Be Grateful and Stop Complaining

I’m sharing another experiment. The 30 day experiments, or challenges have been great at helping me get better in certain domains of my life. Although I’ve failed many times, each time I started a new one, I got a bit further, and I’ve improved on the activity I chose for the 30 day challenge, even when I didn’t complete it.

This November, I wanted to go a full 30 days without buying useless stuff. I would only buy groceries and essential personal hygiene products. This month’s experiment is kind of a continuity of the not buying useless stuff experiment because it helps being less materialistic.

I sometimes complain about the world, my situation, and I even about people… This is unproductive, a true waste of time. It’s also an energy drainer, at least for me, and most likely for the person listening at my complaints.

Time is limited. I want to use it to do and make great things, to become a better version of myself, and hopefully to change the world.

Energy levels will decrease proportionately with negative thinking and complaining. To become a better person, to change the world, and to do great things, I need that energy.

My experiment is simple: go a whole month without complaining and replace the whining with gratitude. Replacing the bad behaviour is important because a habit can’t simply be stopped, it has to be swapped with another habit.

The tricky part is to catch myself complaining.

I’ll keep you posted throughout the month. It won’t be easy, but like anything else, practice makes perfect.

Do you complain often? Do you want to take on this challenge with me? Leave a comment pledging you’re in!

Update on the Useless Stuff

I felt I needed to write an update on the Useless Stuff challenge because as November is ending soon, I’m struggling not to buy anything, and I failed.

The other day, I was browsing YouTube videos, and you know how it goes: you watch something, but your eyes are constantly straying to the “recommended for you” section.

So I clicked on another video about a girl who saved 100 000$ in a little over 3 years without a 6 figure salary. She explains in detail how she did it, but I couldn’t watch the full video at that moment because she mentioned a book that changed her finances.

Of course, I’m all pumped up because who wouldn’t want to save $100,000 in about 3 years? I want to know the secrets that she found in the book.

Chloe Morgane - Smart Woman Finish Rich

I headed over to Amazon, and searched for Smart Women Finish Rich. I immediately pressed the “Add to Cart” button. Had it been a Kindle book, I would’ve failed my buy-no-shit-November challenge.

I thought about all the books I already own on the subject of finance. I opened my Kindle app on my MacBook, and searched for “money”, “finance”, “frugal”,”rich”, and “wealth”. I created a collection from the results, and ended up with 34 books to add to my new “Money” collection! I’m sure there are more books that didn’t come out in the search results because the Kindle app searches only titles and authors, not categories.

Wow! I bought 34 books related to finance, and I’m still not a millionaire!!! 😛

Chloe Morgane - 34 Kindle Books About Finances

The thing is, I read only 7 out of the 34 books. One more isn’t going to make me wealthier. All I need to do is read the books I already have. Even better would be to reread the books, learn the lessons, and apply them to my finances.

That was the first time I almost failed at my challenge since I’ve made that IKEA list.

A few days ago, I convinced myself I needed a new camera and lens to shoot my videos. It shoots in 4K, is smaller and lighter than my GH3, and, well… It’s new! I had it in my Amazon cart along with one of the lenses I’ve been dreaming of. I was this close to purchasing it, but I remembered my challenge, and quickly closed the browser’s tab. I avoided a second failure.

But my impulses got the best of me yesterday.

Chloe Morgane - I Bought Word Hero

Every week, I receive an email with book deals from BuckBooks. It’s so easy and cheap to get great reads when you’re subscribed to the newsletter. I succumbed to the temptation after scrolling through the list of all the yummy books they offered me. 1.99$ later, I realized what I’d done. I didn’t even think, I mindlessly pushed the “Buy Now” button.

I didn’t make a big deal out of my failure, but I learned the lesson. If I don’t want to do something, e.g. eat that cake, buy that book, mindlessly scroll my Facebook timeline, I must eliminate my exposure to it.

**

I still have 6 days left in my challenge. I must stay vigilant. The buying impulse is sneaky, and the best way to not give in is to stay away from temptations.

Be Crystal Clean About What you Want

Many of us want some changes in our lives. We want more freedom, better relationships, and we want to contribute to this world. And that’s the problem, and the reason nothing will change; we’re too vague.

Have you ever seen a child write a letter to Santa like this one?

Dear Santa,

For Christmas, I want toys.

Thank you!
Little Bobby

The reason you need to know exactly what you want is that your brain will start working when it knows exactly what it is that you really want. If you don’t get what you want, you’ll be disappointed, frustrated, and unhappy, which is a good thing.

How can being disappointed, frustrated, and unhappy be a good thing?

