The Worst Habit You Don’t Even Know You Have

If you’ve ever attended one of my events, or done a team day with me, you know that I often end the day with ‘gratitude.’

Complaining is the enemy of gratitude.

When you complain, you confess with your mouth that your ‘rightful’ entitlements have not been met.

My beautiful wife and I share the belief that we aren’t entitled to anything.  We believe it intellectually, but out actual entitlement list is pretty long.

Your worst habit

Speaking for myself now, I feel entitled to all sorts of things including:

  • Good food
  • People being nice to me
  • A quiet environment when I want it
  • The money to do the things I want to do
  • Travel
  • My needs being met in 100 ways

And whenever one of those entitlements isn’t met, I complain.  I hate it in myself, but I hear it coming out of my mouth, and I think, “Am I really that big a whiner?”

When my wife Jenn’s entitlements get triggered, she actually says out loud,

I am not entitled to a

  • quiet house
  • great cup of coffee
  • sunny day
  • easy life

Gratitude Challenge

So today I have a simple challenge for you that will help you beak your worst habit.  To participate, you need to be wearing a watch or bracelet on your wrist.  The challenge is best done in a group setting.

Whenever you complain about anything, take your watch or bracelet off, and put it on your other wrist.  Then say two positive remarks about the same situation.

If you’re like me, you’ll find you complain a lot more than you think you do.

As a wise lady once told me (and that I subsequently stole and repeated a thousand times – thanks Shelaine!)  ‘it’s all in the framing.’

If you frame a tough situation as threatening or awful, you’re right.  And if you frame it as an opportunity to grow and learn, you’re also right.

So let’s start the week by putting an end to complaining.

Reframe the situation you find yourself in, and you’ll find yourself feeling better quickly.


 “If you focus on what you have, you gain what you lack. And if you focus on what you lack, you lose what you have.” Grant McKeown


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Trevor Throness is a speaker, consultant, and author of “The Power of People Skills.”  He is also co-founder and senior instructor at

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