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how to go complaint free

the quick version

Here’s the short version if you don’t have time to read the book but still want to participate in the challenge.

Complaining is defined as expressing discontent, pain or grief with the way things are. It includes gossiping, criticizing, complaining or being sarcastic. People generally complain 15-30 times a day and this challenge can take 6-8 months to complete.

The Basics

  1. Switch you bracelet for every SPOKEN complaint. Think what you want...

  2. Always KNOW what day you are on. Keep track.

  3. Don’t police other people you notice complaining and lecture them. Just do your work!

Remember that no complaining does not mean passively accepting the things in the world. If you have a complaint you can voice it….BUT IT MUST BE DIRECTLY to the person or community that can fix or do something about it. Attend a rally, tell the waiter kindly that the soup is cold and can she/he please re-heat it etc..This is not a complaint because requesting the soup be hot is reasonable, and they waiter can reheat it! Complaining to your friend in the restaurant or writing a bad review on Google about the cold soup is a complaint. What we are working on here creating awareness of our tendency to complain about things they can’t do anything about. It’s about creating awareness about about our unconscious tendency to be negatrons.

Why do you complain? Will Bowen suggests this possibility: G.R.I.P.E

Get attention

Remove responsibility

Inspire envy


Excuse poor behaviour

You can decide for yourself if any of these reasons resonate with you and perhaps try and answer for yourself at the end of the 21 days.


Unconscious Incompetence:

This is where we start. Most of us are unaware that we even complain, so the first step will be the hardest. The bracelet will move back and forth each day for a few weeks or months until we can awaken our unconscious mind.

Conscious Incompetence:

This is where we start to notice how much we complain or gossip. This is where a mindfulness practice and help as we start to observe our thought patterns.

Conscious Competence

This is where you start to notice the things you say and the bracelet is moved less frequently. Sometimes practicing some good listening skills at this stage can help. Take some time before you speak!

Unconscious Competence.

You have arrived! Your brain is now rewired (needs 21 days) and you naturally start to complain less, without effort. Bravo!

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