As someone who’s worked in customer service as a server, a recruiter and a startup’s support team, I daresay I’ve seen my fair share of complaints.
“My tea is too hot.”
“The portion isn’t big enough.”
“Why are you guys out of stock?”
“Why do I have to show up for the interview?”
“Can’t you just find me an easier job that pays more?”
“I don’t know why you guys don’t support Android”
“I’ve said it before. I need this feature — why isn’t it built yet?”
I get complaints — I’ve been there; I’ve complained before as well. But I don’t anymore. At least not as often.
Having traveled and lived in Southeast Asia, I’ve come across a lot of people who are less fortunate than we are. Many of these people work 14–15 hour shifts each day; some of them don’t even have time to enjoy a cup of tea or the money to buy a smartphone — yet, they rarely complain.
So I asked them, “Why is that? Why is it that I never see you guys complain?”
“Hah! What’s there to complain about? Life is already as hard as it is. Complaining does nothing, but make our lives harder because instead of focusing on the good moments, we’ll be focusing on the bad ones.”
Martin Luther King Jr. had a vision, a hope, a dream that one day all humans of all ethnicities will be equal, not judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character. And people stood by him, rallied behind him, believing not in him, but his vision.
Would he have gotten as far as he did if his speech started with, “I have a complaint”?
If there’s something you don’t like, then change it.
If you can’t change it, then change your attitude.
There are things worth complaining about, but most things aren’t. And if you start focusing on the significant, you’re the only one that stands to win.