Recently, a student suggested I read some books by Jon Gordon and offered to let me borrow his copies. I had never heard of Jon Gordon, but I took the student up on his offer and borrowed The Energy Bus, Training Camp, and The No Complaining Rule. All of the books are short, inspirational reads and I would recommend them to anyone because we all need positive encouragement in our lives.
In The No Complaining Rule, Hope (the main character) is faced with improving the morale at her company. She searches high and low for solutions, and eventually develops a strategic plan to make the company culture positive, encouraging, and pleasant. Throughout the book, Gordon uses Hope’s situation to teach readers key principles and practices (two of the ideas are below) to help avoid being a complainer.
Three No Complaining Tools
1. The But —> _____ Positive Technique. When you catch yourself complaining, add a “but…” along with a positive.
- I don’t like driving to work for an hour but I’m thankful I can drive and that I have a job.
- I don’t like that I’m out of shape but I love feeling great so I’m going to focus on exercising and eating right.
2. Focus on “Get To” instead of “Have To.”
- “I have to grade these tests” turns to “I get to grade these tests.”
- “We have to go to chapel” turns to “We get to go to chapel.”
3. Turn Complaints into Solutions.
- Identify your intent when complaining.
- Justified complaining moves you toward a solution.
- Mindless complaining is negative and should be avoided.
Five Things To Do Instead of Complaining
1. Practice gratitude.
2. Praise others.
3. Focus on success.
4. Let go.
5. Pray and meditate.
We’re getting into that part of the school year where we’re all tired and extremely busy— a bad combination— and students are getting restless. It happens every year, but since we know it’s coming, we need move forward with a positive outlook. I want to encourage everyone to be positive, to look for solutions, and to avoid mindless complaining.
As educators, we have an important job to do— correction, the most important job to do—and that’s to mentor and educate our students. No two thoughts can occupy the mind at the same time, so if we’re focusing on being positive, negative thoughts have no place in our minds or in our schools.
My goal is to be the most positive person in my school. I challenge you to do the same.