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  • #2280376

    People who complain versus people who don’t


    by maxwell edison ·

    The comments posted on a variety of other threads compelled me to share an observation I’ve made over the years. (Not necessarily an observation about the people who post messages here, since I really don’t know the first thing about them, but people I’ve run across, in general, throughout my life.)

    The people who complain about the way things are, and who blame other forces (especially the government, big business, etc.) for all their woes, are never as satisfied, are never as well off, and are never as successful as those who don’t. These (successful) people choose to move forward in spite of those types of things, and they never think that their failures are because of them. I can’t think of a single exception to this.

    Now that doesn’t mean that a person can’t voice an opinion about such things, to the contrary. But to let those things get in the way of one’s own future endeavors, whatever they may be, is always a matter of choice. And the messages to which I refer, are not mere opinion, but rather a vehicle to place blame on someone for something.


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    • #3388918

      Exactly right

      by jmottl ·

      In reply to People who complain versus people who don’t

      I think your point is exactly the reason that plays into why some people advance and others don’t.

      It’s very easy to complain and blame, it’s hard to not fall into that easy trap or to take on the issue and solve it or take responsibility to move ahead of the hurdles…

      There’s a great quote I use on my email —
      “Even if you are on the right track, you’ll get run over if you just sit there.”
      – Will Rogers

      Judy Mottl
      Senior Editor, Career

    • #3388915

      job protection

      by john_wills ·

      In reply to People who complain versus people who don’t

      It is tied in with self-respect. I was once unemployed for 68 months but didn’t give up looking for either IT or non-IT jobs. When signing for welfare one day I got talking with the man in front of me. He had previously been a sign painter for pubs. He was now on the scrap heap, he said, because pub signs were now produced on computers, taking up a lot less time and effort. He had himself not bothered, although “I saw it coming”, to learn how to use computers this way, nor where manual painting might still be needed, nor yet to investigate new lines of work or take a class in something interesting. He wouldn’t even take the Job Service’s extra 10 pounds a week to do a course in any of the various trades they were teaching. I probably had more things to do in life than he had, but I was a lot less miserable in a similar situation. I at least got the 10 pounds extra some weeks, and have battered through to a lucrative and comparatively safe job. This man just moaned that “something should have been done” to supress new technology.
      Next week I am going to a union meeting. The theme will be outsourcing and how we should try to prevent it. This is as contemptible in IT workers as it is in the sugar, steel, textile and catfish industries: more so, indeed, because we have the intellectual equipment – and, often, the capital – to understand where we are and to make the best of it.
      An article in my book Albatross 0-595-19418-4 discusses attitudes to unemployment.

    • #3388907

      People Vs The Status Quo

      by guruofdos ·

      In reply to People who complain versus people who don’t

      I’d be the first to agree with you. My driving instructor gave me a piece of wisdom many years ago when I was 17 relating to learning to drive and the sorts of people you find behind the wheel of a vehicle but it can be applied to life in general and this scenario too. He told me there are four kinds of drivers (or people) in this world.

      1) Active Judicial
      2) Passive Judicial
      3) Active Injudicial
      4) Passive Injudicial

      The first category relates to those who are able to judge a situation and to actively react or modify their behaviour according to external influences. If a bus pulls out in front of them, they can accellerate and steer or brake and steer to avoid an accident. They are in control no matter what happens to them.

      The second category refers to those who can judge a situation, but don’t react or are unwilling to react. They can see the bus is about to hit them, but they just close their eyes, grip the wheel and hope for the best.

      The third pertains to those who make decisions, often rashly or impulsively, without being able to appraise a situation or relate circumstance to their decision. ‘It’s my right of way…if a bus pulls out, its HIS fault!’

      The fourth covers the rest…those who can’t evaluate events and conditions and don’t react or take any notice. ‘Bus? What bus? More pain relief please Doctor.’

