Complaining about a situation is rarely effective. Don’t get me wrong, sometimes we need to vent. But if all we ever do is complain, we don’t get anywhere. I was reminded of this when I attended my oldest son’s wrestling scrimmage last week. One of his teammates was wearing a shirt which read:
The shirt is right. If you don’t train, you can’t succeed in wrestling. You have to have strength, conditioning, and technique. All three of these require time and effort. This is training. Fail to do any of these three and you will likely lose. That’s reality in freestyle wrestling.
Much of life is the same way. If you’re complaining and not training, you’re not improving. It’s easy to complain. Complaining doesn’t require us to invest much of ourselves. We can always find something to complain about. We can always find an excuse for why we aren’t where we want to be. Finding excuses is easy. It’s not productive.
Certainly there are some situations we can’t change by training. For instance, I’m at a stage and age in my life where I can no longer consider playing soccer professionally or even semi-professionally. I’m almost 40 and I’ve not donned a pair of cleats for a competitive game since I was 22. Truth is, it was never really an option for me because I never had enough training at a young enough age to make it a real option. However, my life is about more than playing soccer. So while I can’t train and move forward towards being a professional soccer player, there are plenty of other areas where I can improve. For instance, I could:
- Learn a new language
- Become a better writer and poet
- Learn a new technology
- Master an existing technology better
- Improve as a father
- Improve as a husband
- Learn a new skill, like how to work on my automobile or become proficient at ballroom dancing
If we think long and hard enough, there are situations we can improve and do something about. We may not have a lot of resources, but that doesn’t mean we’re completely out of options. If you want to work out and get in better shape, you don’t have to have a gym membership. You can do body weight exercises. If you can’t afford to leave your job and travel to Paris to go to culinary school, you can always go to the local library and get a book and attempt the recipes or techniques. If we’re creative, we can come up with solutions. We can train. We don’t have to complain. It’s simply more effective.