The link between our health and our tweets!

I just came across Michelle Gielan’s book “Broadcasting Happiness” and was really interested to read the following:

“And as you’ve seen throughout this book, our communication patterns are predictive of a range of business, educational, and health outcomes. In a recent study conducted by my brilliant friends at the University of Pennsylvania, they have been able to predict levels of heart disease in a community based upon the tweets coming from people living there. By assessing language patterns that reflected strained relationships and negative emotions (especially anger) coming from local Twitter users, the team was able to predict levels of heart disease better than an existing ten-point model that used information such as demographics and health risk factors, including diabetes, hypertension, and obesity. Language expression on Twitter might be a better predictive medical tool than questionnaires given to people at the doctor’s office!
Let’s get really practical. Here are several examples of shifting-the-focus questions that you can use to greatly improve your broadcast and its ripple effects at home and at work.”

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Do you realize what she is saying! What we broadcast on Twitter is a better predictor of our risk for heart disease than the traditional medical exam. If what we say and the conversations that we feed are a better indicator of the health of our heart than our body weight or blood pressure… then we better start a complaint-free diet!

YES, the words that come out of our mouth and the ones that we broadcast on social media (or around the coffee machine at work) have an impact on our health. They also have a huge impact on how we navigate our lives! If we broadcast lack, fear, and limitation then we experience what we express – lack, fear and limitation – and days after days we go to bed at night feeling empty and powerless.

The good news is that we can totally change this habit we have of complaining all the time. Hundreds of people have done it and they shared with me how amazing their lives are now. By learning to cultivate another conversation with our life we start to see our resources and all the possibilities that it is offering us. We get out of our draining victim position and we start to fuel our lives.

When we learn to broadcast a “higher” conversation with our life, we can experience a “higher” life.

You can join the  “I quit complaining” Facebook group anytime. It’s free and it’s fun!

©2016

“Christine Lewicki is a Bestselling Author, Speaker & Coach. She is committed to helping people quit complaining and become entrepreneurs of their lives. You can download your FREE “I quit complaining” starter kit on her blog www.iquitcomplaining.com and visit her Facebook page for inspirational articles and quotes to reveal the best version of yourself each day!

 

The power of Habit!

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“Hundreds of habits influence our days—they guide how we get dressed in the morning, talk to our kids, and fall asleep at night; they impact what we eat for lunch, how we do business, and whether we exercise or have a beer after work. Each of them has a different cue and offers a unique reward. Some are simple and others are complex, drawing upon emotional triggers and offering subtle neurochemical prizes. But every habit, no matter its complexity, is malleable. The most severely addicted alcoholics can become sober. The most dysfunctional companies can transform themselves. A high school dropout can become a successful manager. However, to modify a habit, you must decide to change it. You must consciously accept the hard work of identifying the cues and rewards that drive the habit’s routines, then find alternatives and support. You must know you have control and be self-conscious enough to use it—and every chapter in this book is devoted to illustrating a different aspect of why that control is real.”

—Charles Duhigg from The Power of Habit

When I decided to start my 21 Day Challenge to Quit Complaining I did it because I realized that I was constantly “resisting” my days.  I was not conscious of this dynamic because the resistance was mild but it was always there and it showed up in those complaints. I would come home and complain about the mess in my house, the dirty dishes in the sink, about other cars on the road (bad driving is like bad breath, you notice it only when it is someone else’s!) I was complaining about my emails or about my Internet provider – all day long without being aware of it, I was resisting. It was a habit!

I did not want to realize on my deathbed that I had spent my entire life resisting it. I wanted to savor this life – with the messy house, with the demanding kids, with the emails… I wanted to create a new relationship with my (not always very sexy) life.

I undertook a challenge because I wanted to set myself free from this habit.  I knew that having the “intention” to embrace my everyday frustrations with a positive attitude was not going to be enough; I knew that the next day I was going to get caught up in the spiral of daily routines and that I was simply going to forget my good intention.

I wanted to train my brain and create new habits, habits that would set me free from falling into “victim mode,” habits that would allow me to be more present and more responsible in my life.

Can you identify negative habits that get in the way of fully enjoying your life?

If complaining is one of them, I invite you to start the challenge today!