      The denizens of Category One are the acheivers and the do-ers. They make their voice heard when necessary (by participation, voting, action, etc.) but are able to adapt. If circumstances change, they are able to change with them. Category Two are the ones who can evaluate life’s events and situations but don’t do anything about it. They may make correct inferences or hold valid opinions, but are not the type to put anything into practice. ‘We know whats wrong with the world…but let’s not rock the boat!’ Category Three are the ‘blamers’. They can’t make decisions for themselves, but are happy to blame their woes on the economy, the President, Tony Blair, Saddam Hussein or the management. Whatever may be wrong with the world, the job, my career, the Welfare System…’It’s not my fault!’. Category Four don’t know and don’t care. They blindly play the cards they are dealt. If everything is fine, great. If not, surely someone will pick up the pieces for me?

      The best people (in terms of success, achievement, survival or whatever) fall into Category One. The rest plod along, make a lot of noise, or just can’t be bothered!

      • #3388904


        by maxwell edison ·

        In reply to People Vs The Status Quo

        I loved the driving analogy. Too many people asking for the “pain relief”.

      • #3387678


        by oz_media ·

        In reply to People Vs The Status Quo

        Your analogy makes definite sense but I’m not sure if people actually fit a single category or a portion of several.
        ie. Liberal Republican (thanks for THAT history lesson guys)

        I see myself as Active Judicial but when it comes to political opinions, I don’t care. For everything else in my life, I can, will and do control every aspect. As to what the government does, I couldn’t care less, until it hits my front door then I deal with it, as for life; if I wake up it’s going to be a good day.

        I think it is a result of once being very extroverted then after coming out of my coma I found I was very passive and introverted. I led this passive life for some time while I recouped and started a new life but now find I am in control of everything I do once again, except this time, with eyes wide open and an understanding of what I can and can’t control.
        I can control how my day unfolds, but I can’t control what will happen tomorrow until tomorrow.

        I see myself as being Active Judicial with a sprinkling of Passive Injudicial with the latter being only a way for me to cope with my day and not let circumstances annoy me to the point of making me sick. I’m good at just dealing with the worst news.

        ie. My cat (don’t laugh) just disappeared after being CLOSE at my side for 8 years (I actually weened him by bottle because his mother died), as much as I miss him, I had no control over his disappearance and just chalk it up to the fact that I would have outlived him anyway so I just accept it and deal with it and move on.

        An old friend of mine died at age 28 a few weeks ago, he had an operation for Lukemia (which noone knew about him having) and died of pneumonia during the operation. Nothing I could do to control this, I just accept it as is without it upsetting me too much.

        If something CAN be controlled I MUST HAVE THE REINS !!

        • #3387468

          The trick here OZ

          by hal 9000 ·

          In reply to Strange

          Is to learn to control the things that you can have control over and try to ignore the things that you have no control over and know the difference.

          You then get along as best you can no matter what the outside infulences that you have no control over are. So if it is some political party or the local church that is trying to convert you, you just avoid them as best you can and then work out what to do when the brown stuff hits the fan.

          It is the people that can do this that get ahead in life and the rest are left complaininf=g or worse still beklieving that the world owes them a living.

        • #3387946

          Too true Colin !

          by oz_media ·

          In reply to The trick here OZ

          Yes that is my theory in a nutshell. Some things you have no control over, so why let them bother you or change your life.

          Other things you have complate control over so it is easy to forsee and benefit from tha outcome. If I can’t control it, Oh well, s*&t happens and you move on.

          Bottom line, like my dad always said, “DEAL WITH IT!”

    • #3388877

      Is it more important to…

      by jkaras ·

      In reply to People who complain versus people who don’t

      achieve and be successful or live contently smelling the roses? Almost everyone I’ve met or know who is very successful have their noses in the air that they are better than everyone else and constantly worry how to get more rather than be content with the great things that they accumulated. These people tend to live short lives due to stress, failed marriages, and substance abuse. Granted they live for the moment like it was their last which is admirable but every decision is based on advancement not happiness. They marry for money, hang around people that can do things for them, and are extremly fake individuals. I have known many people that are down to earth and put more importance on the simple things constantly content with family friends as their wealth. These people live longer due to stress free attitude living a full life. Success doesnt equal happiness but it sure can buy some happiness 🙂
      I’m not a parent but I wonder when I have children would I instruct them to be successful financially or search for their own success in happiness?
      The point of complaining is to voice a need for change or a problem. Yes it can be tiring and annoying but everyone complains about something, just ask your spouse. You are in control of yourself to a point, but we have leaders and laws that restrict options to a promising future, just ask a single mom rasing her children off minimum wage with a deadbeat dad not helping. Her options are limited despite her positive outlook. If nobody voiced an opinion or complained would anybody get off their ass and make a change?

