As some of you may be aware, at the Academy we geared up all week for the rollout of “No Complaints Thursday.” It was a very interesting and revealing experience. We even had some blog subscribers and Academy Member offices join in and we’ve loved hearing about your results.
We picked teams, had preprinted complaint citations and complaint logs, and generally made it a fun game. As I sit here on Thursday evening, I’m proud to report that nary a single complaint has escaped my lips, but, alas I still have a few hours to go.
Isn’t it amazing that we have to try with all our might not to complain…psyche ourselves up in preparation and be vigilant with every utterance? To me, it speaks to a much deeper truth about all of us. The context for our lives from early childhood is “there’s something wrong.” From that first recognition that we’re not enough to the adolescent “I don’t belong” to the final realization that “I’m on my own,” we go through life complaining that life is not the way we want it, in one way or another.
As Louis CK wisely observed, “Everything’s amazing and nobody’s happy!” But it’s not just our circumstances, it’s our primary view of the world: things aren’t the way they should be. I’m reminded of the wonderful aphorism that it’s more important to want what you have than have what you want.
That wisdom has been compared to our god-like power to choose in every moment of our lives. Lots of traffic, choose it. Ungrateful staff or clients, choose it. Overweight, choose it. Things not going your way, choose it. Cancer, choose it. In a way it’s our only path to reality. Whatever exists, our power to choose it neither condones or rejects it, but comes face to face with it, acknowledges it, and thereby takes away its power.
So next time you have the urge to complain, which will be in a minute or so, look at it as a reminder to align yourself with “what’s so” and smile.
President and Co-Founder
American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys, Inc.
9444 Balboa Avenue, Suite 300
San Diego, California 92123
Phone: (800) 846-1555