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The Only Thing You Gain When You Complain is That You Get to Do it Again

Key Lesson: Complaining about unwanted moments is like wrapping yourself up in a wet blanket on a winter day in an effort to fend off a chill.

Stop Complaining and Start Changing

Most people would rather complain about some painful life pattern than dare to meet the level of their own consciousness responsible for its repeated appearance...and therein do the work needed to change it once and for all. As the following truth tale illustrates, there is no greater unnecessary limitation in this life than one's unseen agreement to live in and with the bittersweet bliss of such self-ignorance.

Two construction workers, employed on the same high-rise job for many months now, are seated on a steel beam overlooking the city. It's time for lunch and a little relaxation from the stress of the day. But every day since they first started taking their meal together, one of the men, Dave, has never failed to voice some complaint about his sandwich, saying things like "Oh no, not meatloaf again" or "Dang, this bread is hard as a rock!"

One afternoon, as Dave starts up his usual negative review of his sandwich, slamming one thing or another about its contents or how it's been "thrown together," his coworker, Ben, just doesn't want to hear it anymore. And so, collecting himself carefully so as not to tread on Dave's toes, he speaks up.

"Look, Dave -- granted, I don't know much about your life at home, and I don't mean to stick my nose where it doesn't belong -- but why not ask your wife to make you something different? I'm sure she wouldn't mind."

"No," says Dave, "it's not my wife's fault. Tammy's the greatest -- a saint, really. She works the late-night shift at the hospital as a nurse." And then, after taking a hard look at the sandwich in his hand, he finishes his thought. "As a rule, she hardly ever gets back home before I leave for work."

"Hmmm," says Ben, pausing to think things through for a moment. "Then I guess I don't understand..."

"What's that?" asks Dave.

Ben continues: "Well, who makes your sandwich for you each morning?"

With that, Dave looks him straight in the eye, as if the answer is too obvious to miss. "Who do you think makes it? I do!"

This article is excerpted from The Secret of Your Immortal Self (pages 58-60).

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