A Complaint Free World

How to Stop Complaining and Start Enjoying the Life You Always Wanted
by Will Bowen | Doubleday © 2007 · 176 pages

Will Bowen committed to going 21-days without complaining, criticizing or gossiping and challenged his congregation to do the same. 7 million purple bracelets later, Bowen created a little revolution and in this Note, we’ll check out some Big Ideas on how to quit getting your complaint on. And why you should care. Big Ideas range from shutting down the complaint factory to the fact that we’re all self-made—but only the successful will admit it.

If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude. Don’t complain.
Maya Angelou

“Less pain, better health, satisfying relationships, a better job, being more serene and joyous … sound good? It’s not only possible, it’s probable. Consciously striving to reformat your mental hard drive is not easy, but you can start now and in a short period of time—time that will pass anyway—you can have the life you’ve always dreamed of having.”

~ Will Bowen from A Complaint Free World

Will Bowen is the lead minister at Christ Church Unity in Kansas City, Missouri who decided to challenge himself and his congregation to go 21 days without complaining, criticizing or gossiping. Nervous about whether he’d get thru them all, he bought 500 purple bracelets and set up the rules:

1. “Begin to wear the bracelet on either wrist.

2. When you catch yourself complaining, gossiping, or criticizing, move the bracelet to the other wrist.

3. If you hear someone else who is wearing a purple bracelet complain, it’s okay to point out their need to switch the bracelet to the other arm; BUT if you’re going to do this, you must move your bracelet first! Because you’re complaining about their complaining.

4. Stay with it. It may take many months to reach 21 consecutive days. The average is 4 to 8 months.”

7 million (!) purple bracelets later, he’s made a big dent in his mission to create A Complaint Free World (learn more and get your bracelet at AComplaintFreeWorld.org) and his book is a really fun, inspiring, practical look at how we can reformat our mental hard drives and create more happiness and goodness in our lives.

Alexandra and I have been playing the 21 Day Complaint Free Challenge game for just over 10 days now. After shocking myself in the first few days with how much I complain, criticize and gossip, I almost got my first day without a complaint yesterday.

I told Alexandra, “Hey, we’ve almost made our first whole day w/out a complaint!” Did a little happy dance and then 2 minutes later I complained about the bath mat (!) being a little weird. The bath mat?! OMG…. D’oh. Too funny.

Never fear, though. I shall triumph!

For now, let’s enjoy some great Big Ideas from Will and his awesome book! :)

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About the author


Will Bowen

A catalyst for positive transformation.