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February 12, 2008

Constructive Complaining

It can get pretty frustrating when people complain non-stop. Most of the time it's because they’re whiny and can seem to do anything but look at the negatives. It can also be pretty depressing talking to one of these people. Do they think you really want to hear about how they can’t stand the person down the hall talking all the time, or that they don’t think they’re smart enough to do anything productive? It might be good to ask them sometime.

While these people can be quite a drag on a day, there is a way to take what they do best and turn it into a great opportunity – constructive complaining. During the normal course of a day, I tend to complain a lot, but you’ll also find me doing a lot of writing. Why? Are these two correlated? Yes. Whenever I find something worthy of complaining about, the first thing I ask myself is how could I make it better. From just this simple question, ideas are incredibly easy to generate.

Here’s an example. I tend to focus in on the lyrics of the songs I listen to, so I work on weeding out songs with messages I don’t want to penetrate my subconscious. This process can be a pain when trying to keep track of all of the songs I listen and wanting to generate a playlist for a specific mood. So, I asked how could this be made better? One way I’ve thought of to fix it is to make tagging and labeling of songs much easier for someone. To allow a person to base it on their emotions if need be and then to be able to mix and remix songs that they associate with the emotions into playlists, because a song can be attached to multiple meanings for a person. This would make setting the mood much easier for an occasion or for helping you get pumped up or excited about something. Have a sad day and need to mope for a while? Just play some sad music until you get sick of it and want to be happy again.

Now implementation and execution is the only bottleneck to this method. You’ll generate so many ideas you just won’t have the time to work on them all at once. But in the end, is it better to have too many ideas with a few gems or too few and less of a chance of a gem emerging?

Holding true to constructive complaining, here’s something to keep in mind. When you hear one person complain, think business opportunity. When you hear many people complaining, think BIG business opportunity! Happy complaining! :D

Related Entries:
Are You Helping or Hindering Others?
How to Use Pessimism to Your Advantage

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