4 Uplifting Reasons to Join the 30-Day No Complaining, No Booze Challenge
August 1st, 2014 by Katie Morton
This morning I was on my way to a coffee shop to do some work, when I noticed cars lining the road on the woodsy side of the street. When I slowed down to see what all the hubbub was about, I noticed an opening through the thick greenery marked with the signage of a state park.
I thought of everything I needed to do today and why I shouldn’t stop. Then I remembered how, when Ghandi was pressured to drop his hour of daily meditation because he had too much to do, he replied, “Well, then, I now need to set aside two hours a day to do meditation.”
When I give myself these pockets of silence, I can see more clearly and act more quickly because the clarity I receive greases the wheels of productivity. So I parked the car and headed into the woods. I wasn’t 20 feet down the path when I walked straight into a spider web. UGH. That has got to be one of the grossest feelings to be all sticky and webby, and OMG, where is the spider!?! Is it in my hair?!? So I did that whole dance.
When I calmed down and began walking again, only a few feet later I spied another web stretched across the path. This time I saw the occupant, sitting smugly in the middle of his web, waiting for an unsuspecting idiot like me to get all tangled up. Ha. Not this time.
I picked up a long stick with lots of branches and twirled it in front of me while I walked. I took down a few more webs, relieved that I figured out a system to avoid this common hiker’s pitfall…and so it is when we start on any new path. We walk into proverbial spider webs, meaning we feel some sort of discomfort, but if we keep going, we figure out how to make our lives easier. But if we quit, we never learn those clever little tricks that get us to the good stuff.
I’m glad I didn’t quit walking when I hit that first web. I had a feeling there was payback coming. And there it was. This gorgeous tree with its gnarled roots fanned out across the bank of a stream.
I’ve noticed lately a movement of people like me growing online, people who don’t have a big problem with alcohol, but who might be able to live a more extraordinary life without it. Maybe we don’t need to give it up forever. But maybe we choose to leave it behind, if not forever, then for periods of time so that we can do things we otherwise wouldn’t be able to do.
Things like get up insanely early in the morning so we can write a novel in our spare time. So we can exercise like we’re 20 years old when we’re really 40. Or to just be here now, more presently and more in tune with our bodies and our lives without one more distraction or craving — whether it’s for food, wine, TV, or Facebook — pulling at us.
I was PUMPED yesterday when I saw Tim Ferriss’ 30-Day Challenge – no, not the part about being the Master of Your Domain, but the challenge that focuses on no booze and no complaining for a period of 30 days.
For me, that combination of No Complaining + No Booze = Magic to bump my life to the next level. As I discovered over my Year Without Wine, when I’m forced to take action to fix every little annoyance in my life instead of letting myself whine (or wine) about it, then amazing things happen.
Here are 4 perks to joining me:
1. Become Open to the Unknown
When we surrender our time wasters and our mind suckers (overeating, TV, Facebook, alcohol, etc.) we create a vacuum so that better things can fill the space. We might be afraid to give up our coping mechanisms because we love that quick hit, that feeling of relief that it provides. However, the cost to us is our ultimate happiness in exchange for a brief moment of pleasure. Happiness and pleasure are definitely NOT the same thing, and we often confuse them in our culture.
Turning towards pleasure often disguises underlying problems that continue unsolved. This breeds unhappiness and creates a disorganized mind. When we resist the short-term hit and instead set about leveling up and improving our lives and our circumstances, we can hit an upward spiral of happiness and inner satisfaction.
2. Create a Daily Routine That Reflects the Life You’re Meant to Live
If you want great things to happen in your life, you’ve got to build your routine around it. Create a daily routine that reflects what matters to you.
Do what matters first. Make it happen. If you’re having trouble, problem solve until you make your routine work for you.
3. No Complaining, No Numbing
I’ve noticed a tendency. When I’m annoyed by something, I want to get distracted. I turn away from the discomfort. But when I resolve to stop both complaining and numbing, then my only option is to just solve it!
Change what you don’t like. Frequently, what needs to be changed is our own attitude or perspective, rather than our circumstances. Keep a sharp focus on gratitude.
4. Build Resilience
We often don’t give ourselves enough credit, but the truth is: We Can Adapt to Anything. For some weird reason, we resist change, even the small day-to-day changes that can solve problems and make our lives feel right!
What might seem like a BFD (big freakin’ deal) or a sacrifice now will feel good over time. The challenge starts NOW! Let me know if you’re in.