There is an infinite list of things to complain about: The weather, other drivers, a country’s politicians, the price of gasoline, a poor internet connection, an unclean house, our fellow co-workers, our job, our lack of a job, and our neighbors.

While there are times when it is important to raise issues about certain injustices or wrongdoings—the vast majority of complaining is simply unnecessary. Complaining can make a person unpleasant to be around, it fosters a negative attitude, and it can often lead to a sense of victimization. Think about it, do you actually enjoy being around a person that is constantly complaining?

On the other hand, there are many benefits to complaining less. People that complain less are often more pleasant to be around. They are positive and show greater initiative to make situations work to their advantage. As Tom Wilson said, “You can complain because roses have thorns, or you can rejoice because thorns have roses.”

Here are four things you can do today instead of complaining:

1) Look for the Good. A friend of mine named Josh recently told me that while driving to work he was “getting mad at every other car on the road.” He was complaining that none of the other drivers knew how to drive, when suddenly he saw a bumper sticker that said, “Life is Good.” He immediately changed his thoughts and stopped talking negative about these people. This decision helped Josh realize that life is in fact very good—but it is up to us to find the good and dwell on it.

2) Praise Others. Showing genuine appreciation of others – and sharing that appreciation out loud – will do more than make a person’s day. It will strengthen relationships, open channels of communication, and give people a big smile. Remember, at any given point, we are either emitting positive energy or negative energy and those who are happiest and most successful, tend to emit positive energy.

3) Be Grateful. The next time you find yourself wanting to complain, stop immediately and finish this sentence: “I am grateful for…” You will find that you likely have far more to be grateful for than you have to complain about.

4) Let it Go. Focus on what you can control and stop worrying about everything else. While at an airport, Zig Ziglar once approached the check-in counter to discover his flight had been cancelled. “That’s fabulous,” he exclaimed! “I get to spend 4 hours to work in this beautiful airport—this is fabulous!” While many people would be angry, Zig Ziglar understood that while he couldn’t control the plane’s cancellation, he could control his response to be happy or to be angry and complain.

-Daniel | Becoming Your Best

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