      • #3387669

        I never defined success as acquiring wealth

        by maxwell edison ·

        In reply to Is it more important to…

        You’re equating success with acquiring wealth, while I am not. There are plenty of wealthy, yet unsuccessful people. Conversely, there are plenty of successful people who live a rather modest lifestyle. Besides, wealth is a matter of perspective. I suppose I would define success as the steady progression towards one’s goals, whatever those goals may be. And if one remains on track to achieve one’s desires (goals), then contentment and happiness will surely follow. You ask, “Is it more important to achieve and be successful, or live contently smelling the roses”? To that I would answer yes, on all counts. I want to achieve things that are important to me, I want to stop and smell the roses (I especially love the smell of a golf course early in the morning), I want some other things (some material, some non-material), and I want to be successful in the realization of that which I seek. But that’s just me. Other people may have different goals than I have.

        A person with a failed marriage would not be successful if having a fulfilling marriage is his/her goal. A person living a stress-filled life is not a success if he/she desires calm and tranquility. But on the other hand, some people thrive on the hustle and bustle that some would consider stressful. No one can define success for another. It’s a self-defined path to a self determined destination.

        The difference between your point of view and mine is that I won’t accept the fact that forces outside of myself can prevent me from realizing my goals. True, there are things that happen which may present a new obstacle, things that are beyond my control, things that may have an affect on my plans, and I may have to re-evaluate and redirect myself from time to time. But I chose to make it my problem, thus the answer to any problem I face can be my solution. All of my limitations are self-imposed, just as yours are, whether you realize it or not. Don’t get me wrong, however. Understanding that self-empowering principle is certainly no guarantee of success. But the person who realizes it does indeed have a huge head start, not to mention, a better chance at realizing those elusive dreams.

        • #3366056

          There ARE forces…

          by john_wills ·

          In reply to I never defined success as acquiring wealth

          outside myself which can control my life. The karma which brings things to me was not all formed by myself. But we can measure success in the way we react to our karma, i.e. in the dharma we recognize for ourselves. We have dharma/vocation/calling at several levels, e.g. the house I ought to acquire for my family needs and the residence I should now take up because of my circumstances; the applications I think I could program most satisfyingly and the applications clients and employers will hire me to program.

      • #3387664

        On options (not stock options)

        by maxwell edison ·

        In reply to Is it more important to…

        You said that, “you are in control of yourself to a point”. But for me, the period in that sentence would go after the word yourself – period.

        You said, “but we have leaders and laws that restrict options”. No one has unlimited options. Actually, there are more forces out there than just leaders and laws that limit one’s options. Personally, I’d love to be a quarterback in the NFL, but that’s just not an option. Better yet, I’d love to play along side Tiger Woods in the next Masters. Nope, not a viable optin.

        Too many people dwell on the options that are not available to them instead of the ones that are. Change your focus, change your outlook, and you change your outcome.

    • #3388827

      closely related

      by maecuff ·

      In reply to People who complain versus people who don’t

      I agree. I also think the complainers of the world are closely related to the adults in the world who are still caught up in the belief that life is either ‘fair’ or ‘unfair’. I expect that from children, but when adults feel that way they are bound to be let down. When I hear my children say that something isn’t fair, I tell them that fair and not fair doesn’t come in to play. Life is what it is..make the best of it.

    • #3388812

      One Thing I’ve Learned

      by director@civicconsultants ·

      In reply to People who complain versus people who don’t

      I grew up in the 60’s and complained about being oppressed and only ended up with a bumps and scars.

      It was the day that I decided to stop accusing the Man (what we called the establishment) for all my failures and obstacles to success, that I started to succeed in Life.

