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February 13, 2024 4 mins

Look for solutions instead of just complaining

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Speaker 1 (00:00):
Welcome to Before Breakfast, a production of iHeartRadio. Good Morning,
This is Laura. Welcome to the Before Breakfast podcast. Today's
tip is that when you find yourself complaining, either on

your own or in a group, get in the habit
of asking what do you think we can do about that?
Focusing on solutions instead of grievances is a much more
productive way to go through life. So, I know, complaining
is one of the simplest human pleasures. We all do it.

I certainly do it a lot. It could be a
way for people to bond or blow off steam, particularly
in situations where people feel relatively powerless. I get that,
but I'm also guessing that if you're the sort of
person listening to this podcast, there are not that many
situations in life where you are truly powerless. You have

a lot of resources at your disposal should you choose
to call upon them. So, when you find something that
isn't working and you start complaining about it to yourself
or in a group, train yourself to ask what do
you think we can do about that? On your own

or with others, you might be able to find a
solution or at least make some part of a bad
situation a little better. So, rather than complain about that
meeting that always runs late, could you brainstorm solutions? Asking
what do I think I can do about that? Leads

to one obvious idea, which is treating what your manager
calls a sixty minute meeting as an ninety minute one
for your calendar purposes, just don't schedule anything immediately afterwards.
Or if you always spend ten minutes talking about who
will be on vacation, when you might offer to create

a spreadsheet of this ahead of time, just to take
it off your boss's plate. You might not make the
meeting shorter, but you might. Or rather than complain about
how your kids don't do chores, maybe you can tell
them in your spouse that you are feeling overwhelmed and
ask what do you think we can do about that?

I'm sure you have some ideas, but give their ideas
to listen to. Who knows what they will come up with.
If some of their ideas seem workable, they might be
more invested in the solution. I know this is all
easier said than done, and sometimes there aren't obvious solutions,
but there's no harm in just learning to always ask

this question. You can be part of the group. Griping
and express your own frustration, but then asking what do
you think we can do about that at least suggests
that the conversation can move on to something else. Dwelling
on problems without at least considering solutions tends not to

be helpful. Maybe there isn't anything to be done, but
maybe there is, and making something a little better can
make a big difference in the meantime. This is Laura,
Thanks for listening, and here's to making the most of

our time. Thanks for listening to Before Breakfast. If you've
got questions, ideas, or feedback, you can reach me at
at Laura vandercam dot com. Before Breakfast is a production

of iHeartMedia. For more podcasts from iHeartMedia, please visit the
iHeartRadio app, Apple Podcasts, or wherever you listen to your
favorite shows.

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Laura Vanderkam

Laura Vanderkam

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