what did you do about it?

What if we started conversations from a place of responsibility? One of the qualities I have adopted from Americans is the ability to see a problem as an opportunity to change things.

Standing with Albert Witliff, guest speaker in our personal selling class. 2013

When someone complains, someone else tells them: “what did you do about it”? I think this is the missing piece in many conversations in Cameroon nowadays. We delight ourselves in complaining about people, about politics, about others… and ignore the fact that we are also responsible for changing things at our own level.

Being a victim feeds our ego. We want to vent. We want to feel understood without being judged, and we want popular approval. Put simply, we like to complain because it takes little effort and makes us feel good. LOL

People who love to complain

I sometimes encounter people who love to complain from the time we say hello to each other, until we part. “Oh the government is not doing its job well”. “Oh my gosh look at the way she/he drives. It’s awful.” “You guys never do things ahead of time, why don’t you let me know before hand?”. The problem with being a person who loves to complain is, people will no longer know when you need help. If you are always complaining, you also come across as needy, and energy depleting instead of a constructive person people can talk with.

How I feel when I am around people who love complaining. LOL

Most people will avoid you or judge you because you don’t seem to want solutions. Since complaining brings you that much gratification, you will not attract problem solvers, but people who also love whining and complaining.

Negativity = No progress

In an environment filled with negativity, you CANNOT build your dreams. Your mindset cannot expand beyond your current circumstances and you will always feel like you have to shrink so other people don’t feel bad about themselves.

what if we only allowed ourselves to complain about the things we are changing?

I only criticize the mindset of Cameroonians when I know I am responsible to change it at my own level. That’s partially why I coach. If I find a problem, I must solve it. The more we focus on a problem, the more it grows. The more we focus on solutions, the more solutions are available to us. When we develop a “no excuse” mentality, we become leaders and stand out from the crowd.

A positive mind attracts more positivity

I was telling my uncle about my day at work and how it went. I was smiling and laughing so much that he thought I had signed a big contract with a new client. That was actually not the case. I still was struggling with my normal day to day challenges. The one thing I changed was my mindset. Instead of focusing on the things I couldn’t control, on the things I didn’t like, and the things that went wrong, I chose to be happy for the things I did do well.

We then started talking about ways to improve the way business is done in Cameroon and all that great stuff. LOL

Next time you want to complain about something, ask yourself what you’re doing about it. You will become “solution focused” instead of “problem focused”. You will face greater challenges in the short run, but you will become a much grateful and happier person.


Rose Du Sahel

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