If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude. Don’t complain.
— Maya Angelou
Have you heard of the Complaint Free challenge?
A minister named Will Bowen started this in 2006. He was teaching a class in prosperity and offered his students purple bracelets (you can buy them here or use a rubberband) and a challenge: go 21 days without complaining.
Will Bowen’s vision is to inspire 1% of the world’s population to try the No Complaint Challenge.
The current world population is 7 billion people. 1% of 7 billion is, of course, 700,000,000, which Will thinks will be sufficient to shift the balance to… positive. We could use more positivity, right?
To date, complaint free bracelets have been distributed in 207 countries to an estimated 11 million people — individuals, schools, corporations and places of worship.
It’s a start.
The rules are simple:
- Switch your bracelet to the other wrist with every spoken complaint. Only when you complain, criticize, gossip, or say something sarcastic aloud. It’s ok to state a fact, such as “A mosquito just bit me,” vs. “Why am I always the one being bitten by mosquitos?”
- Always know what day you’re on. If you don’t know, you’re not taking it seriously.
- Don’t be a bracelet cop. If you are doing the challenge with friends or classmates, don’t monitor their actions; monitor your own!
- Switch your bracelet with every complaint. It’s easy to think, well maybe I don’t have to switch it for that one… Get used to switching it. The average person complains 15 – 30 times a day.
(From Will Bowen, A Complaint Free World, Three Rivers Press, c 2007, 2013)
If you’re like most people, you might be on day 1 for a couple of weeks, and after finally reaching day 2, slip back to day 1 the next day! It can take months to reach 21 complaint-free days. Yikes! It’s truly a challenge. But you’ll be rewiring your brain for positivity rather than negativity, improving your own life and the lives of those around you. Well worth it!
I strongly encourage you to purchase the book or borrow it from your public library. There are so many interesting details to support your success with the challenge.
Here’s Maya Angelou talking about her vision of a complaint-free world. She calls it, “The beginning of paradise.”
Want to try the challenge? I have 7 bracelets left from the 10-pack I ordered and I’ll be happy to mail them to the first 7 people who email me. I’m ready to try again (my second time) and I would love some company 🙂