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4 Simple Things I Learned From Tim Ferriss’ 21-Day No Complaint Challenge.

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On May 1st, I decided to take up Tim Ferriss’ 21-day No Complaint Challenge. Ok, so it’s Will Bowen’s idea, but Tim introduced me to it so I’m giving him credit. Basically, it’s based on the very real concept that words beget thoughts: positive begets positive, negative begets negative. So it was a mind-control experiment of sorts. Wicked. I wanted to see how much it would affect me & what I would learn from it. I really wasn’t expecting the mind-blowing results I got. Here goes:

4. I complain. A lot. – I thought it was just a snarky comment here or a random observation there. Harmless stuff, right? Nope. The second I started to really consider what I was saying, as well as the emotions behind it, was the second I realized that I really do complain a lot. This freakin’ sucked, since I pride myself in being the calm/cool/collected let’s-get-things-done kind of guy. Apparently, I do that while whining like a child. Once I realized what I was doing, it embarassed me enough to stop. What I learned: Worst/best of all, I realized I’ve been way too negative for awhile. That’s changed. Moreover, on change: If you feel like you’re denying yourself something, you’ll fail. If you see it as a power trip, a “this is my show and I said NO” mentality, you’ll succeed.

3. Everybody has fears, worries, & insecurities. – And damningly, everybody acts like they don’t. No complaints not only allowed me to tune into myself, but it allowed me to tune into others. And whaddya know? We’re all shit-scared, y’all. We all have worries. And, no surprise, we’re all insecure about something. Good. You’re not alone. Relax, you’re a human being. Thankfully, I’m addressing my fears, ignoring my worries(if I can’t control whatever is giving me anxiety, then it’s pointless to be anxious about it), and finally staring my insecurities(based on severe self-hate) in the face and destroying them. It’s a slow & painful process. What I learned: I need to love myself first, give myself a break, and control the controllables. And, be kinder to others. Understand others. Without unknowingly extending the same severe judgement I thought I reserved just for myself.

2. Nobody knows a damn thing. – By that, I mean the big picture. The future. Really. People know some things. Some people know a lot of things. But nobody knows everything(contrary to their pleas of “trust me”). Experts have failed. Non-experts who have guessed were correct. We’re moving forward(I hope), but we don’t know how fast, how far, and who’s at the helm. We think we know, but we don’t. This scares so many of us when it really shouldn’t. When nobody knows what’s goin on, everybody can do their own thing. So relax, and live life to the fullest. Not tomorrow. Today. What I learned: Conviction is Uncertainty’s favorite mask. People will pay ANY PRICE to avoid Uncertainty, whether that is financial, emotional, physical, or spiritual. THIS WILL DESTROY YOU.

1. Happiness is my #1 priority from now on. – This is not to be confused with pleasure, mind you. I’m not a hedonist by any means(the exceptions are brownies & back massages. in that order). Nor am I an emotional masochist any more. This is the authentic kind of happiness. More soulful. More genuine. More here, now. More to share with others. The kind where, as long as I’m doing what I love while becoming a better person & changing the world for the better in my own way, I won’t have any worries at all. Self-love is driving out the severe self-hate, slowly but surely. I’m starting to realize that there is a difference between humility and low self-esteem. I’m starting to realize that if I let other’s definition of value be my definition of value, then I’ll forever be running around trying to please them on their standards. Fuck that. Maybe these were cultural issues. Maybe not. All I know is that I can’t blame anyone any more for being depressed. With this new move of taking my happiness by the horns, it means that I’ll be cutting out a lot of the sources of negativity in my life. Some friends won’t be friends anymore. Some family members won’t see me as much. They won’t get it, but did those dreamkillers ever? Nope. Your life is yours, believe it or not. Live it well. What I Learned: I’m not a failure by any means, regardless of what some people think/say or what society says. I’m a damn good guy. My happiness is my #1 priority from now on.

So there it is. Take from this what you want. Just know that life is short, love yourself as much as you love others, and keep on fightin’, survivin’, thrivin’. You got this. We got this.

Written by Varun

May 31, 2011 at 5:32 pm

Posted in Lessons Learned

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