You can read in more detail about the beginning of my journey with the challenge here. The challenge may take you 21 days or even a year, but I guarantee it will change your life!

©2016

Christine Lewicki is a Bestselling Author, Speaker & Coach. She is committed to helping people quit complaining and become entrepreneurs of their lives. You can download your FREE “I quit complaining” starter kit on her blog www.iquitcomplaining.com . visit her Instagram page and  her Facebook page for inspirational articles and quotes to reveal the best version of yourself each day!

 

6 steps to communicate so that you can be heard

A few months ago I wrote an article titled: Learning to express our needs and frustrations differently.part 1 and part 2

Today I want to share with you a visual that I have created to remind myself of this process. I printed it, taped it to my fridge and I am using it every day.

Because sometimes we do have something to say to the people around us. We do need them to help us meet our needs. But it’s not always easy to communicate. The more important the need is, the more chances we have to slip into our blaming and complaining habit and let’s face it it’s exhausting to complain and not feel heard.

6 steps canva

©2016

Christine Lewicki is a Bestselling Author, Speaker & Coach. She is committed to helping people quit complaining and become entrepreneurs of their lives. You can download your FREE “I quit complaining” starter kit on her blog www.iquitcomplaining.com and visit her Facebook page for inspirational articles and quotes to reveal the best version of yourself each day!

4 Golden Rules to Manage Time Without Complaining !

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It’s easy to get side-tracked with all the things we need to do during the day! Without proper preparation and focus we can waste precious time and this may lead to feeling frustrated and we end up  complaining!

Have you ever started off  your day with great intentions and energy to conquer all  to complete your TO DO list, only to find yourself a few hours later still handling your emails or getting lost in the amount of info popping left and right  from your computer screen and losing track of the task at hand?

You’re not alone! It’s so easy to get overwhelmed and distracted.  How can you manage your time more effectively and actually get things done everyday to avoid  complaining?  I’d like to share with you my 4 Golden Rules that I use and that help me be more productive and keep on task.

GOLDEN RULE #1 – Get up early – The first thing that allows me to take action towards my goal and ambition is to have the “discipline” to get up early to start my day before everyone else at home, 5 days out of 7,  I get up before the house wakes up with a “ fresh mind” and a cup of coffee. It’s not always easy to stick to, but in the end I know I will have more satisfaction to advance on my projects versus spending an additional 2 hours sleeping-in! (I can always take a nap after lunch)

GOLDEN RULE #2  – Exercise –  Taking care of my body allows me to feel “empowered’ and “connected: in all areas of my life”.  There’s no excuses to procrastinate and postpone to the next day. We can ALWAYS find at least 10 minutes in a day to exercise and feel great in the process!

GOLDEN RULE  #3 – Remain clear on what you want to accomplice –  I can’t accomplish anything big when my head is filled with all these  “TO DO” things.  It feels as if everything is spinning in every corner and I live anxiously fearing to forget something. When I start my day,  I need to know exactly what needs to be done urgently and also be able to devote some time to  a project that matters to me. If I want to make progress, not waste time  and avoid  feeling frustrated and complain,  I know that I must give myself every opportunity to accomplish the task I need and to do this I use the marvelous ( and free) tool called KANBAN 

GOLDEN RULE #4- Stay focused to work more effectively and less – There’s nothing worse  for me than to start  my day with good intention only to allow  my computer, emails, and demands from others invade me. Time just flies and I end up wasting precious time  feeling more disappointed and confused than before I started and this is great feeding ground for complaining!   Once I am clear on the tasks that I need to accomplish in my schedule, I must stay focused on the task  ( no answering phone calls, making a cup of coffee,  checking Facebook etc… )  For the last few years now, I  have relied on the Pomodoro Technique  to keep me on track and it works like a charm.

Let me know how this works out for you! How do you manage your time without complaining and tell me how your 21 Day Quit Complaining Challenge is going?

Love & Respect,

Christine Lewicki

© 2015

Want to you use this article in your newsletter, blog, or on your website? You can, as long as you include the following blurb:

“Christine Lewicki is a Bestselling Author, Speaker & Coach. She is committed to help people quit complaining and become entrepreneurs of their lives. You can download your FREE “I quit complaining” starter kit on her blog www.iquitcomplaining.com and visit her Facebook page for inspirational articles and quotes to reveal the best version of yourself each day!

