Part I – The Concept

In the new book A Complaint Free World, church minister Will Bowen challenges us to go 21 days without complaining, criticizing or gossiping. It began as an idea for his Sunday sermon at the Unity Church in Kansas City, Missouri and caught on quickly. From the local newspaper to Oprah, this simple idea is catching people's attention.

While "What the Bleep" and "The Secret" have shown us that our thoughts have the power to create our lives, this book gives us the tools to begin monitoring and changing our thoughts with a simple concept. "Our thoughts create our world and our words indicate our thoughts" Bowen explains. "When we control our words by eradicating complaining, we create our lives with intention and attract what we desire."

The process begins by taking notice of what we say. Then, by combining self-monitoring with a physical action, we can really begin to see just how often we engage in negative speech that doesn't serve us. The book's website offers purple rubber bracelets that can be moved from one wrist to another, though Bowen says that we can use any such device that works for us. Whether it's moving a stone from one pocket to another or a paper weight across the desk, the important thing is to connect to some action that allows us to track our progress.

The goal is to go 21 days in a row without moving your designated object, 21-days being the amount of time it takes to form a new habit. Bowen himself says that he found that his personal best after one week was to move his bracelet five times in a day, though his bracelet's movements shot back up to a total of twelve the very next day. He noticed that he could do better around some people than others, and began looking more deeply into his relationships.

Knowing that complaining attracts more of the same into my life makes me willing to see how this simple idea can bring my true desires into being. I don't want to wait for my purple bracelet to arrive from Kansas City, so I'm going to pick a bracelet or rubber band and begin immediately. I'll let you know how I've fared after 7 days while I continue to read the book. Wish me luck!

A Complaint Free World
Part II: The Experience

After deciding to try being complaint-free for just seven days, I must say that I am happier. Anecdotes from the book helped me to maintain my cool in traffic, like the idea that cars going slowly in front of me are merely the universe’s "pace cars" though I am not in a race, and are meant to slow me down for my own safety. Or the story about people honking their horns if they’re happy, which gave me a reason to laugh when people honked at me, rather than taking it personally, which I'd usually have done. Instead, I'd just think to myself, “They must be really happy,” and move on.

To be honest, I delayed writing this article because I hadn’t found a device that worked to remind me consistently. I wanted to take off the bracelet (the memory aid recommended by the book's author) when I got home along with the rest of my jewelry, so I’d use a hair band, but I'd end up putting it in my hair. Despite these minor problems, I was able to see the impact of the familiar principles of positive thinking had taken hold, and that the ideas depicted in films like "What The Bleep Do We Know?" and "The Secret" had seeped into my subconscious, preparing me for this challenge. I was already monitoring my thoughts and speech, and, with the help of the book, found myself considering before speaking if what I was about to say counted as a complaint. If I thought it might, I'd try to word it differently, whether I had something on my wrist or not.

The book gives a lot of in-depth analysis to help each of us decide for ourselves what counts as a complaint, but the bottom line is intention. Will Bowen, the instigator and author of "A Complaint Free World" offers this quote from motivational writer Eckhart Tolle which may just sum it up: “Complaining is not to be confused with informing someone of a mistake or deficiency so that it can be put right. And to refrain from complaining doesn’t necessarily mean putting up with bad quality or behavior. There is no ego in telling the waiter your soup is cold and needs to be heated up – if you stick to the facts, which are always neutral. ‘How dare you serve me cold soup…?’ That’s complaining.”

In the movie "The Secret", Jack Canfield explains, “The Law of Attraction says ‘We’ll give you whatever you say and focus on’ so if you’re complaining about how bad it is, what you’re creating is more of how bad it is.” That is the basic concept behind becoming complaint-free: to create more good in our lives and the world by focusing our attention and energy on the positive, on constructive ideas, and on gratitude. "The Complaint Free World" book really can help us to reach that goal by giving us a place to start, supportive explanations, and a way to measure the change in our lives. I recommend that you pick up your copy and begin your journey as soon as possible. I’m still on my quest for 21 days free of complaint, criticism or gossip. But I know that even greater happiness lies ahead!

[Reprinted with kind permission from The Daily Mantra. For more enlightening stories, visit]

Author's Bio: 

Malayna Dawn is an author and freelance writer with about 1000 uplifting, thought-provoking articles and one spiritual adventure fiction novel that will inspire you to experience life's adventure in a new way.

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Drawing on her lifelong experience as a student of metaphysics in Unity, her degree in communication emphasizing multicultural beliefs and comparative religion, and her experience in the entertainment industry, she offers her perspective on the beliefs and symbols of all cultures—including pop culture, which is often dismissed as merely entertainment rather than the powerful connection to our deeper selves that it can be.

Using your imagination, creativity and personal inspiration, you can learn to entertain new possibilities and discover a different way of looking at the world, infusing it with personal meaning to make your life your own personal work of art.

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