I Believe


Are your thoughts and words more positive or negative? In this YouTube video, Will Bowen professes that the negative soundtrack called complaining detracts from happiness, love, and success. Successful people don’t become happy, rather happy people become successful.

What You’ll Learn

After completing the work on this page, you will be able to:

  • Recognize that our thoughts create our lives
  • Realize the vicious cycle of habitual complaining and an unfulfilling life
  • Know the meaning of “GRIPE” and which of the characteristics are in play if/when you complain
  • Recall that complaining comes at a cost to the workplace

Watch the Video

Dig Deeper

After watching the video, reflect on the following questions.  Jot down your thoughts.  Consider sharing this video with a colleague or a work group for an insightful discussion.

  1. If/when you complain, which of the “GRIPE” characteristics are in play?
  2. Do you use complaining to connect with other people? Name 1 or 2 better ways to connect with others.
  3. Choose a day this week and tally how many times you complain. How does this affect you? How does it affect the recipient of the complaint?
  4. After you have completed the complain-tally-day, try a day with no complaining. None. Not even, “The traffic was horrible” or “The weather stinks”. How did a day of no-complaining affect you? Those around you? Reflect on your insights.
  5. 30-Day Challenge: Complete 30 days with no complaining. If you find yourself complaining during this time, you can choose to ameliorate the effects by doing one of the following:
    • Starting over with your 30 day count,
    • Writing down the complaint and jotting down three things you are grateful for next to it,
    • Giving three compliments or doing three helpful deeds for every complaint,
    • Smiling at or saying hi to three people you normally would not for every complaint, or
    • Adding a day to your 30 days for every complaint.

NOTE: At about 4 minutes and 20 seconds, the video becomes a promotion for The Complaint Free Organization. You are welcome to continue watching if you are interested.

Still Hungry?

Here’s more to spark your thinking on this topic:

Emotions are contagious so why not spread the positive ones? Learn more in this National Public Radio audio clip and article Anger Can Be Contagious: Here’s How to Stop the Spread.

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