Tuesday, November 30, 2010

50 Things Your Life Doesn’t Need

I have known very few real change agents in my life. Sam Davidson is one of them. Sam is a writer, entrepreneur, and dreamer who believes that the world needs more passionate people. So he is one!  He also mobilizes others to be passionate about things that matter (or should matter) to each and every one of us.

Sam sees the infinite possibilities in each situation and does not hesitate to become an advocate for them. Because of that, he often makes me uncomfortable (but that’s a good thing).

In addition to being a very practical theologian, Sam is the co-founder of Cool People Care and Proof Branding. He has a new book entitled 50 Things Your Life Doesn’t Need. I recommend it to you and provide an excerpt here.

One Thing Your Life Doesn't Need: Complaints Without Action

Sometimes, there’s no better stress or tension reliever than letting off some steam by complaining. Yell, stomp your feet, or throw something (as long as it’s not at someone’s head). Just don’t let complaining become a lifestyle, in which you idly vent about what bothers you. Your life doesn’t need complaints without action.

If you see a problem, it’s okay to be upset. Getting upset and proclaiming your disapproval is a good thing. But complaining should never be the end; it should be the beginning. Complaining should lead to acting, whether that means protesting, writing, volunteering, or leading the effort to make it right. Take action when you complain. It’s the only way you’ll ever stop.

“There outta be a law!” you say? Then make one (or call or write or email the people who make them). “That ain’t right!” you protest. What is right? What should be done? It’s time you get to doing it. There should be a new rule stating that if you complain and don’t act, then you’re not allowed to complain any more. Maybe I’ll get to work on that.

People who complain and never act should soon lose their right to be heard. Whether you simply ignore them when they start moaning and groaning, or whether you challenge them to start doing something to address the object of their dislike, the complainer will soon see the folly of griping about something and not acting.

Things only change because people act to bring about that change. Leaders of movements and revolutions weren’t merely complainers. They took action. Many were willing to be ridiculed at best and at worst, executed. Had any of them stopped at the complaint stage, our world would not have seen any progress in centuries.

Thankfully, they decided it was time to get to work, and the world was made better for it. What will you improve? You’ll need to move beyond simple complaining to get it done. The time to act is now.

(Disclosure: The writer of this blog received no compensation for the recommendation of this author or publication.)

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