      This doesn’t mean that there aren’t bad guys out there, I just don’t give a sheeyit anymore and do as I see fit.

    • #3387655

      The Thin Red Line

      by oz_media ·

      In reply to People who complain versus people who don’t

      I just watched the Thin Red Line a few days ago. An officer (played appropriately by Nick Nolte) said that if you bitch and complain, he at least knows you’re a soldier.

    • #3387594

      Karma …

      by jardinier ·

      In reply to People who complain versus people who don’t

      I think the biggest turning point in my life was when I encountered the concept of Karma. While I found this in Eastern religions, I soon realised that it is also a core teaching of Jesus:

      Matthew 7:12 Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets.

      I have been advised that this concept is widely understood amongst Americans. The popular version today in Australia is: “What goes around comes around.”

      Upon accepting that I was responsible for whatever happened to me, there was never any further need to find someone else to blame when things weren’t going too well.

      • #3387585

        Fine. Until…

        by guruofdos ·

        In reply to Karma …

        Your karma runs overs someones dogma.

        • #3387473

          Actually I don’t …

          by jardinier ·

          In reply to Fine. Until…

          give a s**t about anyone’s dogma. Of course this is a common joke you are quoting, but I choose to answer it seriously. Any rigid dogma is a millstone around your neck, or a ball and chain.

          I would fully agree with Maxwell’s comments below, that we can make the most of our lives by applying ourselves diligently to developing our strengths, and don’t waste any time worrying about what we perceive as our weaknesses.

        • #3387461

          Our weaknesses

          by guruofdos ·

          In reply to Actually I don’t …

          are our downfall when taken in isolation and unfortunately there are those who look to the weaknesses rather than the strengths when making value judgements on people.

          I have been working for the same company for seventeen years. When I first started working for Trenton, it was a part-time ‘summer holiday’ job. I had just fineshed my Higher National Diploma in Electronics, and was debating whether to do another year at college to drag the HND kicking and screaming up to degree level. At the end of the summer, I was invited to stay with the company on a semi-permanent basis with the option of going to college part time evenings or on a ‘day-release’ basis. I took the offer and never bothered with the degree, but instead took the occasional study course here and there as I deemed necessary over the next few years.

          When I joined, the Managing Director had two children – a daughter of 14 and a son of 6. The son, Ross, is now in his early twenties and works for the company as a general dogsbody. I have heard many times from Ross (and his older sister Kate) that when David, the MD, discusses company affairs at the breakfast table my name is always mentioned in dispatches!! The thing that annoys him most about me is the fact that my punctuality leaves much to be desired. I will be the first to admit that this is a real weakness for me and I am rarely on time for work, seldom early and usually late on parade. I have to say though, that if a job involves a site visit and a ‘stupid oclock’ kick off in the morning, I can get up at 5am or 6am with no problem whatsoever…I just CAN’T do 8.30am for love nor money.

          My strengths, however, more than compensate for that particular failing, and although it does exasperate the boss, he does actually realise that my advantages to the company far, far outweigh the disadvantages. Let’s face it…he’s still employing me seventeen years down the line.

          I would like to say in my defence for this ‘weakness’, that if I’m fifteen minutes late in the morning, I’m usually half an hour late leaving in the evening. If the poo hits the windmill and there is too much to do and not enough hours in the day, I’m the first person to volunteer to finish a job in my own time.

          Now, if I happened to fancy a move to another job with another employer, the first thing that employer would consider when reading the reference from my current boss, is that I’m never on time in the morning. No matter what my strengths, that particular weakness would be my downfall. It would probably make the difference between getting an interview or not.

          It is a very sweeping statement to say ‘accentuate the positives’ or work on strengths and leave the weaknesses alone. Should I lose my current job for any reason or WANT a career change, my particular weakness COULD make the difference between feeding my family or having to stand in the soup-line. The fact that I am a damn good electronics engineer, a competent programmer in at least 12 programming languages, and a hardware designer, salesman and support technician is neither here nor there.

          Because of my strengths, I am a big fish in a little pond. If I want to swim in other waters, my weakness is my downfall and my strengths count for little!

