A few years I was presenting at a conference where the MC introduced an interesting idea. He was a fantastic speaker, a true statesman with a light style and a strong message. At the beginning of the conference he made the following statement:
"At conferences things sometimes go wrong. The coffee can be cold, the speakers late, the fish under cooked, the toilets grubby and so on. It is easy to lose sight of why we are all here and to start complaining to anyone who will listen about all of the things that are wrong. But rather than do that, I want you to find someone in the room and they are going to be your moaning buddy. Every time you see them, get all of your moaning over and done with so you can actually focus on learning and growing. With everyone else you encounter, be positive, energetic and enthusiastic."
So we all found a moaning buddy and had a good moan about life, work, the excessively cold room, the cost of petrol and anything else that was bugging us at the time. Then we went about our day. Whenever we encountered our moaning buddy we had a good moan and a great belly laugh.
This was a very interesting exercise. For starters it really did get the negativity out of the way. It demonstrated that we can be positive and enthusiastic most of the time if we want to be and that attitude is a state of mind.
I think the same should apply in everyday life. We should all have moaning buddies we can contact when we need to vent--get it over and done with, have a great laugh and then get on with the business of living and enjoying every moment of every day.
It seems that that all too often more time is spent moaning and complaining than actually getting on with things and we all know those workplaces that are filled with noting but negativity.
My advice, find yourself a good moaning buddy. Whenever you need to vent, give them a call, have a rant and move on. Let them do the same and cut your moaning time down to the bare necessity and life will be so much better.
Ideas like this can always sound kind of silly. Yet I have no doubt about the importance of attitude, language and thoughts when it comes to being successful in all that we do. I hope you find yourself not just a good moaning buddy but a great moaning buddy. I'm still in touch with mine, almost ten years after the conference.