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Is the Universe a friendly place?

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I personally found that putting celebration on the forefront of my life as I was releasing my complaints was perfect! I believe that, in life, if we want to get rid of one habit we have to replace it with another one that works better for us. Our conscious mind doesn’t like emptiness, and if we just try to get rid of the complaints, it will do everything in its power to fill the void. That being said, why not replace our complaints with thank you’s?!

To help us get into the habit of turning on our celebration radar, I chose to create a family ritual. Every night, around the dinner table, we take some time to celebrate the good things that happened during the day. We have developed such a talent at complaining every time things or people are not meeting our expectations that we don’t even stop to acknowledge it (or them) when they do. This celebration routine is a discipline to create space for gratitude.

Kids want to celebrate recess, and the joy of having good friends to rely on, while us, the parents, want to celebrate a productive appointment or the joy of making progress in a project, the joke a colleague told us, the new contract we signed or the satisfaction of contributing with our work.

It’s a ritual we have established for a few months now, even if everyone is not forced to participate (it can seem strange to celebrate, especially at first!). Finally, I noticed that now everybody takes some pleasure in it, even my husband. Our youngest one, at 4 years old, loves this ritual and, if we happen to forget it, she certainly reminds us by saying : “Mommy, mommy, I have something to celebrate!”

To quit complaining and to start celebrating is to choose to believe that life is beautiful and is there for us ( and not against us).  Einstein said one day , that the most important question to ask ourselves was: “Is the Universe a friendly place?” Yes, life is full of problems, atrocities and wars, and often times the media turns on our radar and shows us life’s dangers and horrors. Yet, the wise of all times (Buddha, Gandhi, Mother Teresa…) share messages of hope, peace and beauty. If I had to choose between the media and the wise, I would choose the wise because their message focuses on the good things and invite me to not go against life, but to embrace it. They invite me to not judge the past that I cannot change, but to do my best to contribute to the future. They give me hope, and I want to believe them. I think that their message vehicles peace, forgiveness and goodness.

I heard that optimists are not utopians. They are the one who will change the world because they think it’s possible and I really like this idea. We have the cultivate our perception of the world and see all it’s possibilities and goodness so that we can feel inspired to be entrepreneurs of our life.

So, with this challenge, I would like to invite you to talk, discuss and share everything you have to celebrate since you got up this morning. This challenge is not about “adding” positive thoughts in your conversations, but rather to fill the void left by eliminating your complaints by celebrating.

  • Fill the void: eliminate your complaints, now replace them with thank you’s!
  • Replace conversations filled with complaints with conversations about all the things that make life beautiful, your hopes, your projects,  your possibilities, your desire to enjoy it all.
  • Take the time to tell others (family members, colleagues, friends…) what you appreciate about them.
  • Establish the celebration ritual within your household.
  • At work, start your meetings by taking 5 to 10 minutes to talk about what works, take the time to thank the participants for being there, highlight the contribution of everyone on current projects…you will all be more motivated to move forward or make some progress on projects needing all your attention.

Does this speak to you? Please share here!

Love & Respect,

Christine Lewicki

© 2015

Want to you use this article in your newsletter, blog, or on your website? You can, as long as you include the following blurb:

“Christine Lewicki is a Bestselling Author. She is committed  to help people quit complaining and become entrepreneurs of their lives. You can download your FREE ”I Quit Complaining Starter Kit”  on her blog www.iquitcomplaining.com

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I Quit Complaining: A Tool for Reprogramming your Brain

Brain Reprogramming

By embarking on the “I Quit Complaining Challenge”, we are choosing to undergo a reprogramming work. To change our outlook on life and our daily life especially, we have to learn how to think and live things differently, and especially choose what and how we want to communicate with others.

We have to realize and understand that our words have a great impact on our lives and the people that surround us. Our words nourish our beliefs. By complaining all the time, we end up believing what we say : that people are stupid, that life is hard, that nobody is helping us, that our efforts are left unacknowledged or unrewarded, that we are exhausted, that we are burned out… and finally our complaints impact our actions and in the end our very life.  Our words, whether we like it or not, are to be taken very seriously because our reality is  created by our words and our world is made up of words.

