The No Complaining Rule

One of the most interesting books I’ve read over the past several years is, “The No Complaining Rule” by Jon Gordon. It has really changed my perspective and continues to challenge me with turning my complaints into solutions. The rule is fairly simplistic…We can’t mindlessly complain about something without also providing a potential solution to the problem. Three things really jump out at the reader.

1. I call it the And Yet principle. This simple strategy helps us turn our complaints into positive thoughts, solutions and actions. Here’s how it works… When negativity is heard or felt, simply add the words And Yet, followed by a positive, uplifting statement or perspective. Example: I get tired of washing the dishes, and yet, I’m grateful to have food every day to make them dirty.

2. Focus on Get To instead of Have To. Many times we focus first on what we have to do. In doing so, it can become an annoying obligation we may choose to eventually resent. The truth is, we don’t Have To if we choose to Get To do whatever it is. In all we do, we can attempt to continually create and nurture this type of culture. We Get To earn a living…be a blessing to our co-workers…shine our light to customers…focus on what is going right and ultimately to be grateful in all we do. Example: Do I Have To pay taxes or do I Get To drive on smooth roads and/or help fund my child’s education by paying salaries of the educators?

3. Turn Complaints into Solutions. Mindless complaining is one of the easiest, yet most toxic things any of us could take part in. A justified complaint is fine to present, as long as, we give a mindful solution to the issue. A mindless complaint is negative and life-draining while a mindful solution is positive and life-giving. The point is to identify and address the problem only if we plan to progress toward a solution. Example: Instead of thinking, Why is everyone so stupid around here?!…Ask, How could I communicate my expectations with better clarity?

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Bruce Hamsher                                                                                                                    CEO, Toward the Goal Ministries