I remember running a Scripture Union camp, there must have been about 20 leaders and probably around 80 teenagers to look after. In case you are familiar with how they operate, maybe I should explain. One it is an intense week where you spend pretty much every minute of the day with the kids. I was the Camp Leader, no reference to my sexuality I assure you! I was the one who was overall responsible for all that happened. There was an Assistant Camp Leader who was second in command and mainly responsible for the programme, the fun and games and the time table. Some camps had cooks and some had a secretary that kept on top of the finances and a whole lot of other details. Then there were dorm leaders, they took part in activities and ate slept with the kids, they had their own group they were predominantly responsible for. Some of the leaders knew each other well, others were totally new to the core team I had established over a few years. There were no x-boxes, televisions nor mobile phones, yes must have been years ago, so it was full on. The kids had time on their own for about an hour when the leaders met to have bible study and pray but even the a couple had to be around so that the teenagers didn’t get out of hand, if you have kids you can understand I am sure. Anyway, it was about part way through the week and we, the leadership team were all tired. I was aware that while the week was going well there was an increasing amount of niggles, the leaders were being intolerant of each other. There were offhand comments being made that were causing offence. I was the Camp Leader and that couldn’t be allowed to continue. When you are living in such close proximity to others your “witness” or authentic life style is under the microscope. But what to do? What would you have done, I wonder? Well here is what I did, I got the whole leadership team together and said what I had seen. I said I was taking the kids, yes them all and would keep them occupied and that the leadership team would sort out their issues, if they solved those before dinner they could sleep, but they had to deal with the niggles and irks they had. Give them their due they dealt with the issues they had, real and imagined. The atmosphere of the camp was transformed. I don't know what happened in that room but I know one thing, they stopped whining!
Every successful person is unique. But invariably one of the things they have in common is this: They don’t whine.
Maybe you have noticed that the most successful people rarely (or never) talked about the difficulties that they had to overcome.
They aren’t just being modest, they don’t talk about it because they don’t think there is anything to talk about.
They have had a problem or series of them. However, they took their problems as a given and worked hard to play the best hand they could with the cards they were dealt.
If the problem was caused by something they had done, they took great pains not to do it again. But if it was just a matter of fate, they accepted it and starting working on a way to overcome it.
There is a school of thought that says entrepreneurs–and other successful people–achieve their success because of their problems. They find a way to overcome the obstacles in such a way that leads to new opportunities, opportunities they would not have had except for the obstacles, maybe that is true.
It is clear that successful people don’t let the obstacle be an obstacle for long. They face it head on and work to overcome it.
There is Buddhist wisdom that says: “In life, pain is mandatory. Suffering is optional.”
Or, on a lighter note, as the football coach Lou Holtz once said: “Never tell people your problems. Ninety per cent of them don’t care, and the other ten per cent are glad you have them.
So why wallow in self-pity, you can overcome your problems. If you are a comedy fan you probably have had a few laughs at the star of “One foot in the Grave”, Victor Meldrew, who’s catch phrase “I don’t believe it” ironically signified his whining!
Extreme characters make us laugh, but sometimes we use laughter to cover up our own similarities. I have known a few Victor’s in my life, maybe you have too. Maybe and here is the wake up – you are very like him.
Are you a winger, a whiner? Do you like that people give you attention when you moan, “poor me”? There is another way, face your obstacles head on and fix them. It is better to overcome than to wallow in self pity???