How I’ve Reduced Complaints and Increased Appreciation

How I've Reduced Complaints and Increased Appreciation

Happy individuals are not the ones who express gratitude. People who are grateful are the ones who find happiness. ~Mysterious

I used to be someone who constantly found faults and complained. I find myself complaining multiple times a day about everyday matters, such as the weather, traffic, or my husband.

I expressed frustration when my husband didn’t assist me with household chores and then found myself complaining when he did help. It took me some time to realize that he and his cleaning prowess were not the cause of my unhappiness. I felt dissatisfied as I noticed a shift towards ingratitude within myself.

I have a mix of pleasant and not-so-pleasant memories from my childhood. As a child, my parents made me eat green vegetables and restricted my TV and playtime. I was expected to focus on studying and completing my homework and adhere to a strict bedtime of 8:30 p.m. every night. All I desired was freedom—freedom from homework and the ability to do as I pleased.

At the age of nine, I first showed my lack of appreciation towards my parents. One day, after school, I decided to hop on a different bus that would take me to my friend’s house instead of my usual one. I believed this would mark the conclusion of the dreadful vegetables and monotonous homework. However, the situation did not unfold as expected.

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My friend’s dad contacted my father, who came to pick me up and drive me back home. Watching my dad step out of the car, I couldn’t help but notice the concern written all over his face. He softly wrapped his hands around my shoulders and whispered, “Let’s head home.” We drove home quietly, and slowly guilt crept into my heart.

As we arrived home, I looked through the car windows and saw a weary, slender figure waiting by the gate of the house—my mom. I stepped out of the car and cautiously moved closer to her. Looking into her teary eyes, I softly said, “Mommy.”

She embraced me tightly, tears soaking my school shirt. While cradling her in my small hands, I came to understand my error.

Reflecting on that incident, I now see how much I underestimated my parents’ efforts when I was a child.

In a world where some girls are deprived of education and even abandoned, my parents stood out by providing for all my needs and preparing me for the future. In this world full of challenges, I was fortunate to have parents who provided me with an equal opportunity to thrive and succeed.

My parents really instilled in me a sense of thankfulness from a young age. It was only after becoming a mother that I fully grasped the significance of expressing gratitude.

Just like any new mom, I experienced moments of worry while caring for and raising my baby. Dealing with my energetic daughter felt like a constant struggle, with walls decorated in crayon, carpet stained with carrot juice, furniture used as a testing ground for moisturizers and lipsticks, and toys strewn everywhere.

I yearned for tranquility, I yearned for relaxation, and I yearned for a tidy home. I expressed frustration about the challenges of being a mother.

One day, I went to see a friend whose six-month-old son was in the hospital, diagnosed with muscle dystrophy, a genetic disorder that impacts all muscles, including those of the heart.

The small infant rested on a bed without moving, connected to a heart monitor. Watching the grieving mother desperately try to rouse her frail baby was truly heartbreaking. She pleaded for him to wake up, to cry, to make any sound, but he remained still. He remained still without moving.

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As I stood there, feeling completely powerless, a memory of my mischievous daughter drawing on the walls quickly came to mind.

What was I griping about? Is an active child a healthy child? Isn’t this what I had hoped for when anticipating her arrival? Undoubtedly, many women in this world would cherish my sleepless nights and messy house.

Since that day, whenever my daughter struggled to fall asleep, even at two in the morning, I refrained from complaining. Truly, as I embraced her and planted a kiss on her forehead, I felt grateful for having such a precious present.

It’s natural for us to overlook our blessings and focus on our problems. However, when we complain, our mind becomes negative, affecting those around us like a domino effect.

Panasonic founder Konosuke Matsushita frequently made the final decision on a candidate by posing his well-known concluding question. “Do you believe you’ve been fortunate in your life?”

According to him, the aim of this question was to determine the candidate’s gratitude towards those who have assisted him in his life. He thought that fostering a sense of appreciation among employees creates a positive work atmosphere, ultimately enhancing company efficiency.

Many people often associate happiness with significant occasions, such as getting a promotion or winning the lottery. However, these occurrences are rare. Appreciation is what enhances our lives, making them more fulfilling, attractive, and significantly happier as we begin to savor the small moments in life.

Many times, we fail to appreciate the people in our lives and tend to focus on complaining and grumbling instead. Admittedly, my husband tends to be lazy, my parents are always nagging me, my teenage daughters never seem to listen, and my friends can be quite wild, but you know what? My life wouldn’t be the same without each and every one of them.

Life is a party. Loving all that we possess provides us with all that we require. Let’s embark on this meaningful journey of life and transition from complaining to appreciation.

“Your MASTERY OF LIFE begins the moment you break through your prisons of self-created limitations and enter the inner worlds where creation begins.”

Dr. Jonathan Parker

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