 Your beliefs become your thoughts, your thoughts become your words,  your words become your actions, your actions become your habits, your habits become  your values, your values become your destiny. – Mahatma Gandhi

It is crucial to «reprogram» the way we choose to communicate with life, with the world, with others, with ourselves. By modifying our language and communication reflexes, we will little by little modify our thoughts and feelings, anchored deep down in our belief system for many years.

The challenge  I Quit Complaining and Bitching Challenge, allows us to do this work. Even if at the beginning the challenge seems impossible, you will realize that by freeing yourself from this bad habit of complaining, which is real pollution, you will reeducate yourself and your way of thinking. Complaining creates ways of thinking and reacting that our brain uses over and over again and this becomes our dominant reaction excluding  any other possible alternative.

Be aware that you may need at least 10 different attempts to start to learn a new response mode. This is the benefit of this challenge which allows you to “practice” , “learn” and “reeducate” your way of thinking to create new connections in your brain.

Progressively, the automatic reflex or habit of complaining  will dissipate until it disappears completely.  Later, you will not need to spend a lot of energy to avoid complaining, because your mind will have deeply recorded this new way of being and thinking.  Your “complaint muscle” will be weakened and your “happiness muscle” will be strong and powerful. What may start off as an impossible challenge,  will become like second nature.

* K. Ferlic, Habit of your mind : a releasing your unlimited creativity discussion topic, RYUC, 2008.

Are you ready to  join me on July 1st for the Global 21 Day Challenge to Quit Complaining?  Click here to join the Facebook event and invite your friends!

Love & Respect,

Christine Lewicki

© 2015

Want to you use this article in your newsletter, blog, or on your website? You can, as long as you include the following blurb:

“Christine Lewicki is committed to help people quit complaining and become entrepreneurs of their lives. You can download your FREE ”I Quit Complaining Starter Kit” on her blog www.iquitcomplaining.com

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The Single Most Important Step You Can Take on Your Path for Personal Growth

Personal growth is getting a lot of momentum theses days. So many people I meet are committed to do their “work”. More and more people are hiring coaches or doing workshops and retreats to expand their awareness, rise their consciousness and create a more fulfilling life for themselves.

The more I think about the journey I embarked on when I decided to take my 21 challenge to quit complaining, the more I realize that this challenge is probably the single most important step you can take for yourself when you want to grow.

First Step

I have now led hundreds of people during my own seminars and workshop and each time someone feels like despite all their inner work they are not getting the results they want, we go back to this idea of quitting the complaining.

I see so many people who are thinking of themselves as ” positive” people.  They are outgoing and they usually do tend to see the glass half full instead of half empty when difficulties arise. I really connect with those people because I was exactly like them. I think that if I had seen the cover of my own book ” I Quit Complaining { and Bitching} in a bookstore I would have NOT bought it. It would have said ” I don’t need it, I don’t complain !”

This is because when we talk about this topic of complaining we easily think about the big complainers in our lives: the colleague who is always ranting about everything, a member of our family who seems to never be happy or satisfied with what is. They are irritating us and we don’t want to be around them. Most of you ( like me)  are not like that.

But does that mean that we don’t complain ? how do we react when our child spills milk on the floor ? how about when we are stuck in traffic or when we get to work and our long to do list is putting too much pressure on us ? Maybe we are nothing like the loud complainers that we have identified in our lives, but does that mean that we don’t complain ?

Why does it matter to quit complaining, you may ask ?

My understanding is that when we complain we are choosing to put ourselves in the victim seat of the situation. We are pointing fingers and usually  making someone else wrong for the frustrating situation.

Taking this 21 day challenge to quit complaining is the most important step on your path to freedom. When you start this challenge you get to wake-up in the morning and decide that no matter what happens ( and sh.t will happen, many people won’t do what you want them to do ) you won’t be a victim of anything or anyone. When I say that you won’t be a victim I am not only referring to the BIG situation of your life, I am also and precisely referring to all the small and insignificant frustrations of our every days lives. You decide that you won’t be a victim of the milk spilled on the floor, you won’t be a victim of traffic ( what will you do instead?), you won’t be a victim of your workload…

Being a victim is easy, taking responsibility for your day is another journey. When you make this firm decision that you won’t be the victim then anything and everything becomes possible. And that is THE most important step you can take if you want to grow.

Don’t you think ?

Love & Respect,

Christine Lewicki

© 2015

Want to you use this article in your newsletter, blog, or on your website? You can, as long as you include the following blurb:

“Christine Lewicki is a Bestselling Author, Speaker, and Certified Coach. She is committed  to help people quit complaining and become entrepreneurs of their lives. You can download your download your FREE ”I Quit Complaining Starter Kit” on her blog www.iquitcomplaining.com

There is NO Lucky Victim

One of the biggest lessons I learned during my 21 day I Quit Complaining Challenge” was the realization I made of how many times in my life I really felt like a victim.

For instance, when the school changed the schedule at the last-minute upsetting my whole day’s planning,  when my hotel messed up my reservation, when my kids woke me up in the middle of the night, when the city street work  created traffic jams causing me to be late for my appointments, when the economy was bad and my finances were hurting, when electricity was shut off because I forgot to pay the bill on time, when my Internet connection was slow, when someone forgot to cancel their appointment with me and I ended up wasting my precious time waiting for them…

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All these incidents were like daggers through my heart and I felt like port little victim. Often, it was just too much to bare and I just wanted to just give up and say: “This is  just the worst day of my life!  or “I knew it, this only happens to me! ” or even : “It never fails…more problems to deal with!”

When I stumbled upon the  tale about the Donkey and the Well  it really had an impact and  helped me change my outlook on things. I had read it a few years back but all of a sudden during my challenge it started making a lot more sense and I could really apply it in my life. So here it is:

The Donkey in the Well
One day a farmer’s donkey fell down into a well. The animal cried for hours as the farmer tried to figure out what to do. Finally, he decided the animal was old, and the well needed to be covered up anyway; it just wasn’t worth it to retrieve the donkey.
He invited all his neighbors to come over & help him. They all grabbed a dirt & began to shovel dirt into the well. At first, the donkey realized what was happening & cried horribly. Then, to everyone’s amazement he quieted down.
A few shovel loads later, the farmer finally looked down the well. He was astonished at what he saw. With each shovel of dirt that hit his back, the donkey was doing something amazing. He would shake it off & take a step up.
As the farmer’s neighbors continued to shovel dirt on top of the animal, he would shake it off & take a step up. Pretty soon, everyone was amazed as the donkey stepped up over the edge of the well & happily trotted off! 

The lesson I learned in this tale is that life would try to kick me when I am  down and that the best way to get back up is to shake it off and keep moving forward. I learned that each of our problems is like a stepping-stone towards progress. We can get out of the deepest well  if we just keep on moving. Never give up! Shake it off! Start climbing!

If the donkey had chosen to be a victim and kept on whining and complaining, he would have been buried at the bottom of the well.  Instead, he chose to take charge and be creative.

Often times, when I feel like I’m at the bottom of the well myself, I think about this donkey. When I feel paralyzed by what’s happening to me and I just want to point a finger towards other people and complain, I remember that it won’t help me get out of this hole. Quite the opposite, if I just complain about what’s happening, I’ll end up buried under my own complaints.

With this in mind, no matter what happens to me, even if I feel like I’m suffering through something that “someone is doing to me”, I now try to not waste my energy with complaints or judgments, because I know now that this will only make me more miserable  and will keep me stuck in the victim role and prevent me from moving forward!

Love and Respect,

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Christine Lewicki

© 2015

Want to you use this article in your newsletter, blog, or on your website? You can, as long as you include the following blurb:

“Christine Lewicki is a Bestselling Author. She is committed  to help people quit complaining and become entrepreneurs of their lives. You can download your FREE ”I Quit Complaining Starter Kit”  on her blog www.iquitcomplaining.com

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My “Not Always Very Sexy” Life.

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What gave me the idea of embarking on this 21 days challenge to quit complaining was the realization that even though I am generally rather positive, I often found myself in frustrating or irritating situations where I would play the victim and…complained.

Many times, I realized that I would go to bed completely exhausted from everything that “happened to me” during the day. Under my so called“good life” I had the lingering impression of constantly fighting… to get the kids to school, get my work done, be on time, manage work and family and all the problems. Too often I went to bed feeling that I just had a terrible day.

Strangely enough, that “ terrible day” day was usually simply a “ normal” day of my life. . Nothing really bad happened. Actually, it was ordinary , like every day… It was what I like to call now my “ not always very sexy life”.

I wanted to learn to enjoy this daily life. I was sick and tired of telling myself that when my three kids would grow up (especially the young one), when my business would be successful, when I would have time for myself, when I would be on vacation, when my family could help me this summer, etc. In short, later, only later, would I be able to live better.

Why wait for tomorrow to finally be happy? It’s a shame after all, because isn’t daily life real life

Yesterday is gone, tomorrow doesn’t exist…Only today matters most”. I had heard this before, but it wasn’t until then that I decided to put those words into practice.

I am a “mom-preneur”1 and my days are filled with my business, my three kids attending  different schools and all their extracurricular activities (swimming, guitar, piano…), my volunteering activities, my life as a woman, wife and mom…and all of this at more than 6 000 miles from my family in a very fast-paced city!

That’s how one night I found myself in bed, my head on the pillow and eyes wide open, trying to find a way to lighten up my daily life and feel more satisfied right at this moment, no matter how chaotic my life seemed to be.

We all have happy and joyful moments in our lives. Weekends, vacations, birthdays, dinners with friends filled with laughter, dates, weddings, travels…We also have all these little moments like getting a massage, a moment to take care of ourselves. All these moments are times of happiness and fulfillment that break the routine. But we must also realize that these moments are relatively limited and unfortunately conditioned by an external context quite rare, if not exceptional.

So what about the rest of our life? Our daily life is much more ordinary, punctuated with different obligations…When I thought about it, I realized how sad it was to let life pass me by without trying to enjoy all these “normal” hours of my life as if they were something that “happened to me”.

I want happiness every day…because I know that one day or another, I won’t be here anymore. Each minute is like gold. My life is a gift, and I intend on living it at the fullest. I realized that what really got to me were all those moments spent complaining. Doing things while resisting them, getting irritated at the computer, complaining in the car, gossiping with the others, whining about the kids, wheezing and yes even sometimes “bitching” I was not doing anything “ wrong” or truly damaging but in the end it polluted my life and, let’s face it, didn’t get me anywhere.

I am the kind of person who always says how “beautiful life is”, so why complain? I wasn’t depressed, rather in good health, mostly happy and positive, happily married, in love with my kids, I had a great job…But still, no matter what the circumstances, I found a way to complain and to go bed frustrated, exhausted, drained…

Whether we are feeling happy or unhappy at any given moment often has very little to do with our absolute conditions but, rather it is a function of how we perceive our situation, how satisfied we are with what we have.” – The Dalai Lama

That’s when I told myself: and what if I just stopped complaining? Yes, I know, I wrote “just”, but I now realize after the challenge that it’s not as easy as it seems. The idea for me was to mostly choose between discussing happiness, read a bunch of books and attend seminars on the topic, or to actually start doing something different today to experience happiness. That’s how I decided to start; by not complaining at all for 21 days in a row! I was curious to see what would happen.

I’ve been living in the United States for ten years now, and this type of challenge is pretty common here, to stop smoking, to meditate, loose weight, be grateful2…so I told myself that there was no going back, I had to do it until the end for myself, my life, my family. I’ll delve deeper into the “why” of these 21 days in the third part of this book.

When I started my challenge, I had no idea of the actual amount of complaining I was doing (it was a shock!!!), or what I would gain from the experience. This blog is here to share with you what I have learned on this journey. I would love to start a conversation with you in the comment section below.

1 “Mom” and “entrepreneur”

2 The most common ones are found in Edwene Gaines’ The Four Spiritual Laws of Prosperity and Will Bowen’s A Complaint Free World.

Love and Respect,

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Christine Lewicki

© 2015

Want to you use this article in your newsletter, blog, or on your website? You can, as long as you include the following blurb:

“Christine Lewicki is a Bestselling Author, Speaker & Coach. She is committed to help people quit complaining and become entrepreneurs of their lives. You can download your FREE ”I Quit Complaining Starter Kit”  on her blog www.iquitcomplaining.com

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