in Productivity

Quit whinging and ‘use the difficulty’!

'All the world's a stage'

Image by Pedro Moura Pinheiro at Flickr

If minor celebrities and athletes can write their autobiographies whilst still in their 20s, then I feel justified in dispensing some wisdom. Here it is:

If you want to go far in life, don’t whinge.

Not whinging is your fastest and most direct route to success, in any area. People don’t like whingers. Note that I’m not saying don’t say anything negative, just be aware of the difference between that and whinging.

Whinging is when an individual says something negative without any interest or commitment to making what it is they’re whinging about better. Their utterances are worse than useless as they actually make everyone else around them feel worse. That’s why people avoid whingers.

But not whinging isn’t just about winning friends and influencing people, it’s about personal happiness. Not whinging makes you feel better about yourself. And if you make a commitment to make changes rather than moaning about them, then your confidence will increase. You are likely to also gain new skills and your personal productivity is likely to skyrocket. :-D

I’m reminded of a quotation from Michael Caine I read recently on Scott Berkun’s blog about how he learned to use difficult situations to his advantage:

I was rehearsing a play, and there was a scene that went on before me, then I had to come in the door. They rehearsed the scene, and one of the actors had thrown a chair at the other one. It landed right in front of the door where I came in. I opened the door and then rather lamely, I said to the producer who was sitting out in the stalls, “Well, look, I can’t get in. There’s a chair in my way.” He said, “Well, use the difficulty.” So I said “What do you mean, use the difficulty?” He said “Well, if it’s a drama, pick it up and smash it. If it’s a comedy, fall over it.” This was a line for me for life: Always use the difficulty.

So be like Michael Caine. If you see a difficulty, don’t whinge; do something about it! :-)

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  1. I don’t know why I started watching that British TV show, “Young Dumb and Living off Mum,” now those are great examples of whingers — you want to stay away from all of those kids!

    Maybe after age 3, whining stops working ;)

  2. On the money once more Mr B.; I know of several people to whom your comments might apply.

    I find myself wondering what a ‘whinger’ would think after reading your post. Would they recognise themselves as a whinger? Does whinging come as part of a package along with other negative traits . . . like being unwilling to accept criticism? Are typical whingers simply not sufficiently proactively inclined to search for solutions to the issues they’re whingeing about?

    Although you’re right in that positively inclined folks tend to avoid whingers, the latter often hunt in packs. I’ve noticed that whingers tend to aggregate; they feed off each other’s negative comments, feeling vindicated that someone else shares their view. This can of course make it that much more of a challenge when you’re trying to push forwards. But hey, the sweetest victories are those which are hardest won are they not?