positive thinking

Continue the challenge

Try It For 21OK, so I have a confession to make. As I mentioned before, I originally had the idea for the no complaining and no gossiping challenge from a book I’m reading called “The Four Spiritual Laws of Prosperity” by Edwene Gaines. She put the challenge out of 21 consecutive days of no complaining or gossiping.

I modified it a bit here to make it 21 days of trying to not complain or gossip. Over the past 21 days I did OK most of the time, but did have a few lapses.

I must say that after 21 days of no complaining or gossiping, it has become a bit more natural to think of things more positively and to watch my words before they come out of my mouth. I have gained a greater awareness of the negative thoughts as they pop into my head, thus giving me the opportunity to steer them to the positive side.

So, I look at this 21-day challenge as a beginning to more positive thoughts. I will strive everyday to not complain or gossip. This is one challenge worth continuing!

positive thinking

Domino Effect

Try It For 21I’ve noticed a domino effect over the past 20 days. I’ve been telling everyone about my 21-day challenge of no complaining and no gossiping.

Here’s the typical response I get when I first tell someone what I’m doing:

  1. A blank look
  2. Some nervous laughter
  3. A contemplative look
  4. A statement like: “I’m not sure I could do that!”
  5. Stories about how complaining & gossiping has negatively impacted their life.
  6. A resolve to try it out.

Something else that happens: they immediately stop complaining and gossiping. At least for a moment.

The next time I run into them, they ask me how the challenge is going, and tell me they’ve told someone else about it. This is just an example that when we choose to think and act with integrity, we give the opportunity to those around us to do the same.

New challenge coming up tomorrow!

positive thinking

First Thought, Second Thought, Right Action

Try It For 21Hopefully everything we say or do occurs as a thought first. This means that we have at least a brief opportunity to decide if what we are thinking should be said out loud or acted upon.

Many people have the misconception that they should be able to control their initial thought and become upset when they have any negative thought. In reality, we cannot control our first thought. However, we can decide what to do with that first thought. Assuming that this first thought is negative, we can:

  1. hold onto the thought, and nurse it until it become s so big that it feels real, and act accordingly; or
  2. replace the thought with a second, more positive thought, and act according to that.

Since we cannot control whether or not we have an initial negative thought, our only hope for thinking more positively is to take responsibility for the second thought and the action we take (or don’t take) as a result of our thoughts.

By repeatedly replacing negative with positive thoughts and acting on the positive thought, we can slowly turn our first thoughts to the more positive side.  Eventually, we can think a negative thought, bless it (or even laugh at it), and replace it with a positive thought.

Here’s an example: Someone cuts you off while you’re driving in traffic and nearly causes an accident.

Initial Thought: Jerk! Who do you think you are?!

Typical Second Thought: You nearly killed me! I hope you have a terrible day!

Typical Resulting Action(s): Yell and scream, flip them the bird, speed up the car, general road rage.

Domino Action: The other person becomes defensive, starts screaming back, feels terrible about nearly causing an accident, and drives away feeling anxious and angry.

Alternate Scenario:

Initial Thought: Jerk! Who do you think you are?!

Alternate Positive Thought: Thank heavens we didn’t have an accident. It could have been much worse. They must be just as scared as me. I hope that person has a better day.

Right Action: Intentionally SMILE at the person that cut you off. Drive more carefully.

Domino Action: The other person is disarmed by your smile, smiles back, takes a deep breath, drives away feeling grateful and humble. Throughout the day they tell people about the person they cut off that smiled at them.

How does this apply to you? What initial negative thought can you replace with a second, positive, thought and right action? Don’t worry if this doesn’t come naturally. You are human. Just keep trying!

positive thinking

Don't I have the right to complain?

Try It For 21I’ve noticed that every time I think about complaining, and remember that I’ve committed to not complaining, it forces my brain to think differently. More specifically, it boils everything down to two choices:

  1. Accept the situation exactly as it is; or
  2. Take an action to change the situation that does not require expecting someone else to also act.

Here’s an example. I used to get mad every time my husband didn’t take out the garbage. My old reaction was to complain that he didn’t do what I wanted him to do. This would make him defensive, and me feel mean as I was complaining. Without the option to complain, here are my choices:

  1. Be grateful that we have so much abundance that we’ve generated garbage and leave it to rot; or
  2. Take out the garbage, while at the same time dropping the expectation that my husband should take out the garbage.

Notice, that only MY attitude and MY action changed here. The difference this makes is enormous. I’m happy that the garbage is out of the house, and I have not created a second issue regarding another person that may or may not care if the garbage is in or outside of the house. Everyone is happier.

More later on how changing our thoughts, words, and actions can have a domino effect on changing the thoughts, words, and actions of those around us…

positive thinking

Complain & Gossip Defined

Try It For 21When I tell people that I’ve taken a challenge to not complain or gossip for 21 days, I often get questions about what is complaining or gossiping anyway?

My definitions:

Complain: Complaining is when you talk about a problem for the sake of talking about it. It may include blaming circumstances or other people. There is little to no talk about a solution, and usually no willingness to live the solution.

Gossip: Gossip cannot occur in a vacuum. Gossiping is the act of two or more people talking about another person or group of people that are not present for the conversation, and therefore unable to defend themselves. Gossiping is often done in the spirit of feeling superior to the person(s) being talked about or to. For instance, it may “feel good” to know some bit of juicy information before anyone else and can make the messenger feel smart for knowing it first.

Dictionary Definitions:

Complain (from

1. to express dissatisfaction, pain, uneasiness, censure, resentment, or grief; find fault: He complained constantly about the noise in the corridor.

2. to tell of one’s pains, ailments, etc.: to complain of a backache.

3. to make a formal accusation: If you think you’ve been swindled, complain to the police.

Gossip (from

to talk idly, esp. about the affairs of others; go about tattling.

What do these words mean to you?

Challenges positive thinking

The First 21 Days

Try It For 21Please join me in my first challenge to *not complain or gossip* for 21 days. I recently learned that 90% or more of our thoughts are negative. What if we could change that by even a little bit?

By not complaining or gossiping, I hope to begin to talk and think more positive, thereby fostering positive thoughts and actions from myself and those around me.

I got this idea from a book I’m currently reading called “The Four Spiritual Laws of Prosperity: A Simple Guide to Unlimited Abundance” by Edwene Gaines.

Are you up for the challenge?