      • #3387569

        In America. . . .

        by maxwell edison ·

        In reply to Karma …

        …a common theme of many motivational and “positive thinking” gurus says that if you help enough people get what they want, you’ll get what you want. I suppose no matter how it’s said or when it was said, the principle has some pretty heavy hitters on its side.

        And those who don’t take responsibility for what happens to them, by default, must also look to someone or something else to take that responsibility for them. What kind of way is that to live? It’s often been said that life’s not fair. And I agree, it’s not fair. (Or else I would have Tiger’s golf game.) But if a person focuses on what he does have, and looks for ways to better himself (and give other people what they want), this blink-of-an-eye mytaphysical life will be much more fullfilling, don’t you think?

        I heard a story once about a major league baseball pitcher who never really rised above the level of just fair, and sometimes was labeled mediocre. (It’s a true story, by the way, but I can’t remember who the pitcher was.) He was bounced from team to team, year after year, and never had a winning record. He would always finish the season 6-10, 7-14, or whatever, but was never able to take the next step up.

        One year he found himself on yet another new team after yet another disappointing and losing season. His new coach asked him what his strengths and weaknesses were. The player replied that he had a really good fastball, a pretty good curveball, but his slider really needed work. “But don’t worry coach”, he said, “I’ve been working on it for a few years and I’m determined to get better at it.

        “Well then”, said the coach, “as long as you’re on this team, I don’t ever want to see you throw another slider. You’ll work on your curveball, you’ll learn to master the curveball, and you can use the fastball as your primary pitch”. This was going against the common thought of the day, which was that a good major league pitcher should have at least three pitches in his arsenal, but the player listened to his coach and worked dilligently on his curveball.

        To make a long season into a short story, that pitcher won the Cy Young award that year for being the best pitcher in the league, and his team went on to play in the post season playoffs.

        The moral of the story, of course, is to work on your strengths, focus on what you do have, and the rest will just fall into place.

    • #3387523

      What if

      by voldar ·

      In reply to People who complain versus people who don’t

      there are more than two/four kind of people? What if in fact there is only one? I don’t think the number of types is important, but the character IT IS!
      From my life experience I can say this:
      – the ones that know what to do – they DO
      – the ones that don’t know much – they are chiefs
      – the ones that really don’t know a thing about – they lead
      This is usually the case. So, what do I mean by that? I want to say that the second and the third described above will allways complain about everything even if it is not the case.
      We also have a saying: each kick in your ass is at least a step forward :)) so, it’s fine to see good even if bad happend.
      Also, from my experience, there is a kind of balance between gaining and losing – this balance is allways in equilibrium. And this is why we have to have this equilibrium of us. Those who complain everytime are allways afraid (of changes, of loosing, of everything) – this is why they will never act properly when time comes to do so.

      • #3387433


        by tekichan ·

        In reply to What if

        I agree with vladolar’s experience. But our boss always say that their level don’t need to let them know in detail. They think that their important job is to make a correct direction/decision, which is supposed more important than any IT operation.

        They still think that they can do E-business even if the server is powered off. Can you? If you can, you can be a boss.

        • #3378044

          Yes, it is

          by voldar ·

          In reply to Agree

          correct, but if he say he doesn’t need to know everything then, why is he asking everything about what you do in your job? Is it not good enough to know that all is working fine? Why is he complaining about everything?
          Give him a straight answer: if you don’t know everything, why do you want all the details? Does that helps you within your position? I am sure it is not – but is just him, a little narow minded who thinks that if he is a pain in the ass he is also a great leader. pfffffffff!

    • #3387937

      Something a bit different…

      by dnvrtechgrrl ·

      In reply to People who complain versus people who don’t

      Thomas Wilhite once said something to the affect of “change your thinking and you begin to change your being.” Sounds cheesy, but it aids the pessimist in me.

      The four personality types are pretty much the same, no matter what they are called. There are proactive people, lazy people, and those in between. I think, depending on the situation, we have a tendency to exhibit all of those qualities. On the other hand, the defining factor plays in with what you do with the knowlege.

      I know I have a tendency to be apathetic. I CHOOSE to fight that though. I have a tendency to be pessimistic. I choose to fight that also.

