This common expression contains half a self-improvement strategy. You’ve heard this before, maybe even followed it.
It’s good advice, I guess.
It’s just playing a little safe. There’s so much more you could do with it.
And the expression is this, echoed by parents, teachers and overbearing classmates the world over:
“If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all.”
Like I say, that’s good advice. Complaining doesn’t help much. Sometimes you need to vent, sure. Once you stop venting, though, all you do is practice feeling upset.
Besides, it does no favours for your relationships. Complain too much and folk will start avoiding you, simply because you bring them down. And the more someone complains, the more we see them as equally bad as what they’re complaining about.
Sounds strange but it’s true. Spend enough time moaning about how lazy other people are, and people will see you as that lazy.
Negativity creates more negativity. There’s no escaping it. Play with mud and you will get filthy.
The strategy here is obvious:
Look for the bright side more.
This isn’t an invitation to turn into a lunatic. If your family suddenly die, don’t look for the silver lining – mourn them.
For the little things, though, you can probably let them go.
Ignore little insults and let small hassles pass unremarked.
It’s not easy. But if you let them go – and I mean really let them go – it does wonders for your peace of mind.
This takes practice. The art is not in ignoring your frustrations or to suppress your natural responses. It’s all in how you choose to respond.
Even if you veer towards the negative in the moment, you can always wallow in it or beat yourself up over it.
Or you could move in a better direction.
Every time you choose positivity, you reinforce the habit. Soon it becomes who you are, not what you do.
So that’s one way to enhance your life.
But if self-improvement really interests you, what would you do with more techniques than you can use?
Like, say, 60 of them?
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