice present for some folks, but be careful.  I found it to be a very good conversation starter at holiday parties. Please note:  This program utilizes a purple wrist band but, as noted in the book, you can use any device – a bracelet, a rock or marble in your pocket, or anything you can move from one place on your body to another.

Snipped from the website:

How did this whole thing get started?

Rev. Will Bowen of One Community Spiritual Center in Kansas City, MO was teaching a series on Prosperity. Part of this series was helping the congregation to form a habit of gratitude by going 21-days without complaining. Studies show it takes 21 days for people to form a new habit. In an effort to make the lesson practical, the church purchased purple bracelets and gave them away encouraging them to move the bracelet to the other arm if they caught themselves complaining.

How do I use the purple bracelet to become a Complaint Free person?

Scientists believe it takes 21 days to form a new habit and complaining is habitual for most of us. As Twain said, we must coax our old behavior down the stairs. The purple bracelet is a powerful tool(s) to remind you of how well you are creating your life with positive intention. Here are the suggested rules:

  1. Begin to wear the bracelet, on either wrist
  2. When you catch yourself complaining, gossiping or criticizing (it’s ok, everyone does) move the bracelet to the other arm and begin again.
  3. If you hear someone else who is wearing a bracelet complain, you may point out their need to switch the bracelet to the other arm; BUT if you’re going to do this, you must move your bracelet first!
  4. Stay with it. It may take many months but when you reach 21 days you will find that your entire life is happier, more loving and more enjoyable.

How do I know if I’m complaining?

To “Complain” is defined as “to express pain, grief, or discontent.” Surely, it makes sense to express pain, grief or discontent occasionally but most people do so constantly. In so doing, they are talking and thinking about what they do not want in their life and, thereby, attracting more pain, grief and discontent. Instead, think and talk about what you are grateful for. Talk about what you DO want and not what you DON’T want.

How often does the average person complain?

About 15 – 30 times each day.

How long should it take for me to become complaint free?

The average person who really gives this their best effort usually takes 4-10 months to go 21 consecutive days without complaining. This is not easy, but it’s worth it!

If I think a complaint but don’t speak it do I have to move my bracelet?

 No, only if you speak a complaint aloud should you move your bracelet to the other arm But you will find that the more you stop articulating your complaints the less complaining thoughts you have. Through this process you will reformat your mental hard drive and become a happier person.

How can we affect positive change without complaining?

Complaining spreads negative energy and negative energy cannot create a positive outcome. Martin Luther King, Jr. didn’t stand before thousands in Washington, DC and shout, “Isn’t it awful how we’re being treated?” No. He shared his dream of a day when all children of all races would play and live together in peace and harmony. His vision galvanized our country and created positive change. For you to affect change, paint a bright vivid picture of the problem already solved and share this with as many people as you can.

Isn’t blowing off steam by complaining healthy?

Actually, studies have shown that complaining about one’s health actually tends to make a person’s health worse.

How can I get someone else to stop complaining?

 Follow the words of Ben Franklin, “The best sermon is a good example.” As you begin to transform your life by not complaining, you will be an example of positive living and this will inspire all around you. Moreover, because you’re not participating in the griping, others will be far less likely to gripe to you.