      I’m finding as I get older though that I have a much lower tolerance for those who lie down and accept laziness and apathy as a “personality trait.” I now cannot stand to be within ear shot of someone who gripes and complains about everything and everyone, yet chooses to passively sit by and do nothing.

    • #3387766

      Joke about complaining

      by guruofdos ·

      In reply to People who complain versus people who don’t

      A man decides that he wishes to take up Holy Orders. He talks with his local Priest who advises him that ‘many are called but few are chosen’. He also suggests that he go on ‘retreat’ to a local monastary for a few weeks, not only to see if the life suits him, but to have a chance to reflect and contemplate on his life.

      He duly signs up for a month trial and on arriving at the monastary, is greeted by one of the Brothers, who shows him around, assigns him his quarters and explains the ‘house rules’.

      “We are a mostly silent order”, he explains, “but we allow half an hour on Saturday mornings for any points you wish to raise or questions you may have”. He then gives our potential ‘novice’ a Bible, prayer book and bids him good luck before leaving him to settle in.

      The following Saturday, he is summoned into the Elder Brother’s inner sanctum and invited to make any comments he has.

      “The bed is too hard and my room is cold”, he states.

      Another week goes by and Saturday comes round again. Once more he is invited to speak to the Elder Brother.

      “The food isn’t too bad, but the tea is stewed and there’s no sugar.”

      The following Saturday he again gets a chance to say a few words.

      “Brother William has assigned me to cleaning out the pigs all week, and there’s no soap-powder in the laundry and I can’t shift the stink from my clothes!”

      The fourth week passes, and our man has decided the life is not really for him. He says to the Elder Brother “Well, it has been interesting, challenging and thought provoking, but I’m not sure it’s my thing. I’ll be leaving in the morning.”

      “Thank God for that!” exclaims the Elder Brother. “You’ve done nothing but complain since you got here!”

      • #3378202

        Good attitude

        by oz_media ·

        In reply to Joke about complaining

        In my day to day life, I couldn’t give a damn about being serious, there’s time for that later.

        your off handed remarks always remind me how insane these discussions often are and how seldom they actually offer anything of substance. Probably why I just spew crap most of the time, info is nice but these flame wars are just something to laugh at.

        Good one by the way!

    • #3365842

      Lost art of constructive criticism

      by ntekkie ·

      In reply to People who complain versus people who don’t

      Thank you for sharing this thought with the rest of us recently disillusioned unemployed techs. It is quite easy to complain about having to recertify everytime Microsoft, Novell, Cisco….etc. come out with a new feature to repair what wasn’t working in their products to begin, but much harder to have the resolve and drive to do something about the misery.

    • #3378191

      Reminds me of a joke….

      by jellimonsta ·

      In reply to People who complain versus people who don’t

      A man is visiting an old friend. They sit there talking on the friends front porch, the friends old Bloodhound at his feet. The Bloodhound sporadically gives out a howl/yelp.
      After 10 minutes of this behavior the man asks his friend “Is you dog OK?”.
      “Oh yes” replies the friend. “He is just sitting on a nail”.
      “Why doesn’t he move?” says the man.
      “It doesn’t hurt THAT much!” replies the friend.

      • #3378163

        I love it

        by maxwell edison ·

        In reply to Reminds me of a joke….

        A joke with an element of truth.

      • #3377852

        Well done, I love it!

        by oz_media ·

        In reply to Reminds me of a joke….

        Oh so true ! Well said, I’ll remember that one.

        Kinda like how we Canadian’s deal with our politics. I was talking to a gut over coffee this morning and he was laughing at how focused on the President Americans were, whereas in Canada we sometime say “I should write a letter” but then the hokey game comes on instead. We seem to prioritize living (and definitely the hokey game) over political focus.

        • #3377847

          Hockey isn’t really that hokey

          by oz_media ·

          In reply to Well done, I love it!

          I seem to have had another brain fart while talking about hockey. Funny how sometimes a word looks wrong but you draw a blank as to why.
          After reading the post I realized that Hockey isn’t really hokey at all.

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