Because you need drive to move toward your goal. You need to know it’s going to be painful if you don’t get there. To avoid the pain, your brain will figure out a way to give you what you’re after because it wants the pleasure from successfully getting what you want, and because it wants, at all cost, to avoid the pain from not getting it.

The next time you set a goal for yourself, make sure that:

  1. you set only 1-3 positive goals at a time to avoid goals competing against each other;
  2. you break-down long-term goals into small bites that can be achieved in 12 weeks or less;
  3. your goals are crystal clear, so that you don’t end up with a Barbie while you wanted a Tonka loader (true story bro);
  4. you work on your goal and follow-up every single day to create momentum, and see progress;
  5. you have strong reasons why you want what you want;
  6. you know what it will cost you (pain) if you don’t make it happen.

 

Knowing what you don’t want isn’t going to help you. That’s why you have to set a positive goal. If you know what you don’t want for dinner, how is that going to help you eat tonight? 

***

Update on the Useless Stuff challenge.

This week, I bought a book for 0$. I would not have bought it this month if I’d had to pay for it.

In the context of my useless stuff challenge, I am wondering if this would count as a fail. Although the book didn’t cost me money, I have succumbed to consuming something.

Next time, I’ll make my rules clearer about what counts as a fail.

What do you think? Did I fail or not? 

Role Play

You don’t decide what role you want to play in life. You’re a mother, father, brother, or sister. You’re a lazy employee, a good citizen, a renter, or a home owner. You let your environment and situation decide who you are, and what you do. If you’re not having much success in your life, you might think you’re a failure.

Even if the situation can be changed, your behaviours and your beliefs make you think you can’t do anything about it. You learned to be who you are instead of deciding who you want to be.

You get trapped in a state of mind as if in a bad dream from which you can’t wake up.

Your beliefs get stronger because you accumulate evidence of who you have become. Even if the evidences are false in reality, they would still strengthen your beliefs because you give them the power to define who you are.

So, how do you become who you want to be?

Destroy the evidences by making them stand in front of reality. Only then can you change your beliefs and your behaviours.

If you believe you’re a lazy couch potato, and you’ve accumulated evidence that you are a slouch, you’d need to find all the instances where you were diligent, disciplined, and smart-working.

And when you’re actually on the couch doing the hot potato, remember that this is earned relaxing time to unwind from your productive, disciplined day.

Now, define who you want to be. That’s where the fun begins. You can be anyone you truly want to be. Write down all the qualities you want to have, and all the things you want to be able to do. Make yourself extraordinary according to your standards.

Example:

I am a kind and compassionate wife. I enjoy being disciplined because it makes me strong mentally, physically, and in all other areas of my life. My trial skills are progressing; I can make a controlled wheelie to cross big rocks and tree trunks…

Role play: act like that person you just defined. Breath, walk, speak, eat, smile like that person you want to be. Imitate him or her. Ask, “what would she or he do in this situation”, and do it!

You’re already role-playing your life, might as well be on your term! Agree or not?

***

Update on the Useless Stuff challenge.

So far, so good.

I’ve made an IKEA list, but didn’t check out.

I’ve got a camera and a lens in my amazon shopping cart that’s been sitting there for about 2 months; I didn’t check out.

I didn’t buy new books; this is my weakest link, and it’s almost a daily struggle. I have more than 500 books in my Kindle app, I guess you could say I have enough.

Useless Stuff

To follow-up on last week’s post, We Have Enough, I thought I could put myself through a challenge.

Unlike many women, I genuinely hate shopping. It’s hard for me to understand the excitement my friends feel when they shop. I see this activity as a stress inducer, feeling no pleasure whatsoever in giving my hard-earned cash in exchange for a thing that might eventually end up unused after 3 months.

But I’m an imperfect being, and I do sometimes buy things I eventually don’t use. When I do, it makes me feel guilty, and, at some point, I want to get rid of the useless stuff I bought not so long ago.

We/I easily blame the media for this behaviour, and the marketing strategies they use to create needs. As I believe we always have a choice, I think it’s wrong to blame them for our consumerism habit.

The real reason I sometimes buy stuff I don’t need is my habit of mindless consumerism. I convince myself the thing I’m about to buy is going to make my life so much better. About 95% of the time, it ends up being the opposite. The stuff takes space in my home, in my mind, and robs me of precious time when I need to care for it.

Because I love challenges, and because I want to change this bad habit, I will experiment not buying anything for the month of November 2017. I’ll only buy food, and the essential personal hygiene products I absolutely need. I have enough clothes, kitchen utensils, and all the tools and product I need to care for my home, myself, my motorbikes, and my car.

If I like how the challenge goes, I might extend it to December. I will keep you posted in a short note on my weekly blog post.

Do you think I can make it? Have you ever tried a similar challenge in the past? And would you try it with me this month?