“The things you complain about too much are probably the very things you need to fix!” – Futurist Jim Carroll
Our frustrations can get the best of us. Naturally, we turn to the complaint process to try to express our emotions – and that very act sets us onto a path that is not constructive.
Stop complaining – start doing!
When you spend too much time complaining, you don’t spend enough time finding practical solutions; your ideas instead become short, sharp stopgaps of action that do nothing to solve the real problems that lay beneath the surface. When you complain too much, you become so focused on your anger and frustration that you smother the creative side of yourself. When you whine, you aren’t innovating – you are spinning your wheels.
I thought I’d share a post I wrote back in 2020, at the height of the pandemic, about a fellow around my golf club who became known as a chronic complainer. It’s worth a read. Ask yourself if you know people like this.
“Stop complaining! Start imaginating! Begin solutionating!” – Futurist Jim Carroll
It’s almost a certainty that a friend of mine who regularly spots my weakness for spelling accuracy will spit out his coffee once he sees that I also invent words. But I’m the futurist, and so I can identify today the words not yet in existence today that might be commonplace tomorrow!
Back to my story: I was out for a round of golf yesterday, and found the inspiration for a little innovation clip (found at the end of this post) that I filmed later in the day.
I often swear that my next book will be about the ’10 types of human behavior at the first tee’ – the chronic late arrivals, the exercise-minded who have an elaborate swing routine, the overly focused type A.
Yesterday? The chronic complainer.
Our club, like many, is overwhelmed with the number of members signing up for rounds of golf – we are truly setting records as many people, locked down in our pandemic world, find themselves with much more time on their hands. There are more people golfing than might normally do so, with the result that there are fewer prime tee times available for those who like to get out early!
This has been the source of minor grumbling throughout the season, but many of us go with the flow. But one fellow arrived on the tee yesterday morning with a constant stream of complaints about tee time allocation; the inability of the club to fix it; an overview of all of the complaints that he has sent to the Board; an outline of the many ways in which it is not working; an ongoing indication of just how unhappy he is.
I mean, he just didn’t let up. It’s kind of hard to concentrate on your first tee shot when you encounter this type of thing. But before my tee shot, I asked him, “ok, so how do you suggest we fix it?” He seemed to have none. I did a practice swing and pressed him. “No, seriously, how would you solve this problem?”
He blurted back an answer: the club could chop 1,000 members off of the roster – and the problem would be solved. Not much of a solution, really! And so, he essentially had none.
I nailed my tee shot, dead straight into the fairway. Maybe I just need a bit of emotional release to let go.
The round settled down after that, but the encounter had me thinking throughout about many of the stage comments I’ve made over the years about innovation and disruptive change. So I filmed a thing!
It also gave me my quote for today, because I was busy inventing a word as I made my way down the fairway.