Let us start with the most unpleasant: every habit becomes acquired within 21 days
Читай українською: 21 ДЕНЬ БЕЗ НАРІКАНЬ
“Custom is second nature,” (Consuetudo est altera natura – Cicero) and, until a certain age, we completely fill the space inside and outside of us with some verified practices, consistent ideas, and models of behavior. After having found an absolutely empty space, not limited by unconscious activity, the habit, probably, will be settled within 21 days, taking root and growing slowly. We are to only care for and cherish it. Nevertheless, if a new habit is to replace the previous one, there will be plenty of work ahead. It is a competition, and there is no other way!
Yet, even after that, the misfortune does not end. The fact is that being result oriented is important in self-development, but, as it is true for the majority of activities, one must also be process oriented. And, by being involved in that process, it gives gives us the opportunity to find answers to our question, to see new aspects of the unknown, to understand something about ourselves, and to enjoy the taste of changes. New experiences will form new habits which will become a platform for something absolutely better.
Enough! Time to end the theoretical-philosophical introduction.
I will tell you the story about my own #21DayswithoutComplaints.
At first glance, it seemed that it would continue for all my life. It, however, seemed possible to not complain, and that’s why 21 days would be for the rest of my life.
Then, there were lasting inner dialogues on what to consider a complaint, and what exactly I would have liked to avoid during this particular experiment.
There were the first and second day of the first two weeks, but, then, finally, a wave of success: a week of successfully not complaining. After then, the first and second day moved onto the whole week.
So, that happened a year and a half ago, and, now, it is very interesting to consider the lessons learned.
- It is necessary to forgive ourselves in order to achieve something. There is no other way.
- In fact, the majority of situations, which irritate us, are not worthy of anything from the perspective of the longer parts of one day. For example, now I really cannot remember any problem that caused my anger then. Equally, I could not recall those from a year ago.
- Complaining about horrible environments is just laziness. Really, not less than 80% are petty matters. A lot can be changed by a bracelet that says “21 Days Without Complaints” and walking when the bus suddenly breaks down,cleaning another messy floor, breaking money if the taxi driver doesn’t have change, going back to the supermarket to get the matches you forgot, heating water when the water from the tap is cold, etc.
- Not complaining about ourselves is much harder than not complaining about others.
- Not complaining about the alarm clock is much harder than not complaining because of ourselves. (Taking into the account the foreseen amount of work – yes, exactly!)
- “Nature abhors a vacuum.” The space taken up by complaints and vain negatives is immediately filled with something else. Mainly, it is filled with something interesting and non-suspicious.
- Sadness, regret, anger, despair and anything else from this range is the norm, nonetheless. Those are the same colors brought by the Creator in the same way as the colors of the rainbow. To abandon them completely, to defend our feelings, to eradicate something according to its negativity is not natural. Therefore, if you have lost your ring, argued with a friend, failed an exam, trying to turn off the sadness is not “hygienic.” Instead, abandoning complaints is our effort to look at the situation from the perspective of: “What can I do to fix it; What can I learn from this; What was it for?”
- Being sure that I know better about what is better for me is often an illusion.
- The world is often ready to give us much more than we would ask from it.
In practice, my 21 days was just a month and a half, and the practice ended due to a mistake, of which I have forgiven myself for, half way from reaching the goal.
The habit has not been acquired. The perception of reality has not become unclouded.
Nevertheless, the experience has become a beautiful memory, and the nine lessons, of which I try not to forget, is as equally pleasant as the anticipation of a marathon, which I will repeat from the very beginning one day.