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3 Ways to Convert Complaints into Positive Action

An announcement blasts through the speakers: “the train to Amsterdam is delayed by 60 minutes. We apologize for the inconvenience.”

It’s like a man with a starting pistol who launches an exciting race.

Unfortunately, it is not the beginning of something fun.

It’s the start of the invisible toxic that spreads.

Via the vocal cords of one person.

Into the eardrums of the other one.

“Come on, not again.”

“When can these stupid people finally make this work?”

Or, my personal favorite:

“I always have bad luck, every time I take the train it is delayed.”

The icy wind blows my curls out of shape, even more disorganized than before.

I put the Dire Straits on pause and listen to the complaints coming in.

I think about the time I was exactly like these people.

Complaining, complaining.

I am different now – most of the time. 

Books helped me to change my mindset, step by step.

More and more I can let go of external factors that I cannot influence.

While I look around the platform, I see frustration. And many heads glued to phones.

I don’t feel bad because of the delay.

Zooming out, what does it really matter?

I decide to challenge myself: is there any way to transform this experience into something positive?

I find three options.

1)   From complaint to gratitude

I think about a life without modern transport.

Where horses are the fastest way to move around.

A life where it’s not as easy to discover new places.

When you think about it, it’s incredible that we have all these modes of transportation.

With comfortable seats.

With heaters to keep us warm.

With tickets that automatically deduct money from your bank account. *BLEEP*.

So easy.

A one-hour delay is better than a 20 hours journey on a horse-drawn vehicle.

2) From complaint to opportunity

“OK this is all great, but there is still the stupid delay, what should I do?”, I hear myself thinking.

The one-hour delay gives me the opportunity to finally pick up my book again.