Day 513. When have you criticized something lately? May be it was your coffee this morning that was too hot, or the traffic that was too dense, or your boss who has been pushing too much work to you… whatever it was, what did it do? Probably nothing on the outside, but it fueled your negativity on the inside. Some will argue that it’s good to criticize, it helps to make things better and it feels good. It helps to make things better if, and only if, you can contribute to make them better. In the case of your hot coffee, you can definitely put it in the fridge, add cold water or just wait. On the traffic, if you are not working for your city, you cannot act upon the traffic but on the time you go to work for instance to avoid the peak time. On the feel good side, you succumbed to your archaic system, the path of least resistance, criticizing without proposing a solution.
Your coffee’s too hot? Great, you can cool it down by applying one of the solution I shared. The traffic is horrendous? Great, you’ll have more time to listen to this fantastic audio book and you will seek alternative route or different time to go to the office. Your boss is pushing too much work? Great, here’s a way to shine and to look for ways to get more productive, or to have a discussion to share your concerns. In all the cases, you archaic system makes you rant, and your prefrontal cortex makes you find a solution. The first is in charge of your Cro-Magnon side, the second of your personality and social behavior. Why do I write about your brain? Because each of your decision happens here and YOU are in charge. There’s no magic, it’s all yours to change, or not.
By criticizing without offering solution, we lose our precious time and are undermining our credibility. By criticizing AND proposing a solution, we move to a more advanced and respected behavior. The ultimate step is to not criticize and propose a solution to what is perceived as a challenge or a problem. Tomorrow, I will wake up five minutes earlier to have time for my coffee to cool down. Next week, I will leave home thirty minutes later to avoid the peak traffic. Today, I will have a discussion with my boss on my workload that is increasing. Less talking, more acting, and probably, more connecting. Switch criticism time to creation time, not easy, but essential to get a better and